HVAC endoscopic pics: Report for review or not

I have added an endoscope to my bag and have found it very useful for getting into tight spots ( 8mm head ). I used it to inspect the interior of a heat exchanger, and the A/C evaporater coil. I have not inspected these areas prior to now. Here are some of the pics. Who would consider this a defect? Who would consider this common and normal for age and location?
I am composing a narative and, I am seeking criticism.

Due to it’s high efficiency design, some, but not all, of the internal parts of the furnace were viewable.

I observed corrosion inside the heat exchangers.
This may allow carbon monoxide gas to enter the air distribution system, causing illness, injury and death. I recommend review by a licensed and qualified Heating contractor, who may recommend furnace replacement, as the unit appears to be 17 years old.

I observed corrosion on and around the air conditioning evapourator coil. This item may be at or near the end of it’s service life. I recommend review by a licensed and qualified HVAC contractor, who may recommend replacement.

image.jpeg

I think your being both stupid and opening yourself to liability. Let someone who inspects heat exchangers everyday do that job.

As far as the coil goes, why don’t you just pull the damn cover off. Most coils generally will have some level of corrosion unless its brand new.

I agree - you are opening yourself to a huge liability target. You are exceeding your standards and are not trained to diagnose the problem - if one is seen by your camera.
Ironically today i had past client call and her boiler i inspected was noisy and producing smoke at inspection and was inspected by HVAC tech as i recommended and a crack was found after he took it apart. Even the tech said the Home Inspector could not been able to diagnose this crack. And he is right. Imagine if i had your camera and couldnt find the crack. May open me up for some liability - maybe not. But why even chance it. She called to see if i knew someone at a good price to buy a new boiler and not blaming me.

That coil looks almost new, I wouldn’t call it out based on that image.

Dom.

I think that coil looks great. In my opinion, you should leave the borescope in your tool box unless you learn about what you’re looking at. There’s nothing wrong with elevating your service, but that doesn’t mean just buying a new tool you don’t know how to use.

Same here, please leave the borescope heat exchanger inspections to the HVAC techs who have been thoroughly trained in that and have years of experience doing so.
Ditto, I see no issues in your photos.
The second one looks like a weld mark perhaps.

To reactivate my HVAC license 2 years ago I had to take a 40 hour class and get EPA certified in freon handling, etc. I ran down to UTA in North Little Rock for the 4.5 day class. They had 4 hours on this baby checking out AC coils, heat exchangers, etc.

This baby is top of the line for what it does AND in KC most of the major HVAC contractors have 1 or more of them. Its head and shoulders above what most HI’s would have OR use and EVEN with its capabilities … Full verification of a problem OFTEN required a further dis-assembly, etc which we DON’T have the time for during a home inspection OR the sellers permission to do

www.shamrockindustries.com

1 Like

Very illuminating replies.
I am currently wading through the Advanced HVAC course, and wanted to do some practical work. It is time to switch on the heat here in Toronto, as the temperature is down to 5 at night, and I wanted to check my coil for mold prior to firing the furnace. I have inspected furnaces before, but I have not inspected the enclosed components. The A/C coil is not easily accessible, there is an access cut in the the supply duct several feet above the coil. I used the flash light, mirror, wifi camera and the bore scope. The wifi cam provided a good shot (see attached wide shot) but is limited by its size. The endoscope was able to get in tight .

Please elaborate as to how I am being stupid. I am making an effort to increase my knowledge. Is that not the purpose of this forum. (honestly, why are you here?)
The study materials state:
**Residential Heating and cooling systems/system defects; corrosion as Number one: Rust and Corrosion Can affect all systems, heating, cooling, venting,
humidification **.

Please elaborate on how I am opening myself up to liability. If I observed corrosion without the scope, should I not report it?

I did not diagnose it. I noted my limitations (could not see everything), I reported an observed defect (**Residential Heating and cooling systems/system defects; corrosion as Number one: Rust and Corrosion Can affect all systems, heating, cooling, venting, humidification **), possible consequences, recommended review by HVAC Professional and prepared the reader for what the HVAC professional might say (isn’t that professional going to recommend repairs and upgrades? He will, if he is hungry, right?)

Would you state “I think that coil looks great” in a report? Would you look at it if you could? What would you write?
How would I learn what I’m looking at if I don’t look? How would I learn what I’m looking at if I don’t post pics and ask for comments in the forum for HVAC discussion. How do you learn to use tools without using them? I might have posted in the student forum but, that is not effective; just the other day a regular poster was whining about the student posts clogging his screens!

Do you inspect the heat exchangers? If so, how? If not how do you know what I observed are not defects?

Please explain the meaning of your signature.
“You Don’t Know.
You Don’t Want to Know.
You’re Not Going to Know.”

Who is it directed at?

That looks like a fine tool. Did you purchase one? I was not planning on diagnosing problems, my mandate is to observe and report. I would not certify a furnace or AC system. I disclaim the internal components and recommend a cleaning and tune up by an HVAC professional.
My original Question, posted in the forum I believed would be frequented by HVAC professionals, was; Who would consider this a defect? Who would consider this common and normal for age and location?

The the Advance HVAC Training for Inspectors course content states several times that any rust or corrosion is a defect.

So, I will reword the questions.

Do you try to look at these items?
If yes do you report your observations?
Is corrosion on a heat exchanger a defect?
Is corrosion on an A/C coil a defect?
How could I improve my report narrative?
(Thanks for yourconstructive criticism.)

I have added another pic here. A/C coil is contacting the duct.
Is this a defect?

Hi David,

I’ll just respond to the part directed to me.

To answer your question, I inspect what I can see of the heat exchanger but as you can guess I’m not using a borescope. That level of inspection is for licensed HVAC techs.
How do I know what you observed aren’t defects?
I gave you my opinion on that already.
The second photo looks like a weld mark to me.

Let me ask you, How do you know that is a defect?

As for the signature lines, don’t worry they have nothing to do with you.

Honestly, you seem rather defensive.
I know you’re trying to do your best but sometimes one
can over reach on inspections. If you want to pursue this properly
then take classes at the local college on HVAC or hire an HVAC tech to teach you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twitt View Post
Same here, please leave the borescope heat exchanger inspections to the HVAC techs who have been thoroughly trained in that and have years of experience doing so.
Ditto, I see no issues in your photos.
The second one looks like a weld mark perhaps.
Do you inspect the heat exchangers? If so, how? If not how do you know what I observed are not defects?

Please explain the meaning of your signature.
“You Don’t Know.
You Don’t Want to Know.
You’re Not Going to Know.”

Who is it directed at?

From HVAC endoscopic pics: Report for review or not - InterNACHI Inspection Forum http://www.nachi.org/forum/f20/heating-venting-air-conditioning-endoscopic-pics-report-review-not-105396/#post1394684#ixzz3nXiPjexV

There aren’t many threads where all inspectors agree on something. Every inspector here said the same thing. Some were a little rude about it, but you shouldnt be getting defensive.

You clearly are not qualified to perform the type of inspection that you are attempting to perform. However, you don’t need the endorsement of anyone here to proceed as you wish.

By performing this additional type of inspection you are adding time. If it takes you an additional 15 minutes, maybe more, in my books that is an additional $37.50 ($150 hr). Are you raising your prices by that much to make up for the lost time? If not, then you are simply giving your time away for nothing. You don’t add services without raising your prices.

You are leaving the area of home inspector and pushing the envelope of HVAC technician. That is where the increased liability comes in. Much like Russell Ray has different levels of inspections AND PRICES, when you leave the level of a normal home inspection and start adding and adding services that you may or may not be fully qualified to perform, you no longer have the protection of the SOP. Sorry but advanced training is best when done “hands on” and not on some internet course.

Also, You have used the term “endoscope”.

An endoscope is a medical device.
Hopefully what you are using is a borescope or similar.