TREC Bonding requirement

With the new TREC SOP in effect as of 2/1/2009 all Texas HI’s are required to Report as Deficient “appliances and metal pipes that are not bonded or grounded”. With that in mind, I wanted a simple method of testing the various appliances (stove, vent hood, furnace, etc) for proper grounding. I have designed and built a prototype for a tester that should work just fine. It consists of a main body with batteries & LED, a 3-pronged power plug to access Ground and a test probe with an audible tone generator for easy confirmation of ground continuity to the appliance. To use it, the power cord is plugged into a nearby outlet and the probe is touched to an exposed metal part, i.e a screw, of the appliance. If the appliance is properly grounded then the LED will light and the tone will sound.

I plan to offer this device to other Texas HI’s that need one and I will probably have 3 versions. One, a parts list and basic assembly instructions, Two, a kit containing all the needed parts for the HI to assemble himself (soldering is required) and Three, a completely assembled and tested unit. Prototype photos included below:

Bond Tester (314 KB)

Wouldn’t you be looking for visible bonding connections or do your TREC standards differentiate from a visual inspection?

Sounds like a good invention, too!

Well, the issue is that, say for a stove, you would have to pull the stove out away from the wall, get in behind it, remove an electrical cover plate and look for the grounding wire to be connected to the chassis. Same for a vent hood. This method should provide the same assurance within about 10 seconds or less.

So your standard is now going past a visual inspection and requiring you to do additional steps if you don’t have the tool?

No, not really, it just says we have to inspect the grounding…how to do that is up to the inspector. I would have to resort to the pulling, opening, verifying mentioned above if I don’t use a multimeter or something like this tester.

I haven’t read the TREC standards in a while so feel free to castigate me, but do they still state that you don’t have to move furniture, etc. and would that preclude you from having to report the bonding of appliances?

I know TREC has tough standards, but this seems in some ways to change what an inspection is.

SureTest has a ground-continuity adapter for their circuit testers. There are two types - one with a receptacle plug and the other with three-alligator clamps.

Yes, that was my orginal plan until I priced that option (~ $325 or more) :smiley: plus this is much quicker than attaching alligator clips.

To a degree yes that’s correct but it doesn’t allow for the elimination of the bonding check. Thought being that can be done either visually, or if not moving the appliance, then electronically via a simple multimeter continuity test, a more sophisticated SureTest w/ adapter test or something like I’ve shown above.

This may not be the appropriate place but this is where I elected to post this.
TREC is totally out of control.

There is a NACHI section for California because California is such a lawsuit happy place.

In my opinion Texas needs its own NACHI.

They are totally turning the home inspection industry requirements upside down, even for guys like me that are more than willing to go outside of the SOP of NACHI, and the state of Tennessee.

I can understand that these components require inspector during during construction of the home by the municipal code department, but there is absolutely no reason why somebody that owns the house 15 years from now must comply or upgrade and meet the standards of the day that the House’s bill.

There’s absolutely no reason that the state should require that the home inspector becomes “at risk” due to his home inspection procedures mandated by the state.
If the water heater or any metal pipe throughout the building requires bonding, if your roof application requires lifting and possible distraction to ensure proper application initially then this should all be covered by the local municipal inspectors. It has absolutely nothing to do with private home inspection contracts.

It’s my general observation that the real a state commission has gotten their feet in the pudding never mind their fingers! I would not do a Texas home inspection for less than $700 for 1200 ft.².

You guys are pretty obvious about your beliefs (here in guns on your hip anywhere you damn want to). How the heck did this happen?

I’m ready to join James B. and say that licensing is ridiculous. However, I feel that licensing is important and significant. But in Texas, this is getting totally ridiculous!
I don’t know why I even involve myself with this, I have refrained from posting anything contrary to my observations, and I have not done any research on the project because I have no inherent interest in the outcome of Texas home inspectors.

But why can’t someone do something about this? This is absolutely ludicrous, and I am one who must consider all the perspectives before making a decision!
“That’s all I have to say about that”

Quote: from Forrest Gump


That may be the best post you’ve ever made, and I fully agree. This is what happens when the government steps in to control private industry. Get used to it though, there is much more of it on the way I fear!

David…all of that and much, much more has been said about the new TREC SOP over the last 12 months as it was developed and approved. Remember…this new SOP was developed by 6 licensed Texas inspectors not the Real Estate Commission. Personally, I don’t have much heartburn with this little item, it’s easy to do and won’t add any time to an inspection to speak of. There are several much more onerous SOP items that I and others have discussed here on the board within the last few months though. Bottom line, the new SOP was adopted even with all of the public and Texas inspector inputs, now it’s time to live with it and tweak it over the coming months.

Any other comments regarding the grounding/bonding tester itself?

Thank You Blaine!

MB , yes i see this…
I am not blasting realistic folks[FONT=Tahoma][size=2], but this is often the word comes from. If you don’t have substantial people representing the home inspection industry in Texas, this is significant.
[/size][/FONT]In Tennessee, when we began our home inspection law endeavor, [FONT=Tahoma][size=2]NACHI was significant in acquiring equal representation across the industrially which resulted in booting some ASHI members to make room for NACHI members.
[/size][/FONT]I’m sorry, but my posts are poorly educated. I really have no concern about what Texas does unless somebody else decides they want to follow suit!
It is not about this particular letter issue. It’s an accumulation of insignificance that creates significant!
I wish you all the best of luck[FONT=Tahoma][size=2], but when the state of Tennessee imposes such nonsense I will be the first one to be out the back door. There is absolutely no reason to put up with this BS! This is nothing but an institution that is a great big billboard for ambulance chasing lawyers to pursue.
[/size][/FONT]I’ll have no part of this. It’s enough to protect your client’s interest then to have someone outside dictating what is impossible to achieve!
If nothing else, a home inspection in Texas should begin at $1200[FONT=Tahoma][size=2]! If you want to stay in the game below this, send me your money! I am better qualified to provide you an income even though you’ll never make a single penny!

The thing is David, we will have to report these things. But the homeowner will NOT have to fix them. We are not code inspectors. We cannot enforce code. Several of these things will become standard comments on EVERY report because they are not done, are not required by local building code officials, etc. But the TREC has seen fit to require us to comment on them. It will piss off Relators, it will scare clients (especially the elctrical and roof things), it will cause standard disclaimer - call a roofer - call and electrician on many more reports, but it will not particualrly help anyone.

IMHO, stuff like that lowers the value of the whole report and distracts from the real issues we find and report on.


I’ll buy one. Looks like a nice invention. Shoot me an email and let me know how much and where to send it.

The adaptor is only about $30. Don’t you already have the circuit tester??? Shame on you if not :wink:

The alligator clips work well when there is no available receptacle.

No, I don’t even know another inspector that has one. If my idea doesn’t pan out then I’ll have to invest in one I suppose. I just don’t want to get into voltage drops and other tests that a SureTest 165 would provide plus I’m pinching pennies right now :(.

You can use the continuity adaptor with a three-light tester as well. . .


A simple continuity tester with a longer cord and plug adapter would suffice to verify bonding of the range or hood.

Send $29.95 ea. plus S &H and I will make some up and send them to you;-)

Thanks…I like mine better :mrgreen: Actually, that’s exactly what I’ve designed…just a little fancier continuity tester is all.

?? How would that work?