Introduction to InterNACHI's Residential Standards of Practice Course

Hi, I have a clarification question for you guys again:

In the plumbing section, it states that the water main shutoff valve should be identified, but that caution “must be exercised with old shut-off valves, as they can easily leak when they have not been operated in some time.”

Does this mean that we are expected to operate the shutoff valve, or merely look at it to identify it? Most other sections of this course have indicated that we are not supposed to operate shutoffs of any sort, but instead just identify the location and condition of them.

So what is the NACHI recommendation for the water main? Do I test the valve or not?


Absolutely not.

No, do not test. Just identify and report the location of the valve.

Thanks guys. That’s what I thought, but just wanted to make sure.

Another question:
This one is in reference to garage doors:

According to the course, it says “Automatic garage doors can be problematic to inspect, and many inspectors have found themselves buying the homeowner new doors or openers as a result of improper inspection and operation. Automatic safety systems have been mandated on garage doors for more than 10 years due to injuries, particularly to children. As this is a safety concern, the doors should be evaluated for proper automatic reversing, and that photo eyes are both operable and installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.”

However, it then goes on to say that THE INSPECTOR IS NOT REQUIRED TO:
J. verify or certify safe operation of any auto-reverse or related safety function of a
garage door

So what I want to know is, why were inspectors liable to homeowners and had to buy new doors or openers if they were not supposed to verify or certify auto-reverse on the doors? Or is “J” an antiquated comment that should be removed from the list of things inspectors are not required to do?

By the way, you guys are awesome. I love how fast responses come in. Thanks!

Many inspectors confuse “not required” with “not allowed”.

Nachi SOP does not require it but does not prohibit it so many inspectors check at least some of the safety items listed below.

NC requires us to check the force reverse feature.

Safety functions of garage doors/openers include all of these seperate features and items:

  1. Safety beam operation.

  2. Entrapment release test (2x4 method) Very risky test.

  3. Force reverse. The system uses an optical sensor to monitor revoultions of the motor drive. Low revolutions = must be hitting something.

  4. Spring(s) operation and balance check.

  5. General hardware inspection. Tracks, mounts, hinged rollers, bolts.

  6. Height of wall switch and safety beams above floor.

  7. Manual lock disabled when auto opener installed.

  8. Safety cables present through any side mount springs.

  9. Door bracing present depending on door size and location of house/codes.

  10. Proper warning labels present on door and next to wall switch.

There are some new systems that do not require safety beams as long as the opener is certified to reverse at the correct level and the anti-pinch door is present.

Opening and closing a garage door under normal operating conditions is fine. If it operates properly … or improperly … observe and report.

Sticking an arm or a 2x4 in the path of a closing door and damaging it is not considered to be testing it under normal operating conditions and can result in damage that an inspector can expect to pay for.

Hi, I’m new here and just started working through the Residential Standards of Practice Course. I had a question about one of the quiz questions. In section 3.4 on Heating page 72 there is a picture of a buried oil tank being removed with the following caption:

"Underground fuel tanks are, by definition, not readily accessible, but their presence should be reported if there were observed indications, such as the tank fill and vent pipes. If the presence of an underground fuel storage tank is observed, the home inspector could note that in the inspection report and recommend a specialist to further evaluate."

At the end of the section there is a quiz question that asks the following with the options being a) should never be or b) should be:
" Underground oil storage tanks ______ evaluated and tested to help prevent oil fuel leakage and an environmental hazard."

I selected “should never be” but it is incorrect. Why? How can an underground oil storage tank be tested and evaluated by a CPI? I suspect I am reading this question wrong, as I assumed that it was referring to an inspection by the CPI rather than the recommendation by a CPI that a underground tank be inspected by a professional if the presence of one is observed. Is this what is meant by this question?

Thanks for your help.


Testing an underground storage tank is beyond the SOP and should be done by a qualified fuel storage tank expert (however you’d note that). Being outside of the SOP for an inspector doesn’t mean it “should never be tested” like the answer you chose, just that it should be done by someone qualified.
Does that help?

1 Like

Hi Jacob,

Thank you for feedback. Yes, that makes sense. In my opinion, the question should say just as you wrote, specifying that (i.e. “Underground oil storage tanks ________ evaluated and tested by a specialist to help prevent oil fuel leakage and an environmental hazard.”) Or, perhaps I need to stop reading into the question too much, guessing that it was referring to the CPI. :slight_smile: