Water Off

Hello All,

I know this is pretty standard, My client is giving me a hard time because I will not turn on the water to the property that he wants me to inspect.
He clams the house has been winterized.
I told him that the SOP states I am not required to do so.
I would rather loose the inspection than take on the liability.
Any suggestions, does anyone agree with me?:neutral:

Mark, read tthrough a few of these

I may help to have some stories of unintentional consequences to tell.

I am a responsible professional so I choose not to take certain actions because I don’t like the chances that something will go wrong. Others can if they like.

Yes! I agree with you Mark. Check out the link to threads Larry provided.

You are correct. The water may have been turned off due to a broken pipe. It may have been turned off for winterization purposes. It may have been turned off for a variety of reasons that we as inspectors would have no knowledge about. It could have been turned off by the owner. It could have been turned off by the utility. It could have been turned off by a listing agent. There is too much liability for us to turn ANY utility on without specific written instructions that include a full disclaimer. And even with that, I wouldn’t do it.

If it is such a small deal to the buyer, have them or their realtor turn it on.

That’s what I have done.:wink:

I know, sometimes it can be quite fun. :slight_smile:

I just say my insurance company does not cover me for turning on the water supply. As soon as you put the blame on the insurance company, people seem to understand and just accept it. By saying that the SOP doesn’t cover it, it gives them the impression you are just being lazy. It’s all about perception and perspective. Most people know what a PITA insurance companies can be, but very few clients have actually sat down and read a set of SOP’s.

Thank You Gentlemen,
I respect all of your Professional opinions and certainly will put them to good use. Thank You again for the reinforcement.


I can not seem to get the links, won’t come up.


At the top of this page type “winterized” (without the quotes) into the search function box.


Just put something like this in your agreement. For me, it’s not open for discussion. This is our policy and if they don’t like it they can hire someone else, but I don’t know any reputable inspector who differs from me in this regard. The only complaints I ever get are from listing agents who have to go and turn on the utilities (or pay for me to return to the property a 2nd time).

►****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, that all rooms and crawl spaces are unlocked, and that components such as attics and panel boxes are accessible 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). ◄

I always worry about the sort of homebuyer that learns the water or gas or electricity is not on until time of inspection.

How can anyone think a house is nice enough to hire you, without seeing these work?

Just returned from a re-inspect for a house (foreclosure) that was witerized during the inspection. I was told by the agent that the water had been turned on and the home had been de-winterized. When I got there, there was a note on the door from the water authority stating they turned the water on but then turned it right back off because they heard water running inside. The house was locked and they didn’t want to flood the house. Go figure.:roll: