Questions of the week 4/21/2019

(Emmanuel J. Scanlan, TREC# 7593) #1

Please read the Introduction and requirements, changes may have been made.

A member of the Awards Committee will post questions, at a random day/time.

The competing member may make one post per question thread to answer the questions and the member’s winning entry must have all parts of the questions answered completely in that one post. Editing your one answer post allowed will result in disqualification.

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First correct answers (as judged by the Awards Committee or Poster of the Questions) wins.
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Question 1: These are pictures of a Post Tension Cable foundation at the pre-pour inspection (one away for perspective and one close in behind the form board). What is the issue noted here? What is the correction for this issue?


Question 2: What easily identifiable and significant framing issue is seen in this image? How can this condition be corrected?



Question 3: What common issue(s) is/are being displayed in the mounting of the roof top antenna seen here?



Question 4: In the circular valve box on the right there is a Zurn Model 70XL Pressure Reduction Valve. What is wrong in this picture?



Question 5: In the images above what is the issue with the gutter installation?

Extra Credit question and not needed to win.

Question: Keeping in mind what you place in your report and your clients perspective of the issue, in all of the questions above what is the concept of the data gathering method used?

1 Like
(Larry Kage, CMI) #2

Nice questions, Manny! :smiley:

(Marcel Gratton, CMI) #3

I guess it take one to start…
1-exposed cable past wedge plate
2-improper size lintel above right side window - increase size to properly support beam above
3-missing sealant, exposed nail
4-should be installed vertically
5-gutters end cap left in place

(Steve Nadeau) #4

1.The tip of that cable is positioned closer than 3/4″ from the form board. Re-position cables to insure proper concrete coverage.
2. The rafters have no hangers, and the cross rafter they are toe-nailed into should be doubled.
3. A rubber pad should have been inserted between the mounting bracket and the shingles, Roofing tar should have been used to seal the bolts in their holes.
4, The regulator should’ve been installed before the valve.
5. Should be Valley splash guard installed.

(Matthew McGregor) #5

1- Exposed post-tensioned cable ends, they should be covered by the sleeve. Rebar congestion - looks like the rebar is sitting on top of the post-tension cable end.
2- Taper cuts at the end of ceiling joists should not exceed 1/4th the depth of the member.
Ceiling joists should be connected with hangers, that J-box is not going to support the weight of a ceiling fan as installed. Rat runs should be gapped at beams. Built-up beams should be nailed out at 16 inches OC, both sides alternating. Built-up beam on upper-left of picture is not roll-blocked.
3- A piece of rubberized waterproof membrane should be installed between the dish mounting bracket and the shingles, and the mounting bolt ends should be sealed. ( I see some exposed nail heads in the wide shot that should also be sealed! )
4- based on the pic, it looks like the pressure reducing valve is installed AFTER the valve box. It should be installed directly after the water meter.
5- based on the roof pitch and area of the roof draining into the lower gutter, a splash guard should be installed on the lower roof gutter to prevent spillover.

Extra Credit: The concept of the data gathering method is to document any deficiency and explain it to the client in a way that is educational and actionable for the client.

(Steve Nadeau) #6

141 views and only 3 tries?. Oh well. I may be wrong or incomplete in my answer, but in the end I’ll learn something by at least trying to answer. And just maybe get a case of books in the process.

Good questions - thanks.

(Emmanuel J. Scanlan, TREC# 7593) #7

Oh bummer nice work guys but no winner this week. Y’all sure went above and beyond especially the framing question. Just as an FYI there were so many framing issues I did advise that a full framing review be performed by the Builder’s Engineer.

Answers for the questions:

Answer 1: Pocket formers are not properly seated against form boards to seal and prevent concrete from entering them (PTI 5.2.4 and 5.2.5). To correct this only requires a proper angled pocket former such as seen on page 9 of this manufacturer’s catalog

Post Tension Institute Construction And Maintenance Manual For Post-Tensioned Slab-On-Ground Foundations SectionS


Where non-encapsulated anchorages are used, it is recommended that a small amount of PT coating or all-purpose grease be applied to the tapered tip of the pocket former that fits into the wedge cavity; refer to Fig. 5.3. This will help prevent any concrete slurry/paste from entering the wedge cavity during concrete placement. Place the pocket former in the anchor cavity and install the complete assembly in the drilled hole.

DO NOT allow the PT coating or all-purpose grease to cover any part of the pocket former that comes into contact with the concrete. This will prevent the concrete patch material used to fill the stressing pocket recess after stressing from bonding to the original concrete.

Care should be taken to assure the proper fit of the pocket former in the wedge cavity. Any pocket former that will allow concrete slurry/paste to enter the wedge cavity should be rejected.


Securely nail the anchor to the form using 20d nails or equivalent. It is extremely important that the stressing anchors are securely attached to the forms, as shown in Fig. 5.4. If they are not, concrete slurry/paste could enter the wedge cavity, resulting in possible excessive wedge seating loss or ruptured tendons during the stressing operation. The installer should plan ahead, selecting the proper location for fixed and stressing anchorages. If flatwork (such as walkways, drives, and patios) will interfere with the stressing operation, the fixed and stressing anchorages should be reversed. In slab-on-ground foundations, the horizontal location of anchors may be adjusted up to 12 in (300 mm). However, the vertical location of the anchorages should be maintained within the tolerance specified in Section 5.8 while maintaining a minimum of 1-1/2 in (40 mm) of concrete cover over any edge of the anchor.

Answer 2: Built-up ceiling support beams are not being properly hung/attached to each other.

These are the two beams that were 45 Degree cut and only face nailed to the beam running left/right. There were plenty of other framing errors in that area but I specifically centered the picture on those two as a hint.

R502.6 Bearing. The ends of each joist, beam or girder shall have not less than 1 1 / 2 inches (38 mm) of bearing on wood or metal, have not less than 3 inches of bearing (76 mm) on masonry or concrete or be supported by approved joist hangers. Alternatively, the ends of joists shall be supported on a 1-inch by 4-inch (25 mm by 102 mm) ribbon strip and shall be nailed to the adjacent stud. The bearing on masonry or concrete shall be direct, or a sill plate of 2-inch-minimum (51 mm) nominal thickness shall be provided under the joist, beam or girder. The sill plate shall provide a minimum nominal bearing area of 48 square inches (30 865 mm 2 ).

Answer 3: The main two issues are as follows.

  • The cabling has been improperly run in/through an attic ventilation vent. Although not seen here the installer drilled through the vertical flashing collar to route his cabling and did not even bother to use grommets and sealers. This antenna sits approximately 12’ - 15’ off the attic floor and faces South (the direction of our prevailing winds and many strong storms). This condition is conducive to water penetration into the attic. There are no manufacturers of this type venting that approves of this type field modification for any reason.
  • The antenna base mounting bolts have not been driven fully and flush and have not been sealed over, both to help prevent water penetrations around their threads. Hardware is made corrosion resistant and not corrosion proof. Even treated hardware can and usually does corrode. When that occurs bolts can expand and start backing out of the decking. Additionally sealing over the bolts helps prevent slow water penetrations around bolt threads and into the decking which can weaken that point as well.

Answer 4: Zurn does not rate this valve for applications where it can be submersed. Zurn requires this valve to be installed 12” above any flood condition or be located in a sealed pit that either fully drains or prevents submersion of the valve. You can find this on their WEB site here .

In new construction this is covered under IRC P2609.2. In any construction or situation this is covered by the manufacturer’s installation and rating requirements noted above.

P2609.2 Installation of materials. Materials used shall be installed in strict accordance with the standards under which the materials are accepted and approved. In the absence of such installation procedures, the manufacturer’s instructions shall be followed. Where the requirements of referenced standards or manufacturer’s instructions do not conform to the minimum provisions of this code, the provisions of this code shall apply.

Answer 5: The gutter on the right has been extended to far back and is in the path of the valley water flow. That can cause water to be splashed back under the dormer’s soffit. This is a potential water penetration issue. The gutter position on the left is questionable. Due to the house design and the height of that eave section neither of these could be clearly seen from the ground.

Extra Credit question and not needed to win.

Answer: Every image used should provide a perspective that can allow the client to easily identify the issues location or a second picture taken further out should be used. This can easily reduce the need to take calls from clients asking “Hey where is that located?”.

1 Like
(Ivan Chung) #8

Good questions, thanks.

(Marc A. Goldenberg, Inspector Lic # HI1365 Mold Assessor Lic #1) #9

YEA thanks Manny! :cowboy_hat_face:

(Marcel R. Cyr, CMI) #10

Yes, I agree, that was well done Manny. Allows one to work on the questions and learn in the interim.

(Larry Kage, CMI) #11

Very nice, Manny! :grin: :+1: :grinning:

(Dave Fetty, CMI) #12

Good questions Manny, thanks for your time!

1 Like
(Spencer Clark) #13

Great questions. Many thanks.

(Marc A. Goldenberg, Inspector Lic # HI1365 Mold Assessor Lic #1) #14

Hope to see you answer next time. :cowboy_hat_face:

(Ryan M. Fessler, HI10797) #15

I’ve gotta get in here more often. Great stuff

(Marc A. Goldenberg, Inspector Lic # HI1365 Mold Assessor Lic #1) #16

I’ve missed your presence ~ see ya next time! :grin:

(Ryan M. Fessler, HI10797) #17

Your the one with the presents, not me

(Spencer Clark) #18

Are questions put up every week? I haven’t seen a new set of questions.

(Kenton Shepard, CMI) #19

Sorry Manny, I gotta take exception to #2 . That’s basically architectural ceiling framing, and the reference to “joists, beams, and girders” applies to structural framing mostly related to floor structures and roof truss systems. I don’t see anything wrong with that framing. Adequate bearing, no hardware necessary unless specified by the architect/engineer and left out by the carpenter (been about a million houses framed without hardware); something an inspector couldn’t know without plan review.

]The adequacy of header sizes would depend on the roof-covering material, but overall, I can’t imagine that framing failing. Anyone want to suggest exactly what framing would actually fail and how?

(Emmanuel J. Scanlan, TREC# 7593) #20


Hello Kenton,

I would expect you are referring to a decorative ceiling framing just for the purpose of looks? These beams were the main ceiling support structure used to support joists and the roof above. Although the Inspectors looking at these pictures did not see the entire ceiling framing there are giveaways in the picture.

Decorative framing would not require heavy built up beams just to hang drywall or other light items. As stated these were supporting the roof and joists above.

To the upper, left you can see additional built-up members resting on these. They are built-up to provide additional roof support.

Although not shown in the question pictures the image above are the opposite ends of these two beams. Note the proper hangers used for the situation. For the benefit of other Inspectors out there if they have any doubts, not only about framing but many other aspects, use the comparison method. Why would they hang one end of a beam and face nail the other?

After the Engineering review and repairs my client sent the following picture to ensure the correction is proper. Oooops, looks like the framers forgot a couple of hangers. BTW those are proper Simpson Strong-Tie hangers made for that very purpose.

Although I did not provide the additional pictures of that room the intention was for those reading and trying to figure out what was wrong was to take a minute and visualize what might have been there. At the very least we know there is an attic area and roof structure above that requires support. It could have easily been part of a second floor area as well although not in this case.

Unfortunately the plans were not on site as they should have been but even so most I have seen are not that specific to begin with and rely on the framers to know where to place hangers. As a result Inspectors need to take a minute and think about the vertical load paths and any wall bracing needs that might exist. In a good framing job these are quite clear when you follow the obvious paths of the framing. They nailed the pizz out of those beams but nailing is not the whole picture.

A significant rule for Inspectors to remember is “When in doubt call it out!”. There is nothing wrong with being told you are wrong but everything wrong with missing a major defect that causes major problems down the road.

1 Like