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    Weatherproofing Commercial Buildings- Sealants and Adhesives

     

    Performing commercial inspection is quite a bit different than Residential Home Inspections. Systems are bigger and usually a bit more complex. The clients objective are bit different also and for the most part they have less personal feelings involved.

     

    That being said there are still some basics when it comes to water infiltration of structures. Water does not play nice and will find its way in if given a chance.

     

    Proper Joint

     

    So when performing a commercial inspection, especially one with a large amount of glazing and seams inspection of the sealants are crucial. Commercial Sealants and installation is a huge maintenance item and restoration costs can be quite expensive. Cost can be as much as $7 a linear foot. Budging for this is often not thought of for many commercial building owners. National Institute of Building Science-  Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG) for sealants-  http://www.wbdg.org/design/079200.php

     

     

     

    Most commercial sealants have a life expectancy of around 20 years. This will vary on many environmental conditions, joint design, joint movement, and how well the installation was performed.

     

    Adhesion Testing

     

    When performing an inspection I will do a nondestructive test that places strain on the sealant to test the adhesive bond. Though termed non-destructive, it may cause minor failure of the bond, an indication poor adhesion. The results of this procedure should be either adhesive failure or no failure.

     

    Performing proper testing of the exterior sealant will become very important as they age. Proper adhesion testing should be performed by a qualified contractor/representative. A field adhesion test is a destructive testing method for verifying the installation quality of the joint seal. This will be performed on a representative sample size, usually to ASTM standards (ASTM C1521-Standard Practice for Evaluating Adhesion of Installed Weatherproofing Sealant Joints).

     

    Field Adhesion Test

     

    With these seals being one of the primary components of weatherproofing this will need to be done on an ongoing basis and should be budgeted for as part of the overall building maintenance schedule. Sealant Restoration Guide- Guide

     



    “The learning and knowledge that we have, is, at the most, but little compared with that of which we are ignorant.”

    Plato

     

    NCW Home Inspections, LLC is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  

     

    Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service

    www.ncwhomeinspections.com                                              509-670-9572


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    50 in 51- A milestone is accomplished. Traveling to all the States in the US.

    When I was young my family did not travel much. We made the states close to where we lived but that is about it.

    When I was 18 I decided that I will travel to all the States in the US. Hey I was young and thought no problem. It ended up taking much more time than I thought but I finally achieved my goal.

    I had one main rule to my travels, airports do not count. I had to be physically in the State for a distance of time and touch the ground.


                Alaska                The United States


    Last week my family and I traveled the inside passage to Alaska from Seattle. Alaska was the only state that I had not been to and now that is complete.

                                Tracy Arm Fjord Alaska Sawyer Glacier
                                    (notice the ship to the right to give you some scale)


    I wanted to save Alaska for last because I always really wanted to go there. Being a Washington Native many of my friends thought that it would be much earlier on. It almost was on several occasions.

                                 Humpback Whales Alaska

    Alaska was everything and more, grand fjords and glaciers. I saw Humpback Whales, Orcas, Dall’s Porpoises, Sea Lions, Harbor Seals, Bears, Sea Birds, Eagles and a Wolf Eel. Yes… I snorkeled in the waters by Ketchikan.

     

                         Sea Lions Alaska       Harbor Seals Alaska

    I have many fond memories of making this journey around the country and some very funny stories. We all live in a wildly diverse nation that we should all be very proud of.

    I remember pulling into a little town in the mountains of West Virginia in the 80’s. I had found a local restaurant, “Smileys”. It was off hours and the waitresses enjoyed having “boys” from out of the area.

    As I sat  there eating my meal I got into a discussion of how much snow they get there and the winter temperature. The waitress said to me “It gets Right Smart here in the winter”.  Now when it gets cold it is “Right Smart”.

    I have met so many sweet and interesting people along the way, thank you all.

    “A tramp, a gentleman, a poet, a dreamer, a lonely fellow, always hopeful of romance and adventure.”

    Charlie Chaplin


    NCW Home Inspections, LLC is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Orville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…

    Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service


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    Your window desiccant is a now doggy doo, Trouble in Vinyl Windows.

     

    Building material manufacturers are always looking for ways to get better materials out at a cheaper price, one such building material is your windows, and sometimes cheap is just that.

     

    Seeing that on a construction project these are about 3 to 10 % of the total cost of the home any savings here is a good thing for the builder.

    Window Spacers

    (Different type of window spacers)

     

     

    Not all windows are created equally and the price between them can actually make a difference when it comes to how they are built.

