Electrician is supported for selling cheap house pinball machine to building inspector

Members of a popular internet forum showed support for an independent electrician who refused to let a frugal homeowner get away with a house full of shoddy plumbing.

In a viral Reddit post published on r/MaliciousCompliance, Redditor u/big-heck-nah (aka the original poster or OP) said they were asked to rewire an entire house before paying for a cheaper one option but revealed how they ended up back at the house with a less than impressed electrical inspector.

Entitled “You want me to coerce an inspector into this after someone else does the work?” the post has garnered nearly 14,000 upvotes since September 18.

“One day I got a call from a new client,” OP began. “He was one of those people who flip houses in lower-income neighborhoods.”

The original poster went on to state that they were unfazed by the homeowner’s attitude and tardiness, described the newly purchased home as a total disaster and said they had no interest in taking on the project.

The original poster also said that after their high estimate was turned down in favor of an electrician willing to rewire the house at a lower rate, they were contacted again by the homeowner.

“[He] called me later that year [and] explained that he found an electrician three states away and paid the electrician in ceramic tile instead of cash,” the OP wrote. “The problem now? Well, he needed an inspection from the city’s electrical inspector.

“I went back to the house about twenty minutes before the inspector showed up and saw numerous problems,” OP continued. “Every problem I saw, the inspector saw too. He would point out, and each time I would agree, that the work was off-spec.

“I finally explained to the inspector that I didn’t do any of the work and was hired to get him to pass the inspection…he asked me if I thought he should and I told him up no way,” OP added. “I was paid for my time … to fix all violations and I developed a strong relationship with this inspector.”

With inflation in the United States at a 40-year high and the cost of gas and groceries taking a toll on bank accounts across the country, it can be tempting to cut corners elsewhere.

However, cheap electrical work usually indicates bad electrical work.

The cost of rewiring a small home ranges from $1,500 to $3,000, according to the Home Guide.

For a medium-sized home, that range drops to $3,500-$8,000, and for large homes, homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $8,000-$20,000 for a complete rewiring.

Electrical problems cause 51,000 fires, 500 deaths, 1,400 injuries, and $1.3 billion in damage annually in the United States, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International.

Due to the inherent risk – both physical and financial – of shoddy wiring, it is imperative that homeowners hire licensed, reputable contractors to ensure that all work is carried out entirely properly and in accordance with regulations.

Electrician's hands
Electrician’s hands. Members of Reddit’s r/MaliciousCompliance forum sided with an independent electrician who refused to lobby an electrical inspector to approve a poorly wired home.
alexeyrumyantsev/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Throughout the comments section of the viral Reddit post, many Redditors echoed this sentiment, praising the original poster for prioritizing safety over making a quick buck.

“Ethics,” wrote Redditor u/The_Next_Story in the top comment of the post, which received almost 4,000 upvotes. “Priceless.”

“Thanks for not trying to encourage them to pass anyway,” Redditor u/Ryugi interjected. “That’s literally how people die, you know?”

Redditor u/Mr_Awesome1919, whose comment has garnered nearly 1,500 upvotes, said they’re electricians too, and detailed the financial pitfalls of cutting corners at work.

“Electrician here,” they wrote. “Sometimes my potential customers find my prices too high. That is completely understandable.

“You should always look around,” they continued. “But if you hire someone unqualified to do the work, it costs me a lot more to come back and fix it.”

news week asked u/big-heck-nah for a comment.

https://www.newsweek.com/electrician-backed-selling-out-cheap-home-flipper-building-inspector-1745571 Electrician is supported for selling cheap house pinball machine to building inspector

Rick Schindler

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