Portable Appliance Inspections

Just wondering, do most check the washer and dryer, or any other appliance, like portable microwaves, that are not really part of the house?

If I know the washer and dryer are part of the purchase, I will at least test them. If the fridge is there, I test inspect it as well.

Just got a call from a client who said he didn’t want me to do anything about it, but wanted to call to “b itch”(his words). He bought the house last summer for his college aged son. The dryer did not work when the boy moved in. The washer just failed.

I guess since dad is footing college, a house on the golf course, and a car for his son, he was upset about having to make these unexpected purchases. I apologized and told him those aren’t part of my inspection, but if I’m told before hand they are to remain, I will check them for free.

Then he says the termite guys told him there’s a bowed or broken floor joist in the crawl that should have been obvious to the inspector. I looked over my old pictures, and that’s hog wash. They are likely upset with me because I reported active termites in the crawl which was a week or so after they treated, so the client called them back and made them return and retreat.

I’m sure not going to buy the guy’s kid a new washer and dryer, just wondering if that’s part of anyone’s “normal routine”?

I turn on the dryer to make sure it runs, or test the outlet if there is no dryer. Unless you bring wet clothes, you won’t know how well it works.

I don’t run clothes washing machines.

As soon as I get to the kitchen, I ask the client and the agent “Can I assume the appliances are staying”? Don’t wait for someone else to bring up the topic, be proactive.


Testing, inspection, analysis, or opinion of condition or function of free-standing appliances such as washers and dryers is not within the scope of a home inspection. They are considered personal property even when they convey with real estate. This means that the washer and dryer are not turned on or otherwise inspected, so if they are conveying to you as part of your new home, you should check them to ensure that you are satisfied with them.

Credit RR archives.

I have never tested a free-standing appliance in 8+ yrs. and have never had a problem. I check fridge #'s if I know its been one with a recall.

Yup they aren’t in the minimum standards, but I feel it’s in the clients best interest to run them through their paces.
Is there a bit more risk?
Sure, of course there is.
But doing inspections has risk.
IMHO, this is reasonable risk.

Since you may be taking serial numbers might as well check for function or it is all wasted time especially since you are still required to check hookups because they fall under Plumbing,Electrical,etc.