QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK January 19 - Time to win STUFF

Here at INACHI we’re all winners of the largest Inspector Association in the world! We always win with all of the great STUFF we can obtain from our memberships. But now it’s time to win STUFF just for fun so join in this very easy round of STUFF winning questions!! I LOVE STUFF!! :crazy_face:

You may now choose from the following list:

** $50.00 gift certificate from Inspector Outlet
** Case of books "Now That You’ve had A Home Inspection"
** Seventeen Custom Branded Videos value $50.00 ~ your choice!

**** Welcome to another round of Questions of The Week!

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.

Eligible members may make one post per question thread to answer the questions, and the eligible 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.

Any disregard to the above and divulging the correct answers or giving hints/references will cause a disqualification.

First correct answers (as judged by the Awards Committee or Poster of the Questions) wins.
The WINNER can now choose from any of the prizes listed above!
Request your choice by emailing and submit your Mailing address for shipping.


We are going to try something new this time. I will provide a picture or pictures displaying an issue(s). All pictures are high resolution and easy issues. When you identify the issue(s) you must phrase your answer as you would write it in your report to obtain credit for a correct answer. The answer does not have to have to be short and does not have to be verbose. Use your own writing style. The winner is judged on if they identify the issue(s) in the pictures and answered in the form of how they would be placed in a report. There is no grading on the phrasing method and only that it is phrased in your report writing style. The report phrasing is to help the newer Inspectors see the multitude of possible writing styles out there. Each of us has our own style that works for us but the newer Inspectors may be struggling for a style that best fits the way they think and want to report it. Your method of writing may well be the thing they are looking for.

Question 1. Identify the issue(s) and don’t forget to put it in the form of a report write-up.

Question 2: Identify the issue(s) and don’t forget to put it in the form of a report write-up.

Question 3: Identify the issue(s) and don’t forget to put it in the form of a report write-up. To help out the second picture is a partial of a pedestal sink.

Question 4: Identify the issue(s) and don’t forget to put it in the form of a report write-up.

Question 5: Identify the issue(s) and don’t forget to put it in the form of a report write-up.


These can be had, guys!

Even, my fellow inspector, Roy will enjoy these, I hope. :grin: :joy: :thinking:

Nice job Manny, pretty innovative way of asking the QOTW.


Question 1:
•When operating the whirlpool bathtub we noticed dirty water coming from the jets. This implies the system may not be sanitary, which is a potential health hazard. You should either clean the tub yourself as per the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions or have it professionally cleaned.
•The intake (or suction) cover for the whirlpool bathtub is damaged. The intake cover should be undamaged and securely fixed in place to prevent hair and foreign objects from getting sucked into the circulation system. People have actually drowned by having their hair sucked into the whirlpool intake. The intake cover should be immediately replaced for improved safety.

Question 2:
•We noted that the undermount stainless steel sink installed in kitchen is separating from the countertop. It should be repaired by qualified contractor as per good building practices.
•We recommend that you install a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet beside sink in kitchen. A GFCI outlet is a safety device that offers increased protection from shock or electrocution. They are typically required in wet areas such as bathrooms, washrooms, the outside, carports, swimming pools, saunas, and whirlpools.

Question 3:
•The toilet is cracked. This is a potential leakage risk that can cause considerable water damage. The toilet should be replaced.
•One or more areas of the wood flooring in bathroom have suffered minor scuffs and scrapes. Although scuffs and scrapes tend to be a cosmetic in nature rather than a performance issue, they can in some cases be costly to repair, depending on the extent of the damage. If this is a concern to you, you may want to consult a wood-flooring specialist to further evaluate the damage and provide repair recommendations.

Question 4:
•The walls and ceilings of the attached garages should be well sealed where they abut the interior of a house. This reduces the potential of toxic automobile gases entering the house. Openings should be sealed for your protection.
•A “drip leg” is required for gas appliance connections. The missing drip leg at water heater should be replaced by a qualified gas technician.
•Water heaters in seismic zones should be anchored or strapped to resist movement during earthquake conditions. We recommend correction by a qualified contractor.
•Although the water heater was operating as intended at the time of the inspection, we observed that it is currently beyond its normal life expectancy of 8 to 12 years. As water heaters may fail at any time, we strongly recommend that you budget for replacement prior to its failure. A qualified plumber should be contacted to replace and make any other repairs to associated systems as necessary.
•The exhaust flue at draft hood serving the water heater is not adequately connected. Poor flue connections risk exhaust gas and carbon monoxide leakage or other unsafe conditions. The connections should be repaired promptly by a qualified gas technician.
•We observed what appears to be mice dropping on top of the water heater. This suggests prior or possibly ongoing vermin activity. Vermin have been known to damage insulation, wood framing members, and electrical wiring. Their droppings can also pose a health hazard. You should engage a pest control specialists to further investigate this matter and recommend the best course of action. When you are sure that the vermin are gone, all exterior openings into the attic should be sealed or screened to prevent their return.

