Essential tools

Simple…, what do I have to have to get started. keep it simple please and thanks in advance. Dave

A flashing light and a good reporting software :smiley:

Now what I would recommend and in at least x2:
A good reporting software that you can use on your phone or tablet
Internachi’s narratives
3 light tester
water pressure gauge
Electrician flathead and phillips head screw drivers
TIFF 8800 gas detector
Shower pan dam
Voltage sniffer
Wiggy voltage tester
Laser thermometer
Moisture meter
Inspection mirror
small hammer
Long lighter
Long gas key (for gas fireplaces)
Little giant ladder (17’)
Breathing mask
Microwave tester
Plumb bob
Level (Either auto leveling rotary level or my favorite ziplevel)
Tape measure

Hope this helps!

In addition to Williams suggestions:

kneepads for crawlspaces (if in your area)
clean towel
hand trowel
***code check (book) quick reference *** unless you know everything:)
wireless internet helpful

Pliers and a hammer?

Do you need duct tape too?

I use a small microwaveable plastic bowl to test microwave ovens. I got two for $3 at Walmart.

Also, I like the Ideal Industries 61-164 SureTest Circuit Analyzer. Sometimes the 3 light testers don’t work on GFCI. Plus it will find bootleg grounds.

I have a 22’ giant ladder and 3 flashlights. Something to cover your head in the crawl space.
Not necessary:
Wiggy (nice equipment, but not necessary)
gas key
lighter (most of us won’t light pilots)
plumb bob (if it’s not visible to the naked eye, it’s not worth mentioning)

Here are a couple of InterNACHI articles you can read, too:

Inspector Safety Equipment


Inspector Attire (which includes a couple of lists of items that you should always have with you to smarten up between appointments).

And here:

Don’t do as I did, started with only a flashlight and one straight shanked screwdriver and it had been used as a chisle and wasn’t much good;-)

What about the Red hat?

Red hats are not store bought. They are awarded annually by the Flying Wallenda Foundation. Charlie was the first recipient back in the summer of 44. :slight_smile:

Came much later after I got some smarts:p:D

Must have been a nice 50th birthday present :wink:

Hey I can still out work both of you pups one after the other you can tag team me if you like and I will carry water to you when you pass out:p;-)

I know that’s true my friend :slight_smile:

90-% of my inspections this load out does the trick:

multi tip screwdriver
moisture meter
outlet tester
non contact voltage tester
sharp probe
IR thermometer
anemometer with temp reading

I have other things but many times I don’t need to get other items from the truck. I hope it helps.

Fantastic… Thanks for sharing.


Pliers because every now and then a panel screw head is so damaged that only pliers work.
A hammer (you can use another tool if you’d like) to reseat the TPR Valve (I’m not getting into the TPRV testing debate here) when it doesn’t properly reseat on its own.
Duct tape, sure but the proper stuff. If the evaporating coils panel isn’t all caulked up but only has the UL 181 B, when you open it up and close it, it’s best to not leave air leaks where there weren’t any prior to the inspection. :wink:

Overtime, the tool box gets fuller and fuller. Most tools are rarely used but are good to have when needed.

A few extra thingies to have:

  • screws for electrical panels, HVAC cabinet etc…
  • hose bibb caps (the same ones you find on washing machine hose bibbs in foreclosed houses, or you can use coke bottle caps but those don’t always work). You are bound to open a valve that won’t properly shut. Screw a cap on it and it stops the leak.
  • Washing machine hoses
  • telescopic magnet (because a screw will eventually fall in a hard to get place)
  • Extension cords because one day, you will trip a GFCI and the reset will be nowhere to be found and the garage has a deep freezer with $2000 worth of food (so will say the owners)
  • dog treats/rawhides
  • As John Paul said, towels. We use bath towels because the dishwasher will eventually leak or a drain will just pop off
  • 2 pairs of shoes (1 for exterior and 1 for interior. I hate shoe covers)
  • A telescopic painting rod for
    • the really high smoke detectors.
    • Cut a paint roller 3-4 inches above the screw-on handle then sharpen the tip, you now have a prob that can reach high places (and you don’t have to drag you step ladder all over the place).
    • make an adapter that attaches to your moisture meter and screws onto the rod and again, you won’t need to drag along your step ladder.
  • Soap! I like to leave the property with clean hands, especially with foreclosed houses.
    Mints to have a fresh breath when going over your findings with your clients.
  • 2-3 shirts/pants/socks because you want to look/feel as fresh on your last inspection of the day as you did on the first. Especially during the summer.