Questions Of The Week November 24 to win prizes!

PLEASE TAKE NOTE!
There are now exciting new additions for WINNER prizes!
You may now choose what you want from the following list:

** $50.00 gift certificate from Inspector Outlet
** Seventeen Custom Branded Videos value $50.00 ~ your choice!
https://certifiedmasterinspector.org/video-contest
** Case of books "Now That You’ve had A Home Inspection"

**** 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 fastreply@nachi.org and submit your Mailing address for shipping.

Good Luck and let’s go!! :crazy_face:

  1. This is an example of a single story home with an interior HVAC closet containing the cooling system evap coil as well as heater/air handler. The second and third images display the evap coil primary condensate discharge point and configuration. What is the black device being pointed to in the last image and what is its purpose?

HVAC1

HVAC2

HVAC3

  1. The following are images of a pair of Rheem RTG-84XLN-1 tankless water heaters installed in an exterior brick veneer wall with 2 X 4 wall framing behind it. There are at least two issues clearly visible here that you don’t even need the manufacturer information to determine. What are the two issues?

Tankless1

Tankless2

  1. This is an image of a new home construction natural gas entry point. The gas distribution piping inside of the home is all black iron. What obvious issue can be seen with this natural gas meter and piping?

gasmeter1

  1. Unfortunately I frequently use this picture as a sample when performing new home final inspections. The arrows point to two 2 X 4 boards fastened to the roof surface. What are these boards called? What purpose are they suppose to serve? What issue do they cause when they are removed?

ToeBoards

  1. These images display a problem valley. What is this valley type called? What problems can it cause? Could anything have been done during construction (possibly even afterward) to correct the issue or at least lessen its effects?

dv1

dv2

dv3

2 Likes

Very good questions!

Thanks for doing this, Manny, we appreciate your time and desire to better our inspector’s inspections knowledge base. :smile:

  1. Condensate drain line float switch.
    To shut the HVAC system down if there is a back-up in the condensate drain line.

  2. Pressure relief valve piping reduced in size.
    Condensate drain line missing

  3. Galvanized elbow

  4. Toe board
    Fall Protection
    Using sealant to fill nail holes on a new roof

  5. Dead Valley
    Water cannot run off the roof easily
    Using/replacing with proper low slope materials & proper sidewall flashing

1 Like
  1. A waterless min trap. Allows free condensate flow while blocking sewer odors. Redundant with a pvc drain trap installed.
  2. Missing conduit bushing/fitting where the electrical conduit enters the enclosure. The union fittings at the T&P relief pipes.
  3. The piping is not bonded/missing bonding clamp.
  4. Toe-boards. The are walkways to stay on the roof during installation. The leave nail holes in the roof materials which can result in a leak.
  5. Closed cut valley. The valley was cut is on the wrong slope. The higher slope should lap the lower slope at the valley. They could have cut it correctly during construction and if it was my roof they would have torn it off and started over. The dead valley should have been constructed better to not end into the wall and the counter flashing appears to be improperly installed and completely dependent on sealants. All of this mean it likely does or will leak.
1 Like

Ohh Y’all are good! But there is still a chance for someone to take the cake!

  1. condensate line backflow preventer that prevents sewer gasses and water from backflowing up the line.
  2. Improper flexible gas hose. The shut off switch inside the enclosure right next to the TPR :drooling_face:
  3. rusted 90* elbows
  4. toe boards used for creating a walkway for roofers. Problem after removal is holes in the shingles and damaged shingles that can cause water intrusion.
  5. closed cut valley. The problems they can cause is channeling water under the shingles laid over the bottom layer of shingles. One way to fix this issue is to lift each shingle and use roofing cement to coat the area that lies on the valley.
  1. Looks like a backflow preventer, like a FloodGuard
  2. Not an expert on these yet, but I can’t see where the pressure relief is plumbed to, and so the home owner wouldn’t see if it was leaking.
  3. Missing bonding clamp, especially with that tape on the pipe coming out of the wall.
  4. Those are toe boards used by the roofers as a foot hold, when removed the nails leave holes that need to be patched, and sometimes damaged shingles. I have heard that they are kind of “old school” these days, particularly for a new roof install, with roof jacks being preferred. Given that I would be more on the look out for any place the roofers may have cut corners.
  5. Those look like closed “California” cut valleys. The one on the left runs into a wall with a low pitched run to the gutter that is asking for leaks. The flashing and the trim work at that point looks questionable as does the cut of the shingles on the left hand slope. If the pitch of the roof was changed slightly less steep the valley to the left in the photo wouldn’t be running right into the wall. At this point perhaps a cricket could be added sloping away from that sided wall.

Good luck everybody!

  1. Drain trap seal
  2. TPR piping appears to be ½” piping
    Interior rated switch
  3. No bonding clamp on the exterior piping
  4. Toe board to help prevent falls. Leaves unsealed holes and possibly damage to the shingles.
  5. Closed cut valley, dead valley. Closed cut valleys can cause water to back up under the shingles if not installed properly. It appears that the smaller roof plane overlaps the larger. A few, well placed kick out flashings could help alleviate the water forced against the sidewall.

