Appliance Inspection for Home Inspectors

This online student discussion thread is exclusively for student who are currently enrolled in InterNACHI’s free, online “Appliance Inspection for Home Inspectors” course.

Students may pose questions, discuss topics, post images, and write essays. The thread will be monitored by the instructor.

Need assistance? Ben Gromicko

My interactive image is a microwave. I place cup of water in for 3 minutes an brought water in cup to a boil. Light came on when door opened and was working properly at time of inspection.

Microwave Oven
Heats cup of water: xYes No Comments:

InterNACHI Home Inspection Report Checklist MICROWAVE OVEN
x_ I inspected the microwave oven by using normal operating controls to demonstrate one primary function.
_____ The microwave oven was not inspected, because it was: _____ inaccessible
_____ unsafe
_____ not present
_____ not within the scope of the inspection ______________________________________________________________________________________________

My inspection was done by using a cup of water bringing to a boil. Clock was on an laminated. Interior light illuminated when door was opened. All components of microwave were working at time of inspection.

This photo shows the operation of an electric cook top that is built in. Sometimes it can be a challenge to get photos of appliances that are functional but in this case it makes a good photo when the cook top glows red.

After taking this course I did an appliance inspection on my own home and discovered it had no anti-tip bracket. Big safety issue that will be resolved soon!

Keeping in mind that safety is the number one factor in my home inspections I did not give much thought to freezers and refrigerators out of normal view. After reading the article about refrigerator inspections I now understand that they may pose safety issues for children that may suffocate if the units are not locked.

This inspection of the refrigerator freezer door shows a damaged/worn door gasket. Damaged gasket results in a less efficient seal, causing unit to run more often. I suggest that gasket be replaced by a qualified technician

Good article on these annoying pest. Quite common. One important practice in dealing with these guys is to NOT remove any items from the home until after treatment to prevent further spread. You run the risk of reinfecting as bugs can hibernate for months, then return when it’s safe for them to do so.

Range Exhaust Vent Summary:

  • Although the range hood exhaust fan and lights appeared to be in serviceable condition at the time of the inspection, there was a slight audible vibration during fan operation. Exhaust unit appeared to have not been completely and securely mounted.
  • The range hood did not exhaust to the outside but re-circulated air through replaceable filters.


  • The exhaust hood filter needed cleaning or replacing at the time of the inspection.
  • A fastener was found not be completely driven into the cabinet above causing the loose fitment noted above and illustrated in the photograph.

Garbage Disposal Summary:

-The garbage disposal was operable at the time of the inspection, however the garbage disposal was excessively noisy, indicating that it may have worn components and that may need to be replaced.
-The kitchen garbage disposal’s exterior exhibited moderate corrosion.


-Further evaluation by a qualified technician is recommended.

Maintenance and Operation Suggestions:

-Put only small quantities of food into the disposal at a time. Large food scraps should be cut into smaller pieces before entering the disposal.
-Never put anything down the disposal that is not food or water. Bottle caps, aluminum foil, and other non-food items can damage the disposal or get stuck in the plumbing piping.
-Run water while using the disposal and for approximately 30 seconds after you turn it off. Food scraps will flow through the piping more easily if they are pushed along by water. Cold water is better than warm water for this purpose because it will force fats and grease to congeal and harden, allowing them to move more easily through pipes. Warm water can be run through the disposal while it is not in operation.
-Ice can be used to clear off solidified grease and other debris from the blades in a garbage disposal.

Hello all,

The bathroom fan failed to activate when turned on. This is a deficient condition which may be due to a number of causes, including electrical interruption to the fan or a defective unit. Further evaluation and repair by a qualified technician are recommended.


I would like a better understanding why a refrigerator should not be plugged into a CGFI outlet. I have a refrigerator out on my screened in semi covered pool area and all the outlets are CGFI. It works fine without tripping. Am I going to ruin the refrigerator. The last refrigerator I had there got old and was tripping the outlet so I got a new fridge.

good day,
as part of the requirements for the appliance inspection section please see attached photo; the exhaust fan functioned properly when activated, it had alot of debris on the intake vents and there was noticeable condensation spots (difficult to see in this photo) on the ceiling and upper walls throughout the bathroom. the home owner informed me it was an original exhaust fan installed in 1975…the exhaust fan had adequate duct ventilation through the roof.

I just learned that the average life expectancy for a refrigerator is 9-13 years. Seems like they should last longer than that, but I’m glad to know it. I included a picture of the fridge in our office. The fridge age is 3 years and is functional at the time of the inspection.

Also, Is there something I’m doing wrong in this forum that makes my pictures turn sideways? It’s always up right when I upload it…


This refrigerator was operating when I arrived, but soon tripped the breaker. After investigation, I found that it was on a 20 amp breaker but had another refrigerator on the second floor, also on that circuit. With further study, I found that the 20 amp circuit was responsible for upwards of 30 amps, maybe more. The refrigerator on the first floor was plugged into a nearby circuit that was not as loaded and recommended further evaluation by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.

Anti-tip brackets are something we don’t always think about, but have become a life saving device on appliances that could tip over and harm a child. Appliances that benefit from this device are your free standing ranges. The bracket mounts to the floor behind the range. To test that the bracket is mounted properly, makes sure the range is off, make sure nothing is on the range top. Then grasp the rear top and try to tip it to the front. If it is doing it’s job, it will only move a few inches before coming to a halt.

Another safety item is a back flow preventer. This keeps contaminants from flowing backwards into the potable water supply. They should be used on sprinkler systems, but other areas such as hose bibs can benefit from such devices, but are not required in all jurisdictions.

an unusual find doing an inspection, this is a counter-top mounted drinking water system, using Reverse Osmosis filters, it has hot, cold, and tepid water dispensing, has supply and drain connections plumbed into kitchen supply and waste arms. This unit, though properly mounted did not have the proper air-gap installed on the drain-line required for drinking water systems, but was plugged into an appropriate GFCI outlet.

I am going to inspect apliances as a courtesy only.

Typical cook top, microwave installation