Attic and crawl space electrical inspections

How far into the attic do you go when inspecting the electrical systems in a dwelling?

Can you see enough from the scuttle hole while standing on a ladder, or on the drop down stairs?

Sometimes under the insulation you may find serious hazards and defects such as broken cables, pulled out cables at connectors, open J-Boxes, and so much more. I have seen situations were the service raceway, that was passing through the area above the ceiling, was intercepted to get free electricity.

What have you discovered during the electrical inspection in these places?

I only inspect what I can see. If I see a bugle or a bump over an area of a surface that should be flat I’ll try to take a closer look if I can. I don’t want to disturb any of the materials already in place. Having good flooring also helps out alot to do more inspecting. Whatever tips or tricks would be appreciated as usual.



Hi Joe
I enter attics crawlspaces as much and as far as possible without danger of falling through or running into obstacles.
One concern I observe often is elec cables too close to the hatch, aside from the usual (open junction boxes, dangling broken light fixtures, amatuer work).

John M. Wickline
JW Home Inspections, Inc.
Hilton Head Island, SC

At least twice I’ve had the crap shocked out of me when crawling through an attic to do some work. It was due to open, uninsulated splices hidden in the blown insulation. One particularly memorable time was under a mobile home, and I started crawling over the axle of the unit and was getting a tingle the whole time. I think my clothes were insulating me just enough that I wasn’t getting a full shock.

Be safe out there.