SOP question

Is there a conflict in the following - in relation to the InterNACHI Res. SOP:

2.4. Heating
II. The inspector is not required to:
B. inspect fuel tanks or underground or concealed fuel supply

2.6. Plumbing
I. The inspector shall:
H. describe any visible fuel storage systems;

No conflict.

One is concealed and the other is visible.

Do you see this as a conflict?

2.4. Heating
II. The inspector is not required to:
B. inspect fuel tanks

That fuel tank in that statement is not buried.
The placement of the words “underground” and “concealed” are important.

Still no conflict IMHO.

I can describe a 100lb. Propane tank as being the fuel source but I am not required to inspect it.

I don’t inspect gasoline and diesel tanks on a farm either.


I see the distinction between “identifying” a component, “describing” the component" and “inspecting” its condition.

Personally, as an inspector, I did not limit myself to doing just one. For every component and system, I often found myself doing all three simultaneously. I saw no value to my client in doing just one without the two.

ben-gromicko-deteriorated-rusted-flaking-leg-of-oil-storage-tank.jpg ben-gromicko-deteriorated-rusted-flaking-leg-of-oil-storage-tank-2.jpg

For example (using above pictures of a fuel tank):
According to the SOP, I am required to identify and describe the fuel tank, but I’m not required to inspect it.




You are to describe it, but are not required to report on its condition.

According to the SOP, I agree that is what it appears to say. I see the dilemma that Ben is pointing out though. How do you describe it, if you aren’t somehow inspecting it?

By simple noting the fuel type and storage tank location.

You have to look at (or in your clients eyes, “inspect”) it to note it.

I can describe Mark Nahrgang by reading to you his resume and showing you his picture.

But if I had to report to you…and be accountable for how I reported to you…his effectiveness as a home inspector (his “condition”, if you will), that is a difference that I do not want to accept responsibility for.

Fuel leaks can create environmental conditions of epic proportions. I don’t want to be connected with that and my SOP provides me the distance.

I think, therein implies the problem.

By describing it, in the clients eyes, you have inspected it. If you do not note any defects for it, you are taking ownership of it (regardless of what the SOP states.) I think Ben’s observation that there is (at least an implied) contradiction is correct.

I don’t…especially when the SOP disclaims it.

Ben’s “inference” can be applied to anything in the house, since you are “inspecting” it.

That’s a good point, however I’m not “noting” everything in the house. I’m only noting the things I am inspecting. If I note something, the inference is that I am also inspecting it (unless I specifically disclaim it in the report.)

Or if it is disclaimed in your SOP.

After we stop talking…Ben will undoubtedly introduce a training video that will teach members on how to report on something else that falls outside of the SOP. In that regard, much of our discussion will be rendered moot by those who claim to “exceed” the SOP.

Still, the point will remain that those who inspect in accordance with the SOP need not report or be accountable for the condition of fuel tanks.

Take it away…Ben.

Tell it to the judge…

I think his response will be, you looked at it, and you didn’t report the defect. Now pay for it…

If while inspecting a home you notice a leaking fuel oil tank, would you report on it?

I would note the existence of fuel outside of the tank and possibly on the tank. I would recommend that a qualified expert be hired to trace the source of the fuel leak and to report on the condition of the tank.