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Now why would they do that?

Recently I inspected a home that had a problem like no other I had encountered before. The home was relatively new so I had hopes of a clean inspection with minimal problems. Things went well until I began checking electrical outlets. Every outlet I checked except for those in the kitchen tested as open ground wires. This is an indication that the ground wire is not connected to the ground terminal on the outlet.

This is not an unusual defect to encounter in a home, but if it is every outlet, it is usually because the house is old and the wiring does not have a ground wire. This house was less than 20 years old and the wiring should have ground wires unless the house was built using old wiring. As I continued testing the outlets, they continued to test as "Improper ground". I began to anticipate inspecting the electric panel to see why this was happening.

I got to the garage and worked my way around to the electric panel. I took the screws out of the dead front and removed it to expose the panel. Imagine my surprise when I looked at the wires entering the box and noticed that all but one of them had the ground wire cut where it entered the box, No wonder the outlets tested "Improper Ground". This was a huge red flag since it was apparent that the house was not wired by an electrician. I recommended that the electric system be evaluated by an electrician before closing.

A most unusual home inspection issue - Ground wires cut in electric panel
All the wires in the electric panel pictured above have had the ground wire cut.


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