Excellent answers!! Also real outstanding on #5 displaying how important it is to do the walk around. This was a tough call as well but Nathan Clapper did get a hair more to the answers. Even though Y’all provided more than I was looking for that’s great to see the thought process in the inspecting!!
Here are the answers and watch for the next set of questions soon.
Question 1 – This is a multi-part question. New home final inspection with the
Square footage of the home is 4200 Sq. Ft.
Front of home faces West
Weather at the time of inspection was overcast turning sunny with a high of 40
Degrees Fahrenheit and winds at a constant 15 MPH.
House is equipped with gas water heaters and gas heaters.
Four bedrooms, four full baths and two half baths.
Q1 – What are we actually looking at in these pictures?
Q2 – What am I doing in these pictures?
Q3 – Why did I do this?
Q4 – What narrative would you use in your report regarding this action.
Answer 1 -
Q1 – We are looking at the exterior condenser cut-off switch boxes for the HVAC AC system.
Q2 – A non-contact voltage detector is being used to ensure that electric is being provided to the units.
Q3 –The exterior temperatures were well below our required 60 Degrees Fahrenheit for not testing the air conditioning system. The temperatures were actually below freezing when you factor in the wind chill (handy calculator https://www.weather.gov/epz/wxcalc_windchill ). Since I have absolutely no idea what provisions this condenser might have for preventing
liquids from accumulating in the compressor there is absolutely no way I would fire this unit up under these low exterior temperatures! To do so would be meaningless for any testing and might contribute to unit damage. At the time of this inspection the only way to tell the actual operational condition of this unit is with gauges, meters, etc., which should only be performed by a licensed HVAC contractor.
Q4 – The following is the narrative I use under these situations for new construction.
Due to low temperatures today this home’s cooling system was not operated to preclude the chance of unnecessary damage. At these very low temperatures damage to compressors and possibly other components can potentially be caused. The cooling system was visually inspected only and operational issues can not be determined. Power was checked for at the exterior cut-off switch boxes and power was present. I recommend that you consider the following actions.
- If the temperatures increase sufficiently prior to closing I recommend you have the Builder display a full test of the cooling system(s) for you to ensure it is functioning.
- As a result of the low temperatures any basic operational test performed can not be used as a reliable indicator of how the system(s) will perform in our hot Summer weather. I do recommend that you perform a full routine service of the system(s) prior to or at the beginning of the normal cooling season, and as specified by your maintenance schedule and warranty requirements, to ensure the system is fully functional.
Question 2 – What is wrong in these pictures? The following information is to be used for this question.
Siding and trim is LP SmartSide siding and trim.
Shingle manufacturer is not identified.
Gutters are on site fabricated.
Answer 2 – There are multiple issues noted in these images.
The LP SmartSide products have not been properly installed and display the following issues.
Trim is not maintaining proper clearance above shingles.
Trim has been excessively cut where flashings have been run through and trim
has not been replaced or repaired.
Trim has not been properly mated together and not sealed at gaps.
Vented soffit trim has been improperly cut at vent openings. The material is
already bending and damaged at the louvered openings.
Although it may be difficult to see in these pictures the siding and trim cut
edges and uncut edges have not been fully painted to protect against
The gutters have not been properly installed and display the following issues.
Gutters are being allowed to improperly discharge directly onto shingles
through holes at their rear ends. This can place concentrated water flows
on shingles and cause accelerated wear and large amounts of water at/on
trim and flashings.
One of the gutters is actually discharging directly on ridge cap shingles.
Question 3 – What is wrong on this new construction installation of a Rinnai V75iN tankless water heater.
Answer 3 – There are two visible errors.
The unit’s condensate drain line on the flue has not been configured.
The safety drain pan has not been connected to the drain pan line.
Question 4 – This is a new home final inspection. What is wrong with this tankless water heater? This is a Rinnai whose specific model number is not known but not needed for these deficiencies.
Answer 4 – There are multiple issues with this tankless water heater. Of interest to note is that the AHJ actually passed these conditions on both a plumbing final and CO final inspection. Another reason for buyers to hire their own Inspector.
The electric has not been wired to the tankless yet.
An improper outlet box is in use inside of the cabinet.
The remote temperature controller has not even been wired to the unit.
Question 5 – This is a “Gimme” question that everyone is most likely going to get it right. It is intended to help not only the new Inspectors but the rest of us that might become complacent after performing many inspections. There is no real wrong answer and any answer can help. So why is it that at every inspection, before I even go into the home I perform a walk around of the house itself? What value does this have and what can be found that can dramatically alter your whole inspection? Please provide specific examples.
Answer 5 – We encounter many strange and sometimes disturbing conditions during inspections that may be found during an exterior walk around. It is important for your safety as well as liability to catch and document these highly obvious issues before you even enter the house. If possible you should take pictures and make sure your cameras are set with proper date and time. These are just a few of what I have encountered and I am sure you all will provide even more. These are the significant issues and do not include the general information I collect on this walk around which is used later as the inspection progresses.
The homeowner was away on an extended overseas trip. The rear door had been kicked in and looking from the outside it was obvious the home had been burglarized. It was also unclear but appeared someone may also have been living in it. Obviously I backed away and called 911.
During a walk around of a new home final inspection the home was found not secured and looking through the windows parts of kitchen appliances were noted laying on countertops with large gaping openings where other appliances were suppose to be. The Builder was called and the inspection stopped as yet another burglary had occurred and they wanted nobody inside until a police report and full evaluation was performed.
During a walk around of an existing, unoccupied home water was seen draining from the bottom of the brick veneer wall in at least two places. The water to the home was immediately shut off at the water meter and the listing Agent called. You can bet I waited for the listing Agent to unlock the SupraKey box and open the house. As it turns out a fixture valve failure caused most of the first floor to flood.
During the walk around of an existing home I encountered overpowering gas smell the nearer I came to the gas meter against the home. The owner was there and evacuated the house and called 911. The fire department found a major line leak where the gas line between the meter and house had failed and was leaking significantly.