Results 1 to 23 of 23
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Posts
    117

    Question Strange Outlet Location

    Inspected 1928 vintage two story home yesterday and noticed this electrical outlet on the staircase leading to the upstairs. Single outlet w/ fuse in box. Has anyone ever seen this before? What's it purpose?

    Similar Threads:
    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    NHIE Practice Exam
    RJDalga
    http://homeanalysts.com
    Kalamazoo, MI

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Strange Outlet Location

    What's its purpose?

    I have no idea why it was installed there, however, it purpose seems to be to create a trip and fall hazard.

    Is it possible (any evidence of) an electric stair lift having been installed in the past? Even then, though, they are wired in from the ends (on the ones I've seen) and not from the middle somewhere.

    I would definitely recommend its proper removal, which may not be to difficult at the box is mounted on the tread and not cut into the tread, indicating that the wiring to the box is through a hole in the tread.

    Remove the box, remove the wire from the stair, remove the wire from wherever it is tapped off from, drill nice round hole in tread if not already there and plug with a wood plug, then of course the carpet would need to be patched at that hole (unless maybe the carpet was just slit and the wiring poked through the slit, which would then require carpet tape on the back side to secure the carpet slit together like a seam so it does not cause a trip and fall).

    Could you tell if the stairway was dark and it needed a light? If so, then a light would also need to be installed to light the stairway.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    NY State
    Posts
    440

    Default Re: Strange Outlet Location

    That is an old fused receptacle. As stated, there is an Edison fuse under that square cover.

    If it is near the bottom I like the thought that it was for a stair climber, but lacking other evidence that is a long shot.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Strange Outlet Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    If it is near the bottom I like the thought that it was for a stair climber, but lacking other evidence that is a long shot.
    Peter,

    That is not only a long shot, but it was a backward-over-the-shoulder and not using a mirror shot.

    It was the only thing which came to mind which could possibly be in the stairway for any legitimate reason.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Strange Outlet Location

    Looks like some steep stairs.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Strange Outlet Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Looks like some steep stairs.

    Scott,

    My thoughts too.

    May be why they needed a ski lift installed?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: Strange Outlet Location

    It's for the vacuum cleaner. Ask your wife.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Posts
    117

    Smile Re: Strange Outlet Location

    LOL's guys! Thanks for the notes. I glad I'm not the only one scratching his head here also. There was another one on the set of stairs to the basement also.

    RJDalga
    http://homeanalysts.com
    Kalamazoo, MI

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Strange Outlet Location

    I agree with John
    Installed for vacuum cleaner, easy to run the cable and mount.
    Don't have to ask my wife.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    South-West Michigan
    Posts
    469

    Post Re: Strange Outlet Location

    I would go with the vacuum cleaner outlet idea. Fused because it would draw enough current to blow the fuse at the main panel, and that was down in the basement?



    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
    www.housesmithe.com

  11. #11
    John Steinke's Avatar
    John Steinke Guest

    Default Re: Strange Outlet Location

    I once encountered something similar that was used to provide lighting for the space under the stairs. This one? I have no idea.

    The fuse may have been a way to be 'extra safe,' or the power source may be a larger circuit ("tap rules").

    We might have an issue with the reveptacle pointing 'up.' Most receptacles I have seen in / on stairs have been on the risers, not the treads.


  12. #12
    gary gramling's Avatar
    gary gramling Guest

    Default Re: Strange Outlet Location

    It is most likely for the vacuum cleaner. The fuse is there to shut it off before tripping at the main panel.
    Gary


  13. #13
    Stephen Atchison's Avatar
    Stephen Atchison Guest

    Smile Re: Strange Outlet Location

    I would put in my report; Recommend an Electrician to investigate to determine if any circuits that could be possibly affected by removing the outlet, then remove it.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: Strange Outlet Location

    If my wife see's that picture of a receptacle on the stairway she is going want one wired up regardless if its wrong or not.

    She complains about having to drag the vacuum up and down the stairways, so I've bought her another one for the upstairs for our anniversary coming up.

    I spoil her way too much.

    Rick


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ft. Myers, FL
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Strange Outlet Location

    Rick, at least your wife knows what a vacuum is. I can never recall any of my wives ever using one.

    Paul Kondzich
    Ft. Myers, FL.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: Strange Outlet Location

    Why are we reviving 13 month old threads?


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: Strange Outlet Location

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Why are we reviving 13 month old threads?
    I bet if you put a little effort into it you can find something better to complain about.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  18. #18
    Denny Waters's Avatar
    Denny Waters Guest

    Default Re: Strange Outlet Location

    I got my wife a weed whacker for our anniversary.


  19. #19
    Philip's Avatar
    Philip Guest

    Default Re: Strange Outlet Location

    Had a friend get his wife a lawn mower for her birthday. I asked him how he got by with that and he told me he had it painted pink.


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Northern, Ca.
    Posts
    81

    Smile Re: Strange Outlet Location

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    If my wife see's that picture of a receptacle on the stairway she is going want one wired up regardless if its wrong or not.

    She complains about having to drag the vacuum up and down the stairways, so I've bought her another one for the upstairs for our anniversary coming up.

    I spoil her way too much.

    Rick
    You bought your wife a vacuum for your anniversary and still happily married?


  21. #21
    Ted Glover's Avatar
    Ted Glover Guest

    Smile Re: Strange Outlet Location

    No offense to anyone of a particular heritage, but I live near Westby WI (norsky residents), and I have a huge picture collection of this kind of thing including shelves built into the basement stairs (off to one side). The older guys in particular added stuff like this


  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Strange Outlet Location

    Their vacuum cord was too short


  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    421

    Default Re: Strange Outlet Location

    I was just cleaning out my warehouse for some room (large shed) and came across my collection o tings that i thought were 'cool' from decades ago doing electrical work. I found one of these stair items described on this thread.
    Trouble is......I cant's remember the story that goes with it...??

    Anyhow, I do remember the job where the electrical service panel was under 'lift-up-stairs', Munster style. U can't make this up...tis true.

    Equally interesting, to me at least: Doing an inspection yesterday for a pool panel, found myself on all fours under the steps inside.
    When mentioning the clear space and headroom, the homeowner pointed to the section of the floor that was cut for removal. Removing the panel allows one to stand on the crawl space floor and Wa La!
    Not making this one up either!


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •