Winter Months

I only received one response from the post titled “winterized plumbing” so I’ll try to re-phrase my question.
This upcoming winter will be my first winter doing home inspections. I need to know what you guys do when you encounter this… Arrive at an unoccupied property, in the winter, for an inspection to find the plumbing has been winterized. What do You do ???
Thanks !

I proceed with a much easier inspection and say this in the report.

“The main water supply was turned off. We could not test the functionality of the water heater, sinks, tubs, showers, toilets, dishwasher, garbage disposal, etc. We could not test the plumbing system for leaks. It is recommended that you verify the functionality of the plumbing system prior to the close of escrow. You should test the functionality of the water heater and to ensure that hot and cold water supplies are correct at each fixture.”

And my return visit fee is $150 for the 1st hour (or any part thereof) and $100/hour pro-rated after that including report writing time. :smiley:

I report the same.

I’ll bet money that most of the winterized homes that you inspect with “No operable water” have several broken pipes throughout the house. The homes just aren’t getting winterized properly.

I’ve been doing 85% foreclosures out here in Massachusetts and the foreclosed homes that have been so called “WINTERIZED” are full of broken pipes. The entire house needs to be re-piped.

I can recall an inspection I did a while back where my client had turned on the water main and all of the sudden every ceiling was pouring water onto the floors.

They walked.

The way they are stealing copper and aluminum we’re lucky to find a system or working HVAC, plumbing, and electrical on more and more as these sit on the market longer and longer.

Rock heads will steal almost anything and the cheese heads are dying after the first or second dose and rarely have enough time to go broke.

Utilities connections are discussed and stressed during every job booking, year round, whether over the phone, in person or electronic communications. An inspection confirmation e-mail is sent out with this statement.

**Winterized homes should be de-winterized by a plumber or other qualified tradespersons before the inspection appointment date. **

**In order to make certain that we can evaluate all of the plumbing, electrical and gas systems in the event that the house/property has been unoccupied, winterized or had any utility deactivated for any reason. Please arrange to have all utilities turned on, valves opened and any and all pilot lights ignited. Heating, water heating and cooking systems should be in operation and have an appropriate adequate fuel supply. The main electrical supply should be energized and the main water supply established so we can check these systems, associated components and fixtures. **
Return trips for reinspection of non-working systems are billed at an hourly rate of $XXX.XX round trip to cover all expenses incurred.

In Texas the owners are responsible to have the property ready for inspection therefore I put the onus on them, their agent, the buyers agent and the buyer.

An inspector should never be caught in the middle of a utility termination conflict between the irresponsible parties. It’s all about how you conduct the booking interview and stressing the facts and your company policies.

Worth repeating…don’t let their problems become your problems. Some will try to get you to “inspect around” not having utilities turned on but I refuse to do it or make it a second trip with pay after the utilities are on. We do not see too many winterized homes in North FL but (only seen two in 13+ years) but the logic still applies. I have arrived at my share of homes only to find all the utilities Off and locked after being assured the home was ready for inspection and all the utilities were turned On.

That’s funny you mention that.

Did a foreclosure two weeks ago where the plumbing wasn’t working. So I went down into the basement to see what the problem was…Not one copper pipe was to be found. The crack-heads stole every last piece of copper in the basement.

That’ll keep them high for at least an hour.

Whatever you do, don’t turn the water on, any broken pipes or water damage and you will be responsible, I always tell them before the inspection to make sure all the utilities are on.

You wouldn’t believe the damage I see sometimes, the thieves won’t even take a hack saw with them, they will overturn an outside unit and just bend the pipe back and forth until it breaks, and destroy the condensor,and the siding in the process.

I had one a couple of weeks ago that the realtor turned on the water and the kitchen flooded. Someone stole the dishwasher ,along with other things, and the shut off valve was still open. Did quite a job on the pergo floors.

Neighbor came over and said, “I held them here with my shotgun until Barney arrived.” I almost started laughing, thinking of Andy Griffith Show “He cuffed 'em and took 'em to jail.” “I’ve been keepin’ an eye on this place since they moved out.”

Note the cut lines, just one more and they’d been gone.

At least the power was off. I don’t see any scorch marks on the sealtite.

Only in Texas!
Man I need to move.:smiley:

The fine for releasing the refrigerant into the atmosphere is astronomical. That alone ought to keep them in jail until the next millennium.