Electrician Backed for Selling Out Cheap Home Flipper to Building Inspector

Members of a popular internet forum showed support for one independent electrician who refused to let a penny-pinching homeowner get away with a house full of shoddy connections.

In a viral Reddit post published on r/MaliciousCompliance, Redditor u/big-heck-nah (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) said they were asked to re-wire an entire home before being passed up for a cheaper option, but revealed how they ended up back in the house with a less-than-impressed electrical inspector.

Titled, “You want me to coerce an inspector after someone else did the work?” the post has received nearly 14,000 upvotes since September 18.

“One day I received a call from a new customer,” OP began. “He was one of those people that flips homes in lower income neighborhoods.”

Continuing to explain that they were unimpressed with the homeowner’s attitude and tardiness, the original poster 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 home for a lower price, they were once again contacted by the homeowner.

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

“I went back to the house about twenty minutes before the inspector showed up and saw numerous issues,” OP continued. “Every issue I saw, the inspector also saw. He pointed them out, and every time, I agreed with him that the work was not up to code.

“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 ‘absolutely not,'” OP added. “I got paid for my time…to repair all the violations, and I formed a strong relationship with that inspector.”

With inflation rates in the United States at a 40-year high and the cost of gas and groceries putting extreme pressure on bank accounts across the country, skimping in other areas can be enticing.

Cheap electrical work, however, is usually indicative of bad electrical work.

The cost to rewire a small home ranges between $1,500 and $3,000, according to Home Guide.

For a mid-size home, that range slides to $3,500 to $8,000 and for large homes, homeowners can expect to pay between $8,000 and $20,000 for a complete rewiring.

In the U.S, electrical issues account for 51,000 fires, 500 deaths, 1,400 injuries and $1.3 billion in damages annually, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International.

Because of the inherent risk—both physical and financial—of shoddy wiring, it is imperative that homeowners hire licensed, reputable contractors to ensure all work is completely properly and up to code.

Electrician's hands
Electrician’s hands. Members of Reddit’s r/MaliciousCompliance forum rallied behind one independent electrician who refused to influence an electrical inspector to approve a poorly-wired house.
alexeyrumyantsev/iStock / Getty Images Plus

Throughout the comment section of the viral Reddit post, many Redditors echoed this sentiment and commended the original poster for prioritizing safety over a quick buck.

“Ethics,” Redditor u/The_Next_Story wrote in the post’s top comment, which has received nearly 4,000 upvotes. “Priceless.”

“Thank you for not trying to encourage them to pass it anyway,” Redditor u/Ryugi chimed in. “That’s literally how people die, ya know?”

Redditor u/Mr_Awesome1919, whose comment has received nearly 1,500 upvotes, said they are also an electrician and detailed the financial pitfalls of cutting corners on the job.

“Electrician here,” they wrote. “Sometimes my potential customers think my prices are too high. That’s completely understandable.

“You should always shop around,” they continued. “But if you get someone unqualified to do the work, it will cost a lot more for me to come back and fix it.”

Newsweek reached out to u/big-heck-nah for comment.

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