First solo paid inspection - several questions

I just wrapped up my first solo paid inspection and wanted to run a few things by the seasoned pros here prior to sending my report. Pictures included below. Thanks in advance!

  1. Slight cracking on the stone veneer underneath a window - no apparent signs of movement elsewhere. I was unsure what would cause that across several bricks.

  2. Large PVC pipe extending at an angle from the side of the home, under the duct tape is a piece a rebar, any idea what that is?

  3. Furnace didn’t have a access panel removable without removing screws, I shouldn’t open anything in that case, correct?

  4. Did not test AC, 66 degrees at the time of inspection but mid 40s last night and AC hasn’t been run yet on the home this year, did I do the right thing?

  5. There were 3 zones with the HVAC and only 2 thermostats, could only get one zone to open for heat, should I just document that?

  6. Single Square D breaker in an Eaton panel, that is incorrect, right?

  7. Excessive spray foam insulation around tankless water heat vent, is that an issue?

  8. Is what I have pictured a water shutoff or gas shutoff valve? My knowledge says water but is there typically a gas shutoff valve somewhere other than at the meter?

  9. The two upstairs bathroom outlets and the downstairs half bath outlets all tripped the same circuit and the only outlet they could be reset at was in the downstairs half bath. Is that okay? Should I make a note?

I’ll just venture & be kind to your last question.
It is fine the way you described it, they’re downstream… . …
Good luck there Brian. What was the fee.

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Answers in italics.


Thanks Marc - and the fee was $310 for a 2,400 sq ft home. It was definitely nerve racking but I made sure to slow down, take my time, and i’m confident that I provided a good service but want to make sure I am also producing a solid report. Still have a lot to learn but trying to take a ton of photos to make sure I can get the correct answers on anything i’m not 100% sure about before sending reports.

Thanks David! Just read the panel doc more thoroughly and it states “Additional or replacement breakers shall be of the same manufacturer and type”

  1. See how that crack comes close to aligning with with joints in the stone courses above and below the crack? It wouldn’t take much heaving to concentrate stress across those three cracked stones since the joints above and below act as a hinge and don’t offer any resistance to vertical movement.
  2. Maybe it was supposed to be the grounding electrode.
  3. It’s really up to you.
  4. Yes.
  5. Yes, but recommend further evaluation and any necessary repair by a qualified HVAC contractor.
  6. Incorrect unless the mfgr’s. label says it’s OK.
  7. That alone isn’t a big deal but it’s real sloppy work and a sign to look for things that are a big deal done by the Bad Foamer.
  8. That type of ball valve is typically used for water. See a gas ball valve here. Also, I agree with David; the fact that it’s insulated indicates water.
  9. It’s OK but good to make a note so that the client won’t have to go looking for it.
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Thanks Kenton!

Helpful hints for New Inspectors.pdf (230.1 KB)

Congrats…here’s some practical advice you won’t get in books or school.


It’s good to anticipate your client’s questions, so the locations of various shut-offs are good to include, especially if it’s not obvious. It’s good to comment on things that are OK but kinda odd, because a lot of times you’ll get asked about them later and you look good if your can answer them, but tell them that it’s in the report, sometimes with a photo.

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#8 its a water shut off. Because the pipes are insulated, and because there is a Watts brand (you can read it on the casting and on the white sticker) PRV (pressure reducing valve) mounted directly after the water shut off valve. If you were to peak behind the foam insulation sleeve you would be able to see the type of pipe and that would be another clue for you.

I agree with previous posts on all the other items you asked about.


Thanks! I wasn’t able to find a shut off valve for the gas somewhere other than at the meter. Is there typically a separate shutoff valve in the home aside from the meter like there is with water?

There should be shut-offs near the furnace, water heater, and any other gas appliances.

Is there usually a “main” shutoff as well that I should be looking for or just verifying that there are individual shutoffs within a few feet of appliances?

Usually, the main is near the gas meter, and additional shut-offs at each unit. I take photos of each and put them in the report with locations, same with the main water shut-off valve.

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Does that mean you do not remove electrical panel covers either?

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A question for you…

What is the age of the home, and/or do you have a better photo of the basement floor tiles as shown around the furnace? They appear to MAYBE be a potential ACM, and if so, should be noted in your report!

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Looks like dricore subfloor from here…I’m on mobile, my eyes might be fooling me… :slight_smile:

I dont believe Lennox
produced a furnace when asbestos containing floors existed…justsaying

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Isn’t asbestos making a comeback?! :stuck_out_tongue:

So you’ve never seen a furnace replaced in an old home before??

At first glance it kinda looked like OSB, but then a ‘side glance’ gave me the ACM tile possibility view, thus my request for a better photo.

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