Converted Carports… I bet you didn’t think about this…

Over the weekend my husband got a call from an HOA manager, frantic because a whole row of homeowners in a townhome community lost power to their garages. Think about that for a minute. What would you do if you woke up one morning and not only did your garage not work, but your whole street is out. There’s a lot of people, not heading to work today.
So what happened?
The short story is this… 30 years ago a group of townhouse owners decided that they wanted to enclose their car ports. That’s right, and area originally designated as a car shade was converted into a garage. A carport and garage have very different functions in today’s world. 30 years ago the community wired each garage for an outlet of which to plug in a garage door. After all, they’re just enclosing a car shade, what else would you need to power in there for? Fast forward to today’s world where these garages are used for more than just shading your vehicle. Outlets are added, light fixtures swapped out. Garage doors changed out for smart fixtures, water softener added, compressors, air tools and much more. This morning, some guys decided to change out the head of an engine. Plugging in a large air compressor to work their pneumatic tools. Down the row, an environmentally friendly neighbor was charging his smart car….pop! 30 garage doors no longer open.
The lesson here is this… If you’re buying a home, you’ll probably have an inspection done…. But if you’re buying an older home, you should assume that there have since been progressions that you should consider when doing your inspections. It doesn’t mean the end of the world. It means, as a homeowner, you may want to consider having a professional help determine if your new home meets your particular needs. The home inspector will tell you if the garage outlet works. He’ll probably even tell you that it’s required to be a GFCI and likely isn’t. However, he can’t tell you if that area of the home will work for your life unless you tell him (or preferably your agent). Do you need to work with high powered tools? Do you plan on installing a soft water system? Do you have a tiny little battery powered car? Maybe you should also have an electrician look at the power load. You can always upgrade your panel to fit your needs. But your 29 neighbors may appreciate you figuring that out before hand.

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