With real estate markets improving in numerous areas, we are seeing a proliferation of new inspection businesses. Unfortunately many of these new inspectors have very little experience or knowledge. I see them on a daily basis posing some of the most principally basic questions on exclusive inspector Facebook pages and message boards. Then they rely on other equally inexperienced inspectors for the answers, which are often just as inept as the original question. Further research often reveals that these 'inspectors' are typically the lowest priced in their market, and for good reason. They know the value of their knowledge and experience, and have nothing else to compete with other than price.
The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot — it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.
The "Pressure reducing" plumbing vent
These clients overpaid for this inspector... No matter what the cost was or wasn't!
But oh it gets better... (see next slide)
Pressure reducer part 2
Can't make this stuff up!
A plumbing vent (and everything else on the drain/waste side of the plumbing system) has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with pressure or flow rate of the supply side. A legitimate home inspector would know this basic plumbing principle.
Speechless... I'm just simply speechless.
Glad this one speaks for itself.
Nominal vs. Actual
Umm... This is VERY basic lumber sizing in the U.S. that home inspectors should know before embarking on this career path.
The Nominal (before it's milled) size is 2" x 10"
Actual size (what you are actually measuring after planing and surfacing) is 1-1/2" x 9-1/4"
First time Electrical switch
All else fails... ask more experienced inspectors to write your report for you!
Yeah... "Try not to touch the copper parts..." sounds less alarming to your clients and the agents involved. Go with that... smh
Put the infrared camera down and step away from the panel!
GFCI's have internal circuitry that create heat... They will appear "hot" under "normal" operation!
Aren't YOU supposed to already know???
Another client that paid too much!
It's called a well pressure tank... or commonly referred to as a 'bladder tank'.
Another 'shouldn't you know'?
Again... all else fails, ask on Facebook for your clients!
It's called a whole house fan. Common ventilation system in homes up through the 70's
"Less intimidating narrative..."
Ummm... I personally would want my clients to be EXTREMELY concerned with this severe foundation issue depicted! But that's just me...
Too hot to test???
Put your tools down and step away from those clients!
I inspect the furnace regardless of the outside temperature. It's that important!
Another 'Professional" Inspector in Business...
Ummm... It's called a faulty condensate drain system... and a serious issue based on the location of the system. (You should know this...)
Water Heater Scalding Jacket
This was covered in Home Inspection 101. Did you skip that day?
It's a serious venting issue that needs prompt attention! But yeah... go with scalding hazard if it gets someone to correct it. Oy vey!
Tanked and Clueless
Oy vey.... SERIOUSLY???
It's called a propane (or more accurately liquefied petroleum gas LPG) tank. And as an added bonus... I also know what to inspect regarding them.
Some kind of damper?
It's called a barometric draft damper and a common combustion vent component! But go ahead and tell your clients to have it checked out by someone else... I thought that was what YOU were paid to do?
The wax ring bandit...
To answer his question... NO we don't and SHOULD NOT!
Breaking the seal of the wax ring typically requires replacement. That job is about an hour alone with the right tools... and I don't carry spare wax rings on the job.
Home Inspections 101 - Electrical
It's called a split-bus electric panel. A precursor to our modern electric panels.
Tell me again about your low-cost inspections?
Funny Furnace vent...
It's called a concentric vent... but you would know that had you acquired training prior to starting your inspection business.
The Elusive 800 amp service panel
Sorry Charlie... doesn't work like that.
It's considered 200 amp. Rare to find any amperage above this in residential. But feel free to ask your other Facebook peers while you work on this report!
More amperage questions...
Again... Sorry Charlie. That is a 20 amp 2-pole circuit breaker for the air conditioner. That does not make it 40 amps total.
Did you actually charge the clients for this inspection?
Finsihing up my report
It's called a retention screw. Retention devices are required for back-fed main breakers. Covered in the electrical class of your training...
Finishing up your report eh? Can't wait to read your Facebook peers narratives.
It's called a piezo-electric igniter... Or in simple terms, the thing that sparks and lights the water heater gas pilot inside the sealed combustion chamber... What other (ehem) rare gems you inspecting that you can't identify?
Ummm... The electrician is right. The clients deserve their money back for this basic ignorance.
Unfortunately you need more help than a simple narrative can provide. (And so do your clients...)
Back to the basics...
It's called PEX (or crosslinked polyethylene)... Only common in just about EVERY new construction and re-plumb project for the past 20 or so years.
May I see your training credentials?
Document what? Your complete lack of training, or the electrical splices not contained in a covered and secured junction box?
I'm sure your warn your potential clients about your fundamental lack of "understanding all this electrical stuff"!
Congratulations on getting your license to inspect though...
In search of wisdom
Your 'Furnace Alarm' is actually a DOORBELL TRANSFORMER! Sneaky little devils! They can be found just about anywhere, but commonly encountered near the electrical distribution panel where it's warm. They like warm...
The "termite wasp"
(*facepalm*) Umm... No... right classification (insect), but wrong species. But I guess I may be at an advantage having had an interest in insects since I could walk.
These are the nest remnants of a solitary wasp known as a "Mud Dauber". Quite a common, harmless, and beneficial insect (especially if you dislike spiders). Not a termite or any other form of wood destroying insect.
Facebook Insulation Identitification
Incompetency at its best.
Loose fill cellulose (paper) insulation is very hard to confuse with vermiculite (possible asbestos contaminated) insulation to anyone with even a little training or experience.
A better price...
They know the value of their service! And you'll likely get exactly what you paid for!
In my professional opinion... NO. I would recommend this catastrophe be removed and replaced by a competent trades person. But I guess that's the difference between a professional inspector and one who can't identify this masonry installation as an utter failure.
No it shouldn't be "under the shingles". Basic water shedding principles. Installing it under the shingles would be the equivalent of tucking your raincoat inside your rain paints and hoping this funnel keeps you dry.
A VERY common gas piping product know as corrugated stainless steel tubing... NOT plastic. The "separation" you speak of is the outer vinyl jacket removed for installation of the fitting. I covered this product in my inspection classes when I taught 10 years ago. But since you're not familiar with it, you likely have no clue what pertinent safety items to look at for your clients either.
Antoher what's this...
It's a doorbell transformer... or some of your Facebook peers might call it a "furnace alarm". You choose... LOL
I certainly don't reference it as burnt wood! It's called a flashing leak at the chimney! It's what I'm paid to already know. How about you?
Mold is gold!
Severe mold problem??? Seriously?!?!?
It's called mildew in the shower... move along! Seriously... move along to some other form of employment please.
I'm obviously calling for a a trained professional to hopefully save them from your incompetence!
You need a second opinion???
A second opinion???
YES IT"S NOTEWORTHY!!! And it's wrong!
My first and last opinion is for you to refund the client fee to them!
Note sure what it's used for?
Perhaps, Mr. Inspector, the word "Incinerator" embossed across the top of it might give you a clue?
Signed: Mr. Obvious
A word of advice... don't quit your day job!
Yes I am ACTUALLY in business as a FULL TIME Inspection company. This isn't just some side job for "extra spending cash" like several of your peers have proven on Facebook.
Rafter Collar ties?
First off... a full time and experienced inspector would know the difference between Rafters and Trusses...
Second... these Trusses don't need Rafter collar ties...
A hearth is not required for a Decorative and Pre-Fabricated gas log fireplace...
No it's not "OK"... A qualified inspector should not need to post this question to a Facebook group!
The Mysterious Red Cap
Ummm... it's a shutoff valve for the plumbing supply pipe it is connected to. Red being the indicator of most likely a"hot" water supply leading to the dishwasher...
Did you actually charge your clients a fee for this inspection?
Appliance venting 101
The short answer is yes...
The longer answer is... an inspector in business should already know the requirements and accepted standards for venting appliances in common. These were done correctly by the way.
The short answer is yes these compression fittings are fine...
The longer answer is... this is not CPVC piping, but rather polybutylene, or more specifically, PB2110... a problematic plumbing material that was the subject of class action lawsuits... commonly identified by the grey coloration and.... these compression fittings you inquired about. Hope your clients received this important tidbit of information.
Asking for a "friend"...
I hope your client realizes they likely knew more than you did as their hired inspector...
Basic stuff here...
Dear "Clueless in Seattle":
This fitting requires the internal plug to be physically (and forcefully) removed if it is to be used with a dishwasher discharge line. Since none is connected... and there is no evidence of leakage, it would be a safe bet that the internal plug remains intact. I'm hoping you were slightly more concerned about the visible corrosion at this unit than unnecessarily plugging a connection point...
Keep looking... You're getting warmer!
I'm simply at a loss for words...
And no... I didn't make this one up...
This inspector (and their unfortunate client) won't find an answer. Baseboard hydronic heating systems don't require any clearances to combustible materials... If it ever got that hot, there are other more serious concerns to be worried about... namely a boiler explosion.
Yes! Yes I do know what kind of siding this is.
As a working home inspector, you sir should know also. Shame on you...
The Cooktop Faucet
Umm... yeah... go ahead and recommend GFCI for the cooktop. Let me know what they say about that!
This is a pot filler faucet. A very handy feature for the chef of the house. Your electrical concerns are unwarranted and quite frankly humorous.
My wife even knows this answer!
You sir... chose the wrong career path. Best of luck to your clients. They're going to need it!
Report on what?
Are you asking if I would place a thermal image of a perfectly functional dimmer switch into my report??? NO. No I wouldn't.
Please get some formal training and a better thermal camera before you try this again!
Looking for a Report Narrative
Yeah... let me write your report for you!
"This Wadsworth brand panel is not a Federal Pacific Stab-lok 'junk'. While robust for it's era, it is simply obsolete and difficult to find replacement components. There were no inherent safety concerns as typically found with Federal Pacific Stab-lok service panels."
P.S. Both panels clearly identify the name brand on their respective labeling should you have difficulty inspecting or differentiating them in the future...
Another inspector confirming the client paid too much no matter what they were charged.
Looking for an inspector...
Umm... YOU were there to INSPECT the system, not me or any of your other Facebook peers!
Looks like an HVAC system to me from my comfy sofa. Apparently that's all the information your clients got as well...
Need someone else to inspect for me...
Yep! Looks like a fuse panel from here! Can't tell you much of anything else without looking inside...
Did you inform your clients you didn't know anything about this most basic electrical system?
Actor.... not an inspector
First off... please don't use the term "fellow inspectors"! It's obvious from this post that you sir are NOT an inspector, but rather an actor.
Second, this is basic electrical 101 taught in most home inspection courses. You should not need to ask nor "research" this basic information!
The iPod Alarmist
Umm yeah... it's an iPod charger...
And to think some agents accuse me of being excessively thorough. Sheesh...
Can't wait to see this report likely full of unnecessary concerns...
Don't hurt yourself...
I believe the name you are looking for is Vermiculite (a potentially asbestos contaminated mineral)... not "Villiaumite" (a rare and toxic halide mineral composed of sodium fluoride).
And NO it's not either... what you've captured in the photo is quite a harmless yet very effective insulation known as loose-fill cellulose (typically recycled and treated newspapers). But I digress... it's pretty easy for an experienced inspector to misidentify one of the most common insulation products on the planet... NOT!
Umm... I dunno... Maybe you could ask your clients for the same advice? I'm sure they would appreciate the experience in lending their expertise!
As you can see, not all your options are the same when choosing a property or home inspector. So comparing inspectors by price alone is a risk you may or may not be able to afford. Above are examples of your low-cost options. These are REAL inspectors hired by clients just like yourself for one of the biggest financial investments to be made! Some are local, and others from around the country. They are humorous yet alarming reasons I charge the fees I do, and the reason you should choose your inspector wisely.
BC Warner Inspections and Thermal Imaging Services fees are commensurate with my accumulated experience and knowledge... But it's still YOUR choice on who to hire.