     

    Some of the cheaper windows may have thinner glass using 3/32 glass versus 1/8 glass or low grade steel channels that can rust during failure etc…

    Intercept Window Spacer

     

     

    Now enter the “Intercept” window spacer system.  Since 1992 this spacer became a very common spacer system for many window manufacturers. The “Intercept” spacer U-channel design was created as a way to create flexibility of the seal which results in a better thermal barrier that reduces the amount of heat loss conducted through the window.

     

    Houston we have a problem. A very common desiccant used with this spacer type is a desiccant caulk. The problem with this form of desiccant is that it is affected by the heat created within the system that causes this desiccant to fail, melting and curling inside the frame. This will be most common on southern facing windows.

     

    Here is a perfect example from a recent home inspection. The desiccant has failed.

    Desiccant Failure

     

     

    Vinyl Window Desiccant Failure

     

    Southern Window desiccant failure

     

    Now most of the window manufacturers only warrant these windows to the original owner and most of the time it is a 10 year warranty. Here is a common limitation from the manufacturers- “This Limited Lifetime Warranty is provided to the original Buyer and may not be assigned or transferred.”

     

    The issue with some of these windows is they are failing in less than 10 years. From 2001 to 2008 the average tenure of a home seller was less than this warranty period, with owners selling their homes after owning them for only six years.

     

    “The learning and knowledge that we have, is, at the most, but little compared with that of which we are ignorant.”

     

    Plato

     

    NCW Home Inspections, LLC is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  

     

    Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service

     

    www.ncwhomeinspections.com                                              509-670-9572

     


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    Book ‘Em Danno. Breaking the law when it comes to your home.

     

    There you are with hammer in hand then out of the shadows you hear a voice “Drop that hammer and put your hands on the wall… NOW”.  The authority comes up and grabs one of your hands and throws a cuff on it. Then the owner of the voice cuffs the other. “Now we got you, you have been found guilty of violating the law”.

     

    Book Em Danno

     

    Codes are the law of the land. They are the guiding principles to building a safe and (mostly) durable home. Then why is there so much resistance to them, and worse so much willingness to not play by the rules?

     

    It seems that it is human nature to resist authority to some extent. But funny thing about rules, we want everyone else to play by them, but those rules may not apply to you… right? Many feel that it’s our home and we can do what we want, right… wrong! You do not get in a car and tell the kids they do not have to wear the seatbelt, it’s your car and I can do what I want, right? There are the rules, we should all abide by them.

     

    Improper Wiring

     

    The law of the land states that if we perform certain acts (repairs/alterations) on our home we must do so with the guidance of the rules. Ignorance is not an exemption. We must pull permits where instructed and ensure what we are doing what is both safe and accepted by the governing bodies (The AHJ/The Building Official).

     

    Enter the building codes, this is from the 2009 IRC (International Building Code) (bold and underline is mine).

     

    R102.7.1 Additions, alterations or repairs.

    Additions , alterations or repairs to any structure shall conform to the requirements for a new structure without requiring the existing structure to comply with all of the requirements of this code, unless otherwise stated. Additions , alterations or repairs shall not cause an existing structure to become unsafe or adversely affect the performance of the building.

    (The old grandfather clause goes bye-bye)

     

    Foundation alteration 

     

    R105.8 Responsibility.

    It shall be the duty of every person who performs work for the installation or repair of building, structure, electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing systems, for which this code is applicable, to comply with this code.

    (This is you or anyone you hire)

     

    R105.1 Required.

    Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit .

    (Yep, most likely you need a permit)

     

    Breaking the Law

     

    R113.1 Unlawful acts.

    It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to erect, construct, alter, extend, repair, move, remove, demolish or occupy any building, structure or equipment regulated by this code, or cause same to be done, in conflict with or in violation of any of the provisions of this code.

    (Yep you are breaking the law… Book ‘Em Danno!)

     

    Handcuffs

     

    These rules pretty much cover most things when it comes to repairing and changing your home. And as you can see you are required to perform these acts in compliance of the rules.  No one is exempt (not even me ;). The key operative word here is “Shall”. This means you must or you will do what is stated. To do otherwise you are violating the law.

     

    Remember you most likely will only own your home for a certain period of time. Only about half of all single family home owners will live in their homes for at least 10 years. That means many will sell their home and then someone will inherit whatever you have done (or not done) to the home. I think as responsible people we should think about those who will come later, or will it always be “Caveat Emptor” and we just keep kicking the can down the road and let someone else be responsible.

     

    “The learning and knowledge that we have, is, at the most, but little compared with that of which we are ignorant.”

    Plato

     

    NCW Home Inspections, LLC is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  

     

    Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service

     

    www.ncwhomeinspections.com                                              509-670-9572

     

    - See more at: http://activerain.com/blogsview/4260883/book#sthash.aNOdstki.dpuf


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  • 12/14/11--13:37: Winter Wednesday
  • Winter is drawing it cold grip on the waters of the Entiat River.

     

     

            Winter Ice on the Entiat River

     

     

    Ice skating on the river is not too far away.

     

     

    “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

     

    Steve Jobs

     

    NCW Home Inspections, LLC  is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Orville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…       

    Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service

    509-670-9572 or on the web at www.ncwhomeinspections.com


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    I would say the majority of us have a dryer in our home. But all too often I find during my home inspection that the installation of the dryer may be not what the “Manufacturer” requires or suggest.

    May of the box stores sell dryer vents that are not compliant with what is required from the manufacturer and maybe downright dangerous. Dryer fires are more common than most people think.

                                                                             Plastic Dryer Duct/Vent

    We can buy many products in the box store that are not compliant and/or just not right. But they do it anyway, they do not care, they make money. So it is up to you to know or find out what is correct.

    As a home inspector I want to provide my clients with the best information I can. So here is some right from my recent purchase of a new dryer.

                               Dryer Installation Guide

    This is the installation instruction for my new dryer. You can see they want a short metal vent connected to the dryer. You want to be sure not to crush this vent and you want to make sure you have no critters taking up residence inside the vent.

                                           Nesting in Duct

    A proper installation will help your dryer last longer and be more efficient.





     

    “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

     

    Steve Jobs

     

    NCW Home Inspections, LLC is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Orville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…       

    Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service

    509-670-9572 or on the web atwww.ncwhomeinspections.com


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    Keep your distance! Swimming Pools and Receptacles.

     

    Electricity and water can be a bad combination. So it is no surprise that when it comes to “in-ground” swimming pools there are some rules that come into play that specific to the pools. They have their own section in the NEC (Article 680 of the National Electrical Code).

     

    One of the requirements is that lighting and receptacles must maintain proper distances from the pool.

     

    Pool receptacle and lighting distances

     

    During this home inspection I was well aware that the receptacles around the pool were rather close. When I measured them they were just under 5 feet to the inside surface. Since prior to 2008 the required distance was 10 feet for receptacles, which was then reduced to 6 feet in the 2008 cycle, this was obviously very close. Remember these distance are based on that most cord attachments to things (radios, hairdryers etc…) are 6 feet or less. This is also reason for the spacing rules for interior receptacles.  It should also be noted that these exterior receptacles were not GFCI protected.

     

     

    Pool side receptacle

     

    As always I am a bit of a geek so I found that it was interesting when doing a little research that the requirements for electrical installations around swimming pools did not become formalized until the 1962 code. This also coincides with the first mention of ground-fault protection in the 1962 NEC with the introduction of Article 680 for swimming pools.

     

    Here is what the 1965 NEC states, prior to the ’62 code there was no article specifically addressing swimming pools.

     

    1965 NEC article 680

     

    Fast forward to the present here is what the 2011 NEC states-

     

    680.22 Lighting, Receptacles, and Equipment.

    (2) Other Receptacles, Location. Other receptacles shall be not less than 1.83 m (6 ft) from the inside walls of a pool.

    (This changed From 2005 680.22(A)(2) and (3): The receptacles clearance was reduced from 10 ft to 6 ft.)

    (3) Dwelling Unit(s). Where a permanently installed pool is installed at a dwelling unit(s), no fewer than one 125-volt, 15- or 20-ampere receptacle on a general-purpose branch circuit shall be located not less than 1.83 m (6 ft) from, and not more than 6.0 m (20 ft) from, the inside wall of the pool. This receptacle shall be located not more than 2.0 m (6 ft 6 in.) above the floor, platform, or grade level serving the pool.”

     

    So as you read this code you are required to have at least one receptacle for servicing the pool. It must be located between 6 to 20 feet of the pool.  It is also time for Sparky to come out and do a little updating to the electrical system around the pool.

     

     

    “The learning and knowledge that we have, is, at the most, but little compared with that of which we are ignorant.”

    Plato

     

    NCW Home Inspections, LLC is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  

     

    Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service

     

    www.ncwhomeinspections.com                                              509-670-9572


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    The Gates of “ ”… Valves Wenatchee Real Estate Inspections

     

    I can almost guarantee that if the home is 30 years older or more that most of the shut off valves in the home are gate valves. These are the most common shut off valves I find in homes.

     

    You will find them at your water heater, main home shut off and various other places. The problem with these valves is over time they quit working properly. The metals may corrode or build up with sediment and they just will not function as intended. Not a good thing if you are trying to shut off the water. Another issue is that these valves also known to lose their seal and will start to leak at the stem.

     

    So the two main types of water valves you are most likely to see in your home are the gate valve and the ball valve. The gate valve is recognized by its round handle that must be turned a number of times to open or close the valve. The ball valve is recognized by its single handle that needs to be turned ¼ turn or 90 degrees, to turn the water on or off.

    Gate Valve Wenatchee Home Inspection

     

    It is said that in the 1860's, a man named Chapman, while chopping wood one day, looked at the shape of the axe head and invented the solid wedge type gate valve as we know it today.

     

    Ball Valve Wenatchee Real Estate

     

    Now for the ball valve, the first spherical ball-type valve was patented in 1871 but was never in any wide use. Ball valves as we know it were invented in mid to late 1940’s. This was made possible by the availability of some of the newly created polymers of the 20th century. Although PTFE was invented in 1928, its widespread use in an industrial setting did not come till the middle of the century.

     

    Another issue is that gate valves really should be opened and closed periodically to ensure they are working but we all know that is not going to happen.

     

    Leaking gate valve Wenatchee home inspections

     

     

    For us as homeowners (and home inspectors) we most likely will need to replace these older gate valves as part of a good preventative maintenance program.

     

    My little foray with the gate valve happened a few years back when I went to replace a toilet. I turn off the valve to the toilet only to have it start leaking. Then I go to the main shut off valve and turn its handle only to have it shoot across the room and water was spewing water into my basement. Luckily we had a meter key to shut off the water at the main.

     

    So the moral of the story is that maintenance is part of home ownership and these common little devices can create big problems if not properly maintained.

     

    “If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”

    Red Adair

     

    NCW Home Inspections, LLC is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  

     

    Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service


    www.ncwhomeinspections.com                                              509-670-9572


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    Missing knock out plug, no big deal… maybe?    Wenatchee and Quincy Home Inspection Services

    Ah another tale from the traveling home inspector.

    One of the things we do is to provide safety information. Many times people think it may be not that important or relevant. And for them it may not be. We all live with risk on a daily basis.

    On this particular home inspection I was letting my client know that the electrical panel was missing some knock-outs in the panel and that they should have proper plugs installed.

                                     missing knock out plugs Wenatchee Home Inspection

    The reason for this is twofold. One we want to prevent entry by insects, rodents and debris into the panel and two if a fire starts in the panel we want to contain it in the service panel.

    Here is a perfect example of why this may come into play. A home in Florida was completely engulfed from an electrical fire that started in the panel.

                                 Fire damage from electrical panel Florida Home Inspection Team

                                      (Photo courtesy of Bill Siegel - The Florida Home Inspection Team)

    Per Bill Siegel of The Florida Home Inspection Team-

    (Why the house burned) “This is a result of a missing knock out (as determined by the insurance adjuster). There was a missing plug on the fuse panel. A fire started inside the box. Because the box was not enclosed the flames jumped out of the box and ignited something nearby and this is the end result.

    That one little plug may not have prevented this from happening, but it might have slowed it down and minimized some of the damage.”

                                                             Electrical knockout plug Quincy Home Inspection

    In most situations this will never come into play but like many safety items we want them to be there when needed.  Sometime the simplest of devices can prevent a major catastrophe.

    Ancora Imparo


    NCW Home Inspections, LLC is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  

    Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service

    www.ncwhomeinspections.com                                              509-670-9572


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    Watch out for the Mod’s- Manufactured Homes Repairs what you should know!

     

     

    Manufactured homes are a bit of a different beast than your conventional site built home. I do quite a few home inspections of manufactured homes as well as manufactured home foundation certification inspections which may be required by the lending institution based on the loan type.

     

    Manufactured Home Factory

     

    A manufactured home is constructed entirely in a controlled factory environment, built to the federal “Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards” (better known as theHUD Code).

     

    Starting in 1976, the HUD Code established a more stringent series of construction and safety standards that ensure that modern manufactured homes are superior to older "mobile homes" (the term used for factory-built homes produced prior to the introduction of the HUD Code).

     

    So with a manufactured home having to be transported to the site many areas of the home will be built with lighter materials that are specifically engineered for this type of construction.

     

     

     

     

    What many homeowners or contractors do not know, and really need to, is that any modification as well as some replacement items will need to have a permit from Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). L&I will oversee any modifications and permitting as it pertains to a manufactured home.

     

     

    Modification of Manufactured home Wenatchee Home Inspection

    So if you plan to do work on the home is a very good idea to contact L&I and see if you will need a permit. Here are some common things that actually need a permit that you may not think of; reroofing, adding sheetrock to walls or ceilings, new or replacement of Heat Pump/AC or furnace, replacement of siding, repair or replace floor decking/joists, and replacement of water heater (this list is not all inclusive).

     

    The lack of proper permits, inspections, and approval could affect the safety of your home, your ability to obtain home financing, and your ability to obtain insurance or collect on insurance claims. Even if thetitle has been eliminated on your manufactured/mobile home, alterations still require a permit, inspection, and approval by the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I).

     

    (A manufactured home title is usually requested to be eliminated by a financial institution for lending purposes. Once the title is eliminated, it is viewed the same as a stick built house. This removes the personal property status for titling and tax collection purposes.)

    Links-

    http://www.lni.wa.gov/ipub/622-049-000.pdf

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=296-150M-0410

     

     

    “If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”

    Red Adair

     

    NCW Home Inspections, LLC is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  

     

    Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service

     

    www.ncwhomeinspections.com                                              509-670-9572


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    Wenatchee and Cle Elum Home Inspection- Service Conductors and Manufactured Homes

    As part of my home inspection service I see a fair number of manufactured homes.

    Manufactured homes electrical service installations vary from the typical home service feed in that there will be a pedestal that is physically outside the home is considered the main service panel.  Why this is important to know is this is the only place in a residential service where the Neutral and Grounding busses can be bonded. All panels downstream from this are considered distribution panels or commonly referred to as sub-panels.

                                                       Service Pedestal

    This means from the point where the service conductors (feeders) leave the pedestal (main panel) and connect to the panel in the home has to be a 4 wire configuration. Two- Hot conductors, one neutral (grounded conductor) and one grounding conductor.

                                   Interior Panel

                                                 (Note that the neutral and ground busses are separate)

    According to the terminology in the NEC, the "grounding" conductor is for the safety ground, i.e., the green or bare or green with a yellow stripe wire.  The word "neutral" is the white when you have a circuit with more than one "hot" wire.  Since the white wire is connected to neutral and the grounding conductor inside the main panel, the proper term is "grounded conductor".  However, the potential confusion between "grounded conductor" and "grounding conductor" can lead to potentially lethal mistakes - you should never use the bare wire as a "grounded conductor" or white wire as the "grounding conductor", even though they are connected together in the panel.

     

    Another very important thing is that those feeder conductors are properly protected. As you can see these are not.

                                        Something is missing

    “Inspecting the World-One Home at a time”

    NCW Home Inspections, LLC  is located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Orville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…                             

    NCW Home Inspections LLC-509-670-9572


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    Where’s the hot water, Single handle faucets cartridges by Moen

     

    Wenatchee Home Inspections


    It seems in home inspections things come in streaks. My streak of recent weeks was running into Moen single handle Posi-temp faucets that are not functioning correctly.

     

    When testing the showers I could not get any hot water to come out of the faucet or showerhead.  I had hot water at the sink and other areas but not at the tub and shower.

     

    Moen has a single-handled shower faucets that has an internal cartridge to regulate water flow and temperature. What can happen is this cartridge may become blocked, may not be functioning correctly, may have been installed incorrectly or the temperature limiter needs adjustment.

     

     

     

    The correction of this is normally pretty simple. This may require that you remove the cartridge to make the proper repairs. These cartridges do have a special tool to remove the cartridge though.

     

    Moen Cartridge Puller

     

    Many Moen faucets have a temperature limiter installed on the valve stem that prevents the user from turning the handle too far to the hot side. To adjust this limiter you remove the handle.

     

    Moen Diagram 

     

    With the handle off you see the plastic handle adapter, and the limiter, which consists of two plastic pieces.

     

    “The learning and knowledge that we have, is, at the most, but little compared with that of which we are ignorant.”

    Plato

     

    NCW Home Inspections, LLC is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  

     

    Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service

     

    www.ncwhomeinspections.com                                              509-670-9572

     


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    UL and You- Safety testing, home inspections and electrical equipment.

     

    UL Listed Mark

     

    There was a long diatribe on one of the Forums about home inspections, electrical inspections, UL listing (safety testing) and manufacture specifications.  We all have our view on many things but I thought I would share a very important piece of regulatory law.

     

    This is in regards of Washington State RCW (Revised Code of Washington)19.28.010.

     

    From the January 2014 Washington State Labor and Industries Newsletter.

     

    “Electrical Equipment Must Meet Manufacturing Safety Standards

    RCW 19.28.010 requires all materials, devices, appliances, and equipment under the jurisdiction of the electrical law to be “of a type that conforms to applicable standards or be indicated as acceptable by the established standards of any electrical product testing laboratory which is accredited by the department.” The requirement that electrical equipment be manufactured to appropriate safety standards has been in Washington Law for over forty years. OSHA and most states have similar requirements. There are many quality manufacturing firms that get their products certified (and identified, marked, or labeled) by third-party product testing laboratories and safety standards experts.

     

    However, there are product manufacturers willing to sell untested electrical products to unsuspecting and uninformed customers. This questionable business practice may give additional profit and competitive advantage to the manufacturer, but it unfairly places the burden of proof of electrical safety on the consumer or end user.

     

    The electrical contractor and installer should make their customers aware of these requirements as early as possible in the design and planning stage of a project. Preventing the purchase of equipment that is not tested or evaluated for electrical safety can prevent costly delays at the end of the project.”

     

    As you can see from this statement it is very important that you use materials and equipment that has been through proper testing protocols.

     

    Labor and Industries oversees the State’s electrical permitting and inspection process (Many of the larger municipalities will have their own Electrical inspectors and AHJ’s).

     

    Here is a list of some of the Registered Certification Marks-Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTLs)

    NSF Label Marks

    Testing, codes and manufactured specification are all intertwined to provide a certain level of safety for us, as consumers and citizens. This is never an end all in but just one piece of the process. We as inspectors, trades-people and contractors have an important part of this process also.

     

    As home inspectors we can help in this process and understanding to our clients the home owners.

     

    “The learning and knowledge that we have, is, at the most, but little compared with that of which we are ignorant.”

    Plato

     

    NCW Home Inspections, LLC is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  

     

    Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service

     

    www.ncwhomeinspections.com                                              509-670-9572

     


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    When is a circuit breaker not a circuit breaker? Wenatchee Home Inspections

     

    Circuit Breaker or not?

     

    Odd question you think? Well there is such a case and it is very common with exterior HVAC equipment.

     

    It is a called a disconnect switch (yeah I know it's technically not a breaker, but it looks like one).

     

    Disconnect Switch

     

    With a disconnect switch it is intended to be opened manually but it is not intended to be opened or interrupted by a fault (so not a circuit breaker). What it does have is a "withstand rating" which is its ability to hold together when subjected to fault current.

     

    Disconnect Switch Label

     

    These molded case switches are identical to breakers in that they use the same plastic casing except inside they are only a switching device, so no overcurrent protection.

     

    When you encounter one of these you must look in the breaker or fuse panel for the overcurrent protection for that circuit to ensure that they are properly protected per the rating of the HVAC equipment. (Here is a link to an article-  Air Condition and Heat Pump over current protection and wire sizes ).

     

    Knowing what you are looking at will help you with making proper observations.

     

    “The learning and knowledge that we have, is, at the most, but little compared with that of which we are ignorant.”

    Plato

     

    NCW Home Inspections, LLC is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  

     

    Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service

     

    www.ncwhomeinspections.com                                              509-670-9572

     


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    We all like to VENT. Dealing with all the hot (and moist) air! - Chelan Home Inspections

     

    You are full of hot air and you need to get it out, right!

                                               Bathroom exhaust

    Well in homes we have venting that has to be performed for various functions. There is plumbing vents and exhaust vents.  Each of these has their rules that need to be adhered to.

     

    During a recent home inspection I can across a curious situation.  When homes are built in mountain areas, where there is high snow volumes, penetrations through the roof covering can always be a bit of weak spot.  Good design for these areas is to minimize these penetrations and to put them as close to the peak as possible.

     

    During this specific home inspection there are bathrooms that we have to vent. So we have “those rules” on how we are to vent those bathrooms.

     

    The Residential Code states-

    SECTION M1507- MECHANICAL VENTILATION (Bold and underline is mine)

    M1507.1 General. Where toilet rooms and bathrooms are mechanically ventilated, the ventilation equipment shall be installed in accordance with this section.

    M1507.2 Recirculation of air. Exhaust air from bathrooms and toilet rooms shall not be recirculated within a residence or to another dwelling unit and shall be exhausted directly to the outdoors. Exhaust air from bathrooms and toilet rooms shall not discharge into an attic , crawl space or other areas inside the building.

    M1507.3 Ventilation rate. Ventilation systems shall be designed to have the capacity to exhaust the minimum air flow rate determined in accordance with Table M1507.3.

    Bath fan tied to plumbing vent   Vent out though roof

    So here is what I found. This creative person vented the bathrooms into the plumbing vent stack to minimize the penetrations in the roof.  Creative but very bad idea, we now have potential sewer gases entering the home via the bathroom fans.  Some of those sewer gases can be combustible or even flammable let alone a health issue.  Then there is air pressure when the fans are on.

     

    Bath Ventexhaust tied to vent

     

    Sometimes thinking through the whole process is a good thing and hiring the right people to perform it can save you a headache or putting up with some stink.

     

    “If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”

    Red Adair

     

    NCW Home Inspections, LLC is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  

     

    Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service


    www.ncwhomeinspections.com                                              509-670-9572


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    Genie Recalls Garage door openers for fire hazard.

     

    It has been reported that the control board of the recalled Garage Door openers could experience overheating presenting a potential fire hazard.

     

     

    Genie TriloG

     

    The recall involves Genie PowerMax 1200 and 1500 models, as well as Genie Pro Line models TriloG 1200 and 1500, screw drive garage door openers.

     

    Genie PowerMax

     

    The serial numbers are printed on a label located on the side opposite to the light. Serial numbers for the recalled units start with the following five numbers:

    Genie PowerMax serial #’s- 11214, 11347, 11214, 11215, 11348, 11313,11235, 12006, 11332, 11256, 12009, 11336, 11298, 12018, 11347, 11311, 12019, 11348, 11312, 12026, 11349, 11313, 12027, 11326, 12034, 11327, 12036, 11336, 12037, 11332, 12038, 12058.

    Genie Pro Serial# 11214 11313 11332 11336 11347 11348 11349

     

     

    These garage door openers were sold at many of the retailers between- August 2011 through October 2012.

     

     

    “The learning and knowledge that we have, is, at the most, but little compared with that of which we are ignorant.”

    Plato

     

    NCW Home Inspections, LLC is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  

     

    Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service

     

    www.ncwhomeinspections.com                                              509-670-9572



     


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    I am so relieved, rules for TPR discharge tubes.

     

    As home inspectors we are charged with carrying quite a bit of information packed into our heads Knowing rules, codes and specifications and how they apply helps in making observations.

     

    I know for me that I learn certain rules and then I sometimes forget where I learned that rule. I have it in my report template or my head but sometimes forget where I got the information. Was a code, a manufacture spec was an exception to a code or a code in another section that relates etc…

    Water Heater

    When talking with a very good local plumber on a situation on a TPR (Temperature, Pressure Relief) discharge point. We had a conversation on whether you could discharge to a floor or does it have to be to a drain, or exterior, or other approved point.

     

    Now this is where my brain got fuzzy. I said I think it can go to the floor. The plumber said per UPC code it must be to a drain or other proper discharge point. So he got me thinking and that always hurts!

     

    Well I get home and decide to do some research and find that we were both correct… but! Washington State has adopted the UPC with some amendments. And one of the amendments is that you may discharge to the floor when it was replacement equipment.

     

    So here is the 2012 UPC amendment for Washington State (Bold and Underline is mine)

    608.5 Drains. Relief valves located inside a building shall be provided with a drain, not smaller than the relief valve outlet, of galvanized steel, hard drawn copper piping and fittings, CPVC, or listed relief valve drain tube with fittings which will not reduce the internal bore of the pipe or tubing (straight lengths as opposed to coils) and shall extend from the valve to the outside of the building with the end of the pipe not more than two (2) feet (610 mm) nor less than six (6) inches (152 mm) above the ground or the flood level of the area receiving the discharge and pointing downward. Such drains may terminate at other approved locations. No part of such drain pipe shall be trapped or subject to freezing. The terminal end of the drain pipe shall not be threaded.

     

    Exception: Replacement water heating equipment shall only be required to provide a drain pointing downward from the relief valve to extend between two feet (610 mm) and six inches (152 mm) from the floor. No additional floor drain need be provided.

     

    Trapped TPR drain

    (TPR drain creating trap that needs to be corrected)

    So I called my plumber buddy back and he laughed and thanked me for the information.  Sometimes it is good to get challenged and make you remember.

     

    “The learning and knowledge that we have, is, at the most, but little compared with that of which we are ignorant.”

    Plato

     

    NCW Home Inspections, LLC is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  

    Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service

     

    www.ncwhomeinspections.com                                              509-670-9572


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    Partial truths do not make a good deal. Wenatchee Home Inspection Services

     

    As home inspectors we report what we see. Sometimes that information can be troublesome to the client.

     

    On a recent home inspection my client informed me that permits had been pulled for all the work performed on a recent remodel on the home they are looking to purchase.

     

    As I am evaluating the work done I questioned that permits have been pulled or that maybe not all the necessary permits have been pulled and/or the permits have not been signed off on. This was especially true of the electrical work. During the inspection I let my client and their agent know that they could look up the permits online. So as I continue on with the home inspection they start looking up the permits.

     

    Improper wire bundles

     

    So I am now evaluating the wiring from the main service panel and know that this was not permitted work. The branch wiring was not performed in normal manner and the branch circuit run was bundled leaving the panel.

     

    Per NEC (National Electrical Code) 310.15 and 334.80 these wires would need to be De-Rated, meaning their current carrying capacity needs to be adjusted down to allow for potential heat buildup within the bundle. The amount of de-rating here would render the circuit capacity almost useless.

     

     

    De-Rating Table

    After this evaluation my client and their Agent show me the electrical permit they found and it was only for the feeders to the panels, no permit was pulled for all the other wiring, which I already knew. THere were other issues with how the wiring was performed.

     

    Here is how a professional will space their wiring.

     

    Proper WiringBranch Circuits

     

     

     

    Proper Branch Wiring

     

    Pictures tells a thousand words.

     

    There were other issues too that show that a partial truth was used.

     

    “If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”

    Red Adair



    NCW Home Inspections, LLC is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  

    Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service

    www.ncwhomeinspections.com                                              509-670-9572


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    When the advice given is just… BAD! Wenatchee Home Inspections

     

    Sometimes you just have to wonder about the internet and some of the advice given there.

     

    Here is a prime example-Top Tips for Prospective Homebuyers.

     

    From this article “For those who feel that home inspection Toronto is something that is best done by professionals, nothing could be further from truth. With a little bit of effort, almost anyone can do a good job of it. In fact, with the Internet to help these days, a lot of people in Canada are doing home inspection themselves.”

     

    Yes this article states that with a “little effort” you can do a good job of it.  Well… in all honesty there maybe some home inspections that do little more than what a lay person could do, but if you hire a good home inspector this would be the farthest from the truth.

     

    This brings me to an example of a home buyer who decided against using one of the good home inspection services in Wenatchee. They instead went with a family member who was an inspector (I do not know what kind of inspector they were, and I have my doubts).

     

    Later I was called by their Realtor who knew me to ask if I would look at something really quick for them. I was on a home inspection in the neighborhood so I said no big problem I would be over as soon as I was finished with the home inspection I was performing.

     

    I was looking at a water leak they needed addressed in the basement. So I go run some water in the kitchen sink which above the leak area. I open the kitchen cabinet and see that the dishwasher discharge hose was not installed properly. Okay not a huge deal. But as I ran water into the sink I find no leak there.

                                        Dishwasher discharge

    So down to the basement and sure enough water is coming out of the wall. What was happening is the main drain from the kitchen was actually in the foundation wall (not a usual installation) and was cracked/punctured.  This means a plumber was now going to have to jack-hammer the floor and/or wall and create a new connection and then reinstall the drain line on the surface of the wall.

     

    Waste line leakWaste line leak

     

    A little more involved than everyone suspected and a bit more costly. A professional home inspection would have found this and most likely this would be corrected prior to the sale. The cost of the home inspection would have been covered in this expense alone.

     

    For those who want to take the advice in the article remember… you do not know what you do not know.

     

    “If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”

    Red Adair

     

    NCW Home Inspections, LLC is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  

     

    Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service

     

    www.ncwhomeinspections.com                                              509-670-9572

     


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    Baby it’s cold outside, put another log on the fire… in the garage!

     

    As home inspectors we often have to not only know a lot little things, then there is also the looking at the big picture.

     

    On Douglas County home inspection a little while back I noticed what a not so uncommon installation. A wood stove installed in the garage.

     

     

                                             

     

     

    The general rule is that solid fuel–burning appliances should not be installed in any location where gasoline, flammable vapors or gases are present or in garages. Many insurance companies do not allow wood burning appliances installations in garages.

     

    Here is the National Fire Code (NFPA 211) section 12.2 Location of Appliances.

     

    12.2.3 Solid fuel-burning appliances shall not be installed in any location where gasoline or any other flammable vapors or gases are present.

     

    12.2.4 Solid fuel-burning appliances shall not be installed in any garage.

     

    Now some jurisdiction may allow it if the appliance is installed to manufacturer's specification, if the wood stove is 18 inches off the ground and is protected from vehicle damage.  But you may just want to think about this strategy, there are some other great options for keeping your tootsies warm out there.

     

     

     

     

    In the State of Washington you should know that any wood burning device sold, offered for sale, or given away to Washington State residents must meet Washington’s standards. All wood burning devices must meet both EPA’s standards and Washington’s stricter standards.

     

    Link for WA ST DOE-Wood Stoves, Fireplaces, Pellet Stoves and Masonry Heaters

     

    “If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”

    Red Adair

     

    NCW Home Inspections, LLC is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  

     

    Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service

     

    www.ncwhomeinspections.com                                              509-670-9572

     


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