Do you consider whats Grandfathered?

I know of an inspector that failed the location of a furnace and water heater located in a closet of a ranch house on a crawl space when that was where it was installed in the early 60’s when built, which was excepted at the time. Do most fail on issues even though you know it was built that way or do you consider some things as Grandfathered? This inspector was NACHI and ASHI certified. What are your thoughts? I didn’t feel it was ethically right, but rather most important to explain to the customer the issue as it stands.

Was it drawing combustion air from a habitable space?

Best I can say it was a downdraft furnace. The duct work was in the crawl space which is vented, and the return was located in a hallway through the wall above the furnance.

Shouldn’t be a problem if it was installed according to the manufactures specifications.

FAIL? I do not pass /fail anyting, it needs to be reported, not pass or fail, you may be opening yourself up for trouble from seller.

Hi to all,

also you would need to know the location of the closet,if it was a bedroom then that would be an issue, if it was in a hallway closet that is not neccesarily a problem.



Grandfather, pass, and fail comes from a Real Estate agent handbook.

I was brought up that "Grandpa’s dead and his opinion don’t count."

If the inspector thinks the potential for property damage, occupants health and safety, possibility for loss of life, or other mitigating factors are evident during his/hers inspection.

They are stating their opinion whether there is or is not a code in place.

We are not required to have a code to back up our opinion. It helps but is not necessary in all cases.

Example: No code for stinging insects or noxious plants. I have a friend that goes into anaphylactic shock when stung and I have been hospitalized for severe poison ivy outbreak. I note these items when I find them during an inspection.

No SOP, No Code, My Opinion

I work without a net.

Just because it was done wrong a long time ago, does not make it right over time. It’s still wrong and the client should be given the opportunity to know this.

There is no reason to make a big deal over some things. For example, I find stair systems miss-engineered all the time. That does not mean that we are going to ask for them to be rebuilt. By advising the client ( who is really the only one that knows the dynamics of their family) they can decide if it a matter of concern to them.

If it is, they just need to find another house.

Any equipment installed must legally comply with the local codes and standards in effect at the time of installation, no matter what the details or age of the original construction were. However, HI’s are not performing a building department code compliance inspection and would not “fail” an installation (or at they shouldn’t be doing that), or be overly concerned with if it’s a “grandfathered” or “legal” installation. It’s really about safety.

Many do use current construction standards and requirements (e.g. model building codes) as a guide to help identify concerns and defects … no matter how old the installation is or what standards were in effect at that time. So a lot depends on the actual installation details and opinions of the inspector.

JMO & 2-nickels … :wink:

If one is buying a Victorian farmhouse with a railing on the second floor, and the railing is antique and original I would not be writing it up. Its existing and most savvy purchasers are buying something of that age knowing things just will not pass the muster of the current codes.

And when the new child falls through the antique railing, then what?:frowning:

NO GRANDFATHERING well unless I am doing it to my own grandkids of course.:wink:

Same here…with pleasure! :wink:

I make recommendations for “enhanced safety” in those situations. They may or may not do it but it is in the report.

And how much protection can we give our Kids .
Do not the parents have some responsibility.
They can drink Chlorine or get the paint remover or Dads shaver in the bath room . How about 90% of the homes I do the water is to hot .
I report it and I would be surprised if ten % lower the water temperature.
I met a person I had done an inspection for and they bragged about doing none of my recommendations.
Roy Cooke Sr


Our kids Roy protection, well as much as possible. Other kids, a couple of lines in my report usually is as far as I will go. :wink:

It’ not like we are running out of kids now is it.:twisted:

When you talk safety you are talking code.

If you know it could be a problem and do not note it, then someone gets hurt, and someone else knew you knew it was a problem, then you have a problem, or could have a problem. Knowledge is a powerful thing. It can also come back to bite you!

The following appears in most, if not all codes, in one form or another. You guys that keep saying you do not note code and then go on to say you state safety, or a safety concern make me scratch my head. Safety IS Code! You cannot separate them.

**101.3 Intent. **The purpose of this code is to establish the minimum
requirements to safeguard the public health, safety and
general welfare
through structural strength, means of egress facilities,
stability, sanitation, adequate light and ventilation, energy
conservation, and safety to life and property from fire and
other hazards attributed to the built environment and to provide
safety to fire fighters and emergency responders during emergency

Additional note:

EVERYTHING is in the code because someone was hurt, injured, died or damage occurred to a building.

Codes are remedial. We learn through experience and change them.

Industry standards and model codes are updated periodically, partly to address safety issues with existing installations and lessons learned (sometimes the hard way). Legally you cant make the new requirements retroactive to existing installations, but it doesn’t mean that the existing condition is safe.

If I find a safety concern or hazard (like substandard railings, where there have been countless injuries and deaths … particularly with small children) it gets written up every time. If the client chooses not to heed your warnings or follow your recommendations, that is their call. At least they are aware of the potential risks to make an informed decision.

JMO & 2-nickels … :wink:

You are missing the point, Jeff. The issue brought forth in the title of this thread has to do with unsafe conditions which, because the item met code at the time it was installed (a standard outlet near a kitchen sink installed prior to GFCI requirements) and is “grandfathered”, should it be written up in a report?

A code inspector would “pass” such a finding due to grandfathering. A home inspector would comment on its existence, the fact that it is unsafe, and recommend a GFCI - without regard to code, grandfathering, etc.

Many knew of this unsafe condition long before it finally made it into the code books. Knowing what is safe and unsafe is not synomous with knowing code.

One other point I would like to make on this topic, if I may, is that “code” is a minimum basic standard. Sprinkler systems are being installed by prudent home buyers to reduce risk/insurance premiums today…the code books may catch up, tomorrow.

Government inspectors of food manufacturing plants have their “code” that allows a certain ppm of rat feces to be allowed in luncheon meat. To hell with the “code” inspector.

The safety “code” utilized by government OSHA inspectors was written in 1971 and takes an act of Congress to change. People are being killed and maimed on the job everyday by conditions that meet “code” and are unsafe.

I can see why a seller and his agent would prefer to apply “code”, but a buyer should be able to count on his inspector to provide him more than that. Just my opinion.

Guys -

Don’t make a very simple process hard. Example: A house in the boonies with no codes **AT ALL. **It has a deep pool in the backyard and no fence around the pool. Do you report on it (not fail it you don’t have the authority to pass or fail - just report and give your opinion or recommendations)??

Well do you report on it OR do you say nothing because there are no building codes out in the boonies AND our standards say we don’t do pools, etc, etc.

If for no other reason than self protection of your own familys financial well being, you’d report this as a safety hazard to your client. If you don’t you’re dumb as a box of rocks, and a trial attorneys best wet dream come true.

In short, a sane and smart HI does not “Grandfather” safety hazards. Let the realtor or local code authority do that. If something really nasty happens to the clients it will be the other guys standing in court - not you.