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Home construction MYSTERY!!

Old 03-06-2009, 05:34 AM
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Default Home construction MYSTERY!!

My son's townhouse has a firewall between his home and the lady's next door; making it 2 pieces of 1/2" and 2 pieces of 5/8" sheetrock between them.
The electrical outlet behind the bed in the guest room has blown out of the wall.
The outlet plate cover is in 30 pieces. The outlet is bent over on itself. The blue plastic outlet box is pushed halfway out of the wall.

No circuit breaker trip. No signs of fire or burn. No bullet hole in the walls (he checked next door).

It looks like somebody either shot the box from the neighbor's side or rammed a pipe into the box. There is No sheetrock damage at all; just the box pushed out. There isn't 5" between fire walls.

Guesses anybody? Questions? ;?;?
Old 03-06-2009, 05:46 AM
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You said he did look next door to see if someone shot or rammed something through the wall? If he did and did not see any holes, my guess would be that the neighbors have already had the wall on there side repaired. If thats the case it would seem to me that this was done a while back because the wall on his neighbors side would show new repair if done recent.
Could it have been messed up for a while and no one notice it?
Old 03-06-2009, 05:57 AM
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He noticed it when the clock radio next to the guest bed was unplugged, and he'd been in that room the week before (it's his cloths folding bed).

The neighbor is a 40-something single lady who has a 20-something daughter that might have brought a boyfriend over and a gun mis-fired, but it was only 2 days after last weekend that he noticed it.

The odds of getting a hole patched and painted within a couple of days are pretty slim. I asked him to remove the box and outlet from his side of the wall and shine a light into the cavity to try to see a hole. Nothing there.

Does anybody have experience with lightning enough to say that its possible that lightning could blow the outlet out of the wall WITHOUT tripping the breaker and without frying the clock radio?
Old 03-06-2009, 05:58 AM
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Townhouse, owned or rented?

On the lady's side, is there an outlet exactly across from your son's outlet......it might take some measuring to know this for sure?

On your son's side/ outlet, what fastners were used to secure the electrical box to the stud, nails or screws? Are they bent or just pulled out? Is the wood in the area where the nails/ screws attached heavily damaged, what's it look like?

Is there any other blown outlets on your son's side and the ladies side of that wall? I take it no because I figure you would have mentioned it.

Is there any signs of prying damage to your son's drywall at the electrical outlet? Is there any signs of plier teeth marks on the blown out electrical box?

Maybe others won't need this, but I need clarification. 1/2", 5/8", 2x4/ insulation, 5/8", 1/2" is the fire wall, there is no concrete wall inbetween?

Can you or your son get up into the attic? If so, does anything look out of place? What type of insulation is up there? Do you see any gas pipes? How's the place heated, forced air or hot water?
Old 03-06-2009, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
Does anybody have experience with lightning enough to say that its possible that lightning could blow the outlet out of the wall WITHOUT tripping the breaker and without frying the clock radio?
There is no way a clock radio can take a lightening strike and keep ticking!
It probably would be a good idea to flick the breaker that services that outlet numerous times - snap the lever, don't just push it back and forth. I myself would intensionally try to trip that breaker to see if the breaker is working properly, but I'm not going to suggest to you to do it, it could kill you.
Old 03-06-2009, 06:07 AM
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Tell him to go next door and politely ask her to use a less powerful vibrator!
Old 03-06-2009, 06:08 AM
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I have seen lightnting do some weird things before and it wouldnt surprise me to hear of it doing that, but if that is the case then I would have a electrician check the grounding of the houses electrical system. If the house is properly grounded that should not of happened by lightning.
Old 03-06-2009, 06:14 AM
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Let's say there was a gun shot/ bullet that caused the damage, after all the outlet cover was in 30 pieces. One, if your son still has the 30 pieces he should be able to put that cover back together like a jigsaw puzzle. If there was a gun shot/ bullet there will be a hole that can not be replaced by broken pieces. Also, if there was a gun shot/ bullet and it did break the outlet cover there has to be another hole on the opposite side of the room or stuck in the bed somewhere. There has to be, bullets just don't vanish into thin air. If no holes can be found then there is no way it was a bullet.....have your son turn over that bed for a very close inspection, but I don't figure he'll find anything.




