Turn on the water???

I am often asked to turn the water on in homes that have been winterized. I refuse to do this since this could case massive damage and problems for everyone involved. I often make a second trip and send an invoice to the selling realtor.

Does this happen to any of you and how do you respond?

i never turn any water valves in any home…especially one that’s winterized.

i have been asked a time or two.

As a former contractor I would second both the above. I would not advise Inspectors to turn shut off valves ( to anything) either on or off.
From my experience valves that have not been used for a while will very often leak from the stem packing or “o” ring washer that will result in water weeping up through the tap spindle.
A home owner would probably be in their rights to charge an Inspector for repair or damage.

If you are so inclined, learn the proper method of de-winterizing/re-winterizing…Then charge @200.00

If you are not inclinded…(me either)…educate the buyer
that it is the seller/buyer (no difference) agent’s responsibility
to take care of “make ready” issues.

VA makes the buyer bear the cost of de/re winterizing…
HUD puts the responsibility on the listing entity…

The property should be in operable status when/before the inspection
is performed.

I lost an inspection awhile ago because the buyer asked a few questions about a foreclosure that was winterized. I explained thoroughly about how I cannot turn the water or power on and they would need to get permission etc.
Before I knew it they said “Oh…I was looking for someone who would do it all… thanks, bye”.

I’m sure after she made a few more calls she realized this was the norm and booked someone else. Sounded like a price shopper anyways.

It’s tempting to add this as a stand alone service, however there is a standard fee to be charged… this is outside the realm of “inspector”…

I would not consider doing this as a “value added service” as part of the inspection.

A seperate fee and contract with waivers would be a must…

Make sure your insurance covers you for turning on shutoff valves and circuit breakers on someone else’s property without the knowledge of why they were shut off/turned off. In my case, my GL, Life, AD&D, and Workers’ Comp do not cover me for such actions. That’s enough for me.

For the few times in 5½ years that I’ve been asked to, a simple education is all that was required. People usually understand death, destruction, damage, and disability. Never been an issue once I educated them.

So instead of saying “No” which no one ever likes to hear, or “That’s not something that I do” or other negative statements, educate your Clients with a more positive statement, e.g.:

“I would love to turn the shutoff valve on. However, if I were to turn it on, and death, damage, destruction, or disability happened, my insurance companies would not cover me, so my family, including my 3-week-old baby girl and my new litter of 6 cats, would go hungry, lose our home, etc.”

That might get their attention. Of course, there are still some Darwin Award candidates in our midst. :frowning:

I do not touch any valve whatsover…

What David said, but I have turned off a valve that was leaking once.:smiley:

Most of the homes I have been inspecting these days have been vacant. I inform my buyers that it is the sellers / sellers agents responsibility to turn on the water and electric. If it is not on, I tell them there will be another charge to come back and complete the inspection. The listing agents hate this, but what the heck, most of them dont show up for the inspections anyway.

I put this in my agreement:

“►**IMPORTANT: The Inspector will not open gas or water valves, light pilot lights or gas appliances, activate electrical
services that have been turned off, or cut locks open. The Client is solely responsible for ensuring that all utilities are turned
on, that breakers are turned on, that all water and fuel valves are open, that all pilot lights are lit, and that all rooms and crawl
spaces are unlocked prior to the inspection. **Return visits because utilities were off, valves were off, pilot lights were not lit, or
certain areas were locked or otherwise inaccessible will be subject to an additional fee starting at $100.00/hour ($100.00 minimum and
additional travel charges may apply depending on distance). ◄”

The last time I turned on water, I opened it at the main on a winterized house after the listing agent authorized me to do so. By the time I got back inside the house, water was spewing from the bottom of the water heater (located in a closet) and had flooded the downstairs hardwood floors. I quickly turned off the water and called the listing agent back. She hot-footed it over there and started mopping up the mess (I did not).

I don’t open water valves any more!

T.M.Barr Constitution Hom Inspections LLC Louisville Ohio
I get a lot of winterized homes in this area . I have ran into ,no water,no electric, and no gas,oil etc. If the client wants them checked ,they turn them on. This is told to them up front. When in inspection is done I stay and watch to make sure they( client ) turns them off. In my report you will see what is not tuned on, every where( you can’t miss it)

Interestingly enough…and Hank V. can probably join me in this…

I provide both services and ONE TIME…I was called to do the inspection on a home that I winterized…I fought with it and fought with it…I decided not to do the inspection as I had spent quite a bit of time with this house already…foreclosure trashout, winterized, repairs etc…

I have gone to turn the water on to a house that I had winterized for the inspector who refused to do so…and as it turns out it was a good idea for him to decline…because when I winterized that particular home there were damaged pipes in the ceiling…and when I got there I remembered and also refused to dewinterize the home…

Somebody left this laying around on this board – so I took it…

**Safety, turned-off valves, and breakers **

**Shutoff valves, circuit breakers, electric outlets, and gas pilots—only a visual inspection of shutoff valves and circuit breakers is done. One not only wants to be safe in one’s new home; safety is a concern while one’s new home is being inspected. Therefore, the Inspector does not turn on any water or gas shutoff valves, move any electric circuit breakers to the “on” position, plug in anything that has been unplugged, or light any gas pilots, simply because it is not known why the valves or breakers were off, why the equipment was unplugged, or why the gas pilots were turned off. Turning on valves and breakers, plugging in equipment, or trying to light gas pilots without such knowledge can cause property damage, personal injury, and, in a worst case scenario, loss of life. **

**Nor are any of the opposite functions performed, i.e., turning off water or gas shutoff valves, moving electric circuit breakers to the “off” position, generally unplugging anything that is plugged in, or extinguishing any gas pilots. **

**Any circuit breakers that were in the “off” position are noted as such and are not switched to the “on” position. If breaker tripping problems are detected, seek the guidance and advice of a qualified electrician; circuits might be overloaded or a short might have been caused at an outlet or switch during the move-out/move-in process. **

**Recommendation: Request the sellers or their agent to leave all electric breakers, gas valves and water valves turned on for the final walk-through inspection. **

**Due to the constant pressure in the water supply lines and the lack of daily use of shutoff valves at the toilets, sinks, and water heater, the valves can fail at any time. Many sellers try to be helpful by turning off all the water shutoff valves at the toilets, sinks, and water heater as the last thing they do when they move out. This typically is exactly the wrong thing to do. In many cases the valves are very difficult to operate due to rust, corrosion, and/or mineral build-up from hard water, and when they are forced, they break and leak when they are turned on (this can happen even in a newer home). **

**Recommendation: Have a qualified person, such as a plumber, inspect water shutoff valves at the toilets, sinks, and water heater before close of escrow to ensure proper operation. **

Recommendation: Instruct the sellers to leave the water on at all water-using appliances, particularly if you are going to be moving in within several days.

That’s from my SOLUTIONS](http://www.abouthomes.info/files/NACHI/Solutions1.pdf) Internet-based, educational, interactive report system.

I though I got that from you…but it was long before SOLUTIONS was born – seems like over a year ago.

Anyway, I thank you, NACHI thanks you, and my clients thank you.

So, how’s the kitty doin’??

It was. It’s been modifed for SOLUTIONS](http://www.abouthomes.info/files/NACHI/Solutions1.pdf).

Anyway, I thank you, NACHI thanks you, and my clients thank you.

She’s spoiled:

[Kitty 1](http://www.abouthomes.info/pics/Kitty fence 2.jpg)
[Kitty 2](http://www.abouthomes.info/pics/Kitty sleep.jpg)

Pretty girl – and spoiling is what they’re here for. However, in the end it is us who become spoiled…

She used to like it when I brought her into the office while I was working. But now she kind of owns the place. So she wants me to let her choose when to come in and when to go out. So when I’m here, I have to leave the office door open so she can make her choice. Are all females like this one? :neutral:

Noooow you’re gettin’ the idea – she’s in charge. All cats are like that, and you’ll soon learn it is actually better that they are – they know more about being a kitty than we do.