Question 5:
•Storage in the garage restricted the inspection.
•The main distribution panel in garage was inaccessible at time of inspection due to storage items in front therefore was not inspected. We recommend contacting a qualified electrician to have the panel inspected before close of escrow.

Question 1:
First image; access panel not readily accessible further evaluation by license contractor…
Second image; normal operation demonstrated one or more of the jet nozzle not functioning possibly clogged further evaluation by license plumber…
Third image; damaged intake need to repair or replace and visible residue at bottom of tub posse health concern, further evaluation needed with certified plumber.

Question 2:
First image; GFCI not visible within 6 feet of sink, further evaluation by electrician.
Second and Third image; visible gap and missing caulking between sink and counter top, need adjustment further evaluation by certified plumber.

Question 3:
First and second image; caulking needed at bottom edge, further evaluation by certified plumber.

Question 4:
First image; visible stain at bottom of door possible leak door needs to be vented for gas appliance, further evaluation by license contractor and/or plumber.
Second image; visible water stain/damage and active leak at second 90 degree elbow on improperly installed extension for relief valve. Missing drain pan, damaged shut off valve and missing drip leg recommend further evaluation needed by license plumber…
Third and Fourth image; Clear debris from top boiler and monitor. Visible water stain at red water shut off valve missing water valve on left pipe. Vent need to be secured with screw and improper pipe need to be replaced, further evaluation needed by license plumber.
Fifth image; According to label the water heater is 21 years old, way passed its expectancy, further evaluation for replacement by a license plumber.

Question 5: Service panel need to be readily accessible and clear of obstruction. Could not inspect do to inaccessibility. Clear-out needed for further evaluation.

Good questions Manny! I hope I can find time to answer these this week. Thanks for your time!

  1. Jetted tub access panel has been caulked, preventing inspection of pump and electrical. The jetted tub did operate during inspection but dark debris was observed in tub during operation. The plumbing in a jetted tub allows for organic growth between uses and requires routine cleaning to ensure safe and healthy operation. Consult manufacturer’s instructions to properly clean and maintain the jet tub to resolve the dark debris.
  2. The kitchen sink is under mounted to the granite countertop without any sealant. The lack of seal will allow water to leak into the cabinet below when the sink is over-filled and also provides an area for potential growth that is difficult to clean and can contaminate food. Clean and seal the gap to resolve.
  3. Toilet and pedestal sink in bathroom do not have any caulk/sealant around the base. This unsealed area can allow fluids and other contaminates on the floor to get under the fixtures and beneath the floor promoting microbial growth as well potential damage to the home. Caulk the base of the toilet and sink entirely to prevent water damage and contamination. Caulking the base will also assist in preventing movement of the toilet and damage to the wax ring.
  4. Water heater is in a closet in the garage. The water heater does not have a pan beneath it to assist in the event of a leak. The temperature pressure relief (TPR) valve was piped through the wall and is not observable in the event of a discharge. The dirt leg, to capture debris in the gas supply, was not present. The hot water piping was not bonded to the cold water piping to ensure the entire plumbing system is properly grounded. Shut-off on cold water supply to water heater has mineral deposits indicating a water leak. The water heater functioned satisfactorily during inspection but is beyond its projected useful life and is showing signs of rust and repairs may not be cost effective. Correction of the items mentioned and having the unit serviced by a licensed plumber may assist with extending the operation of the water heater and is recommended.
  5. Access to the electrical service panel in the garage was restricted by personal items and could not be evaluated/inspected. Condition of the panel and identification of component materials could not be determined. Have service panel evaluated by a qualified professional once clear and safe working access to the panel has been established.
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This week we will call Aaron Ankeny as the winner! :partying_face: :partying_face:

The answers are below. There were aspects that you have caught that did not have any supporting pictures but was there and that was excellent! For example yes the tub had no access for the motor but I did not show what was behind the right wall which was a laundry room but no access panel there so that is not part of the answer.

Here are the answers for this weeks Question Of The Week. Hang onto your hats for another round coming!!

Question 1. Identify the issue(s) and don’t forget to put it in the form of a report write-up.

Answer 1:

When the hydro-massage tub was operated a considerable amount of debris was discharged out of the tub jets indicating a need for a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the tub’s plumbing.

Question 2: Identify the issue(s) and don’t forget to put it in the form of a report write-up.


The kitchen sink does not appear to be mounted flush with the countertop surface. There are large gaps particularly around the left basin. There is no sign of sealants where the basins contact the countertop. These can cause leakage to the cabinet below.

Question 3: Identify the issue(s) and don’t forget to put it in the form of a report write-up. To help out the second picture is a partial of a pedestal sink.

Answer 3:

Sinks and toilets are not properly sealed where they contact the floor to prevent water penetration beneath them which can contribute to unseen water damage.

Question 4: Identify the issue(s) and don’t forget to put it in the form of a report write-up.

Answer 4: Please excuse the lack of bullets and other nice formatting but this BB does not appear to understand cut and paste. Even though you can not see some of these conditions noted below I have left them in for illustrative purposes of the annotation method I use when encountering one item that has many issues. Typically I will write the opening sentence and/or paragraph and use bullets to list all the issues found.

The following issues have been noted with the water heater located in the garage closet. This water heater is now 18 years old and labor for repairs could exceed labor for replacement. If you are purchasing a home warranty I am not aware of any current warranty that would cover this appliance. I recommend that you do consider replacement of this water heater.
• The water heater is not equipped with a drip pan underneath it. As can be seen water damage has occurred to the stand and surrounding drywall.
• A sediment trap is not installed on the gas line to the water heater. Please see the “Additional information, explanations and recommendations” below for more more details.
• The water heater is obtaining its combustion and draft air from the attic area in a “High/Low” vent arrangement that has been improperly configured with the following issues.
◦ The openings into the closet should not be screened to prevent any insulation that does enter from blocking the path.
◦ In the attic only one air point was seen. Heavy personal storage is in place and might be blocking the second one.
◦ This attic is suspected of having insufficient attic ventilation for its own needs and to service the four gas fired appliances attempting to draw their air as well. Please see the Attic section of the report for details.
• Mineral deposits have been noted around the cold water input valve indicating potential leakage.
• The hot and cold water lines do not appear to have a proper dielectric union where the lines connect to the water heater. This has resulted in corrosion of the connection points.
• Flue sections do not appear to be properly secured (screwed) together.
• Rust stains and/or rusting have been noted on the exterior jacket.
• A small amount of scaling (rusting) has been noted in the burner compartment.
• There is no indication that the TPRV has been routinely tested. These can fail if not regularly tested. With the conditions seen here, particularly no drip pan, this valve was not tested and its operational condition is unknown.

Question 5: Identify the issue(s) and don’t forget to put it in the form of a report write-up.

Answer 5:

Due to the large amount of stored items in the garage the electrical panel could not be reached to open it for viewing. The conditions inside of the panel are unknown.

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Congratulations, Aaron…way to go! :smile:

Good job Aaron.

Toilets should not be sealed at the floor . If there were and the wax seal failed nasty water would be trapped in there.
However, if they are not sealed you would be able to see it and known it needs to be repaired.

When toilets get sealed to the floor for sanitary reasons, the sealant should be left out for a few inches at the rear of the toilet base, so any leak in the wax ring would give you an alert of the leakage.

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CONGRATS to Aaron Ankeny
Yeehaw! :cowboy_hat_face:


For the benefit of the members education please provide the standard, industry or otherwise, that states you never seal around the base of a toilet where it contacts the floor.

This is what I always did as did and other professionals that I saw work. :smile:

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Thank you everyone. Regretted not mentioning the screws on the flue as soon as I submitted lol. Questions being posted this way are excellent for learning since seldom do we get others opinions on the things we are seeing and not seeing. Keep up the good ideas!

FWIW, I just attended a MAHI conference where Kenny Hart indicated that sealing the base of the toilet entirely will help secure the toilet against movement reducing chances of wax ring leaks and he cited IRC or ICC has a requirement of it. I also understood it was best practice to leave unsealed until his presentation won me over just on the idea of contamination (little boys) and water getting under the toilet is more likely from surrounding floor than a leaky seal. That water leak from the tank or supply line could enter under the toilet even from a gap left in the back that will lead to damage the floor and cause water marks below.

IRC 2015 P2705.1 General:
3. Where fixtures come in contact with walls and floors, the contact area shall be water tight.

Agree! You seal at front and sides and leave the rear open in the event that it leaks and so that you can see that it leaks.
Congrats Aaron!

Emmanuel, For the benefit of the members education please provide the standard, industry or otherwise, that states you should seal around the base of a toilet where it contacts the floor :wink:.

Manny might not be available.

P2705.1 General

The installation of fixtures shall conform to the following:

  1. Where fixtures come in contact with walls and floors, the contact area shall be water tight.

That is what the wax ring is for.
There has to be an opening somewhere , and at the rear would be good.