Nice to see you on the forum again, Tim. :smile:

  1. Waterless trap seal
  2. Electrical entry missing bushing
    Reduction in size of tpr pipe
  3. Pipe missing sleeve at masonry
  4. Toe board. Safety to catch falling objects/people. Leaves holes that must be sealed as potential water entry.
  5. California cut valley. Can trap debris and allow water underneath the overlapping layer. Could’ve done a weave valley.

This style of questions is awesome!

We, on the awards committee are glad you like it. Mr. Scanlan and Mr. Goldenberg have done a nice job on these questions.

Thank you, Aaron. :smile:

I absolutely agree. I think using a picture and making us explain abdce is a very effective way to identify deficiencies. I hope to see more like this!

Great feedback, guys!

It really helps us know what you all would like to see on “The Question of the Week”.

Thanx… :smile:

1 Like

Good questions Manny & Marc! Really like the format.

3 Likes

This is the best turn out for QOTW for a while. Thanks for the feedback, John Paul! :smile:

good stuff…

Thanks Larry! A little slow down in business. Just taking time to get my learn on!!

1 Like

You guys are good! Remember when you answer these type “Identify the issue” questions if you give more than what is there that is even better.

We’re going to call the winner as Tim Williams this week! Good job everybody!!

Here are the answers.

  1. This is an example of a single story home with an interior HVAC closet containing the cooling system evap coil as well as heater/air handler. The second and third images display the evap coil primary condensate discharge point and configuration. What is the black device being pointed to in the last image and what is its purpose?

HVAC1

HVAC2

HVAC3

Answer – The device is an inline drain trap seal. This particular device is manufactured by Rectorseal and is used in lieu of a trap primer and as a protection against sewer gas escape back into the HVAC closet. You can read about it here https://rectorseal.com/product/sureseal-waterless-inline-drain-trap-seal/ .

  1. The following are images of a pair of Rheem RTG-84XLN-1 tankless water heaters installed in an exterior brick veneer wall with 2 X 4 wall framing behind it. There are at least two issues clearly visible here that you don’t even need the manufacturer information to determine. What are the two issues?

Tankless1

Tankless2

Answer: The most obvious issue is the improper use of an interior rated switch instead of a proper exterior rated switch for the electrical cut-off function. You could add a third issue in that the switch should not be located inside of this cabinet but that would require looking up the manufacturer information. The second issue is that the penetration points in the bottom of the cabinet are not being properly sealed. This cabinet does extend into the framed wall cavity. Any leakage from the unit or penetration of water from the exterior can drain into the framed wall stud bay.

Note After The Game: I should have warned Y’all away from the relief valve piping. Those are all slip fittings for 3/4" pipe but can be very deceiving. Even I had to do a double take during the inspection to make sure.

  1. This is an image of a new home construction natural gas entry point. The gas distribution piping inside of the home is all black iron. What obvious issue can be seen with this natural gas meter and piping?

gasmeter1

Answer: Although there is not a specific requirement for a bonding wire to the gas entry point for this situation one has been provided here for additional safety. However the bonding wire has not been properly affixed to the line with an appropriate connector/clamp.

  1. Unfortunately I frequently use this picture as a sample when performing new home final inspections. The arrows point to two 2 X 4 boards fastened to the roof surface. What are these boards called? What purpose are they suppose to serve? What issue do they cause when they are removed?

ToeBoards

Answer: They have various slang names but a common one is “Toeboard”. Contractors will nail these to the roof surface to provide a point that they can use as a brace while they are working above the roof line. Obviously this is an improper safety method that is used here and farther up the roof when they need it. The problem they cause are unrepaired damage to the shingles. Some of the damage are abrasion damage when they remove them but more importantly holes in the shingles that go unrepaired. Many times they choose to use very large nails and the holes are obvious from the ground even without binoculars or camera telephoto lens. Unrepaired holes can allow water penetration below the shingle surface.

  1. These images display a problem valley. What is this valley type called? What problems can it cause? Could anything have been done during construction (possibly even afterward) to correct the issue or at least lessen its effects?

dv1

dv2

dv3

Answer: This is a “Dead End Valley” not to be confused with a “Dead Valley” that has no escape point. A dead end valley is one that terminates into a vertical wall first before being routed to a roof eave point. There are multiple issues with this error to include; damage to wall veneer and trim from water flows, blockage of the valley with the collection of debris, possible over run of flashings at this point. If you Google images for this you will see many examples of the damage it can cause. Depending on the roof construction a cricket might be possible to at least help change the valley termination over the eave or much closer to the eave to help reduce the effects of this issue.

1 Like

Congratulations Tim! Good questions Manny, thanks for your time!

Congratulations Tim and thanks for participating.

Our appreciations to Manny and Marc for putting these QOTW together for the Membership.

1 Like