One of the first things that crossed my mind here is hided cameras.
Old 03-06-2009, 06:18 AM
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I'm far from an expert here. I have a townhouse with the same type firewall. It was biult in the early 80's with aluminum wire. That stuff can cause all sorts of problems, but I don't know if what you describe could happen from it. What brand of panel is used? If it is a FP then you can't trust the breakers.
Mike
Old 03-06-2009, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by beenie View Post
I'm far from an expert here. I have a townhouse with the same type firewall. It was biult in the early 80's with aluminum wire. That stuff can cause all sorts of problems, but I don't know if what you describe could happen from it. What brand of panel is used? If it is a FP then you can't trust the breakers.
Mike
Earlier Siemiens panels either. Its not the panel itself but the breakers were not very reliable.( IMHO) I had to stop using them and went to using Cutler Hammer.
The Siemiens of today are much better.

And I'm with you on the FP. You could cut straight through a line and never get the breaker to trip
Old 03-06-2009, 06:24 AM
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I've seen lightning do some pretty funky stuff but I doubt that caused it.

Only Menzies would think of the vibrator thing.
Old 03-06-2009, 06:34 AM
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It's possible the box simply wasn't fastened to the stud and when the plug was pulled (if it was pulled, maybe something fell on it) from the outlet, it pulled the box out.

I've seen stranger things happen with no visible signs or indications as to what caused it.
Old 03-06-2009, 06:42 AM
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Was the clock plugged into the outlet and the outlet behind the bed?

Doesn't it seem more likely that, while maybe dropping laundry onto the bed, the bed was shifted, caught onto the plug, and rather than pulling out the plug (because the plug was being pulled on an angle) that the outlet box was pulled out of the wall and damaged?

Seems a little more probable than someone shooting it out from behind or shoving a pipe through the other wall behind it.
Old 03-06-2009, 06:56 AM
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Just talked with Brad and here's more information:
Both his and his neighbor's walls are knock-down finish; almost impossible to repair and not see the work.
Not a bit of his sheetrock/knockdown was affected.
He's inspected every shard of outlet cover and there's no marking
The bed is an antique wood roll-back headboard; too heavy for the maids to lift (as if maids would lift something like that) and the roll-back butts against the wall, making it impossible for something to drop on the plugs.

both plugs were out of the outlets and their prongs are dead straight.
Brad is a bachelor, no kids no pets no roommates. His girlfriend isn't stupid or strong (but she IS a fox), so she's out of the running, too.

The outlet looks like somebody maybe took a hammer to the center of the cover. Shattering the cover into 30 pieces just couldn't happen from behind, IMHO.

Garret, I'm suspecting the your description of wall construction is correct.
No way on Gawd's green earth that somebody could get between the walls.

I'll ask Brad about the panel's manufacturer. Home is about 5 years new, so probably GE or similar, but we'll check it out.

This is like a "House" case!

Last edited by bamaboy473; 03-06-2009 at 06:59 AM.
Old 03-06-2009, 07:06 AM
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Did he have anyone in his house lately doing any repairs on anything? I know that its a long shot, but maybe someone he knows or someone who was working there did it out of spite. Also he might want to set up a camara. Could be that someone else is using that bed without his knowledge...... Just sayin........
Old 03-06-2009, 07:15 AM
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Ahh, the plot thickens with the addition of the cleaning ladies.....
Old 03-06-2009, 07:16 AM
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Well I was cleaning my gun one night and it went off. I had to get an all night wall repairman to come out and fix my box. oops, wrong forum. I thought I was logged onto my LEO forum.

Nevermind








Old 03-06-2009, 07:41 AM
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In order to get to the bottom of this, we need pics of said "fox" girlfriend.
Old 03-06-2009, 07:42 AM
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kingair, that actually happened at a summer camp in upstate NY many years ago. Officer unloading his service weapon and jacked the slide while finger on trigger.

Good news is that he was pointing the .45 down and away from any other guys next to him.

Bad news is that he was on the second floor of the barracks... and over the head area He shot one of his troops right off the commode!

No word on his request to make Captain that year!
Old 03-06-2009, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Joenic View Post
In order to get to the bottom of this, we need pics of said "fox" girlfriend.
Preferably with the maids

Seriously, it was the maid who moved the bed and clipped it with something. There is no other explanation if what you said is true regarding the wall on the other side showing no signs of repairs.

It does remind me of what happened in my house last night. Wife placed a semi frozen turkey pie on the stoneware in the oven. Within 5 minutes the stoneware was shattered into 11 pieces. Obviously thermal expansion going on in this case.

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