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  • 03/03/14--05:51: Are you a Tweeter?
  • Are you a Tweeter? #Tweeter #Twit

     

    Every once in a while I have to give my wife some serious props for being absolutely hilarious. We just had our anniversary, sort of, this weekend. We have managed 22 years of marriage, but just 5 anniversaries.  How does this math compute? Well we were married on leap day.

     

    So we sort of celebrate the days around what would be leap day. We had a couple of our friends over for dinner in celebration mode and during the dinner conversation my wife spurts out a line that just had us in stitches.

                                Tweeter

     

    She says something to the effect “those who are using tweeter”. Then I replied “when you use tweeter is your message a twit?”

     

    Needless to say we all start laughing and this became the topic of conversation.

     

    Now I think I should start a new medium of communication… Tweeter.  Just add a “Twit” and you are all good to go.

     

    And now for something completely different... for all of those Monty Python fans- “Twit of the Year”

     

     

     

    “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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    If the shoe fits- PVC plumbing for your water supply Chelan Home Inspection Services

     

    Homeowners can be a creative bunch at times.

     

    Here we have another example of creativity that may just not be quite right.

     

    During this home inspection I find a water supply piping that is just not quite right. Any piping that is used for your water supply needs to be rated and listed for that use.

     

    Listed water distribution pipe materials Chelan Home Inspection

                                                    ( I do not see electrical conduit listed here ;)

    This homeowner needed to get some water supply piping to a bathroom.  In that mind set of “waste not want not” why not just use some of this perfectly fine conduit and connect it to the supply lines. Hey they fit together rather nicely, the shoe fits. Get some good PVC glue and you are all set.

     

    Electrical Conduit as supply lines Wenatchee Home Inspection

     

    Now electrical conduit is not rated or listed for potable water and who knows what chemical could be leaching out into the water supply.

     

    So though it is getting water from point A to point B it is just not right.  Time for a real plumber to come in and make it all right!

     

    “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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    Crazy plumbers, What were you thinking. Bad Water Heater Install

     

    Sometimes you really have to wonder... "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!!!"

     

    On a recent home inspection I came across a water heater stuffed into a closet. The instillation was obviously not an easy one.

     

    Water Heater 2

     

    So to get the water heater into the closet the plumber (I must assume since they signed the insulation wrap)  removed the outer jacket on the water heater leaving the elements and thermostat and associated wiring totally exposed.

     

    Water Heater

     

    Well we know they are plumbers and not electricians because this failed that section pretty well.

     

    Then to top it off the reduced the diameter of the TPR valve discharge tube and routed it to the crawlspace, another non-no. I think this plumber needs a few more apprenticeship hours.

     

    TPR Valve

     

    In addition they should of installed a pan too, but I am being picky now... am I not.

     

    So here's to you, you proud plumber, who was proud enough to leave your company name written on the insulation for this installation.

     

    “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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    Riser spacing on stairs. The dirt on open risers Wenatchee Home Inspection

     

    Many rules on risers and baluster spacing is aimed at the little ones in our lives. Those smaller children have a habit of sticking their little heads in places.

                                                Childs head

    So many of the codes are geared at protecting them. This is where the 4 inch rule comes in. But in an odd quirk of codes we have a loop  hole for a head hole.

     

    R311.7.5.1 Risers. ((from the 2012 IRC) (bold and underline mine)

     

    The maximum riser height shall be 73/4 inches (196 mm). The riser shall be measured vertically between leading edges of the adjacent treads. The greatest riser height within any flight of stairs shall not exceed the smallest by more than 3/8 inch (9.5 mm). Risers shall be vertical or sloped from the underside of the nosing of the tread above at an angle not more than 30 degrees (0.51 rad) from the vertical. Open risers are permitted provided that the opening between treads does not permit the passage of a 4-inch-diameter (102 mm) sphere.

     

    Exception: The opening between adjacent treads is not limited on stairs with a total rise of 30 inches (762 mm) or less.

     

    So in this photo the open risers on the stairs are considered a safety/code violation.


                                        Stair riser code violation

    And in this photo the riser spacing is perfectly okay by code, but what about safety? (There are other issues with these stairs, missing landing and handrail)

     

                                      Stairs riser

     

    I wonder if the code official have ever had children. The last time I looked it seemed that those little ones are much closer to the ground and I would assume if the issue is their heads being stuck it is much easier at lower height than with a very tall run.

     

    Toddler heights at 12 months, for boys is around 29 to 30 inches and for girls is 28.5 to 30 inches. At 15 months boys average 30.5 to 32 and for girls its 30 to 31.

     

    The circumference of the baby head is usually around 16 to 18 inches which is a diameter of 5 to 5.7 inches. Be we know that heads are typically narrow in one direction.

     

    So if the little one went up and stuck there head it that lower height could have just as much issue , and maybe more so than the higher one. Code are minimums and I will recommend that these risers meet the criteria of those over 30 inches. Knowing the rules is important, especially in new construction.

     

    “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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    What does a Stegosaurus and Pop Tarts have in common?

     

                                                     Pop Tart

    We all love dinosaur movies right? Well maybe most of us do, or at least some of us do. Well I did, and still do.

     

    But if you really dig into some of the movies you will find this funny littte quirk... called time.

     

    Stegosaurus

     

    This "time" quirk is that Stegosaurus,  a Jurassic dinosaur, actually lived  about 80 million years before the Cretaceous dinosaur Tyrannosaurus (T-Rex).  And Mr. T -Rex lived about 80 million years ago. So the commonality is that T-Rex was about as likely to eat a Pop Tart as he was to eat a Stegosaurus! Yep your Pop Tart is in as much danger as the Stegosaurus from T-Rex.

     

     

    T-Rex and Pop Tart

     

     

     

     

    The Jurassic Period was 199 to 145 million years ago and the Cretaceous Period about 145 to 66 million years ago. Both of these are part of the Mesozoic Era along with the Triassic Period which was about 250 to 200 million years ago and prior to the Jurassic Period.

     

    Now that just messes up all those movies does it not. Luckily the movie Jurassic Park was pulling DNA from extinct creatures so these timeframes do not matter.

     

    Time to go eat a Pop Tart and think about it some more.

     

    For more information on Dinosaurs-http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/dinosaurs/

     

    I know you all were wondering about this conundrum.

     

    "To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge."

     

    Nicolaus Copernicus

     

    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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    Hidden boxes- Camera captured. Cle Elum and Kittitas Home Inspections

    As I have stated before sometimes the camera is the home inspector’s best tool.

    Here is another example of this handy tool. I have a habit of sticking my camera in places I cannot see or easily access.

    This was a wall with a cavity above with floor framing and conduits. I reached up and stuck my camera up there and take a few pictures.

    When I return back to the office and start preparing my report I go through my pictures and review my home inspection again. Many times I will see something that I did not see or notice while on the inspection.

    Here we have a junction box that was hidden in the ceiling. This is a no-no in wiring practices. All junction boxes have to be accessible.


    Hidden junction box



    There is good reason for this. These are the weak link in any circuit wiring. And as you see in this example further evaluation and repair is in need.

    The NEC (National Electrical Code) states-
    314.29 Boxes, Conduit Bodies, and Handhole Enclosures to Be Accessible.
    Boxes, conduit bodies, and handhole enclosures shall be installed so that the wiring contained in them can be rendered accessible without removing any part of the building or, in underground circuits, without excavating sidewalks, paving, earth, or other substance that is to be used to establish the finished grade.  

    Accessible (as applied to wiring methods) is defined as;  capable of being removed or exposed without damaging the building structure or finish or not permanently closed in by the structure or finish of the building.

     

    “Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.”

    Will Durant


    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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    Coming down the Pike-  New AFCI rules for 2014

     

    Well there is a buzz  in the electrical world with the upcoming adoption of the 2014 NEC, (on July 1, 2014 for Washington State). The big one is in regards to AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) protection, and now all the areas they are to cover. (Here is an article from 2012 on why AFCI protection-  Link )

                         Arc Fault

    But now the debate rages on about the new rules from the 2014 NEC in regards to these devices, their cost versus protection they provide.

     

    2014 NEC article- 210.12Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection

    Arc-fault circuit-interrupter protection shall be provided as required in 210.12(A)(B), and (C). The arc-fault circuit interrupter shall be installed in a readily accessible location.

                                     Arc Fault breaker Circuit

    (A) Dwelling Units. (Bold and underlined is mine)

    All 120-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets or devices installed in dwelling unit kitchens, family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, laundry areas, or similar rooms or areas shall be protected by any of the means described in 210.12(A)(1) through (6):

     

    So basically the 2014 NEC will require AFCIs in all homes (dwelling units) for all 15 and 20 amp 120v circuits except for bathrooms and garages.

     

    Now here is the real kicker that has some electricians really going crazy-

     

    210.12Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection

    (B) Branch Circuit Extensions or Modifications — Dwelling Units.

    In any of the areas specified in 210.12(A), where branch-circuit wiring is modified, replaced, or extended, the branch circuit shall be protected by one of the following:

    A listed combination-type AFCI located at the origin of the branch circuit

    A listed outlet branch-circuit type AFCI located at the first receptacle outlet of the existing branch circuit.

     

    Exception: AFCI protection shall not be required where the extension of the existing conductors is not more than 1.8 m (6 ft) and does not include any additional outlets or devices.

                        AFCI Receptacle

    This means if you modify a branch circuit,  that modification will require that the affected circuit will now have to be AFCI protected.

     

    If you have not read  this article from Doug Hansen it is worth a read-  AFCIs Come of Age

     

    Let the debate begin!!!

     

    “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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    Being Connected- Wireless Smoke Alarms

     

    Smoke alarms are very important part of fire safety in a home and should be replaced every 10 years.

     

    Now with wireless smoke detection interconnection couldn’t be easier. I have been suggesting these wireless interconnected smoke alarms to home buyers for a while now in older homes that did not have wired interconnected smoke alarms, but the 2012 IRC made it official and they can be used in new construction also.

                    

                               

     

    Now when performing repairs or in new construction wireless interconnected smoke detector will be able to be used to create the inconnection..

     

    There are also hardwired wireless interconnectable smoke alarms with battery backup that can expand your current coverage by simply replacing an interconnected alarm then take advantage of the wireless technology for additional smoke alarms.

     

    http://www.kidde.com/Documents/kws%20data%20sheet.pdf



                              

     

    R314.5 Interconnection. (Bold and underlined are mine)

     

    Where more than one smoke alarm is required to be installed within an individual dwelling unit in accordance with Section R314.3, the alarm devices shall be interconnected in such a manner that the actuation of one alarm will activate all of the alarms in the individual unit. Physical interconnection of smoke alarms shall not be required where listed wireless alarms are installed and all alarms sound upon activation of one alarm.

     

    Exception: Interconnection of smoke alarms in existing areas shall not be required where alterations or repairs do not result in removal of interior wall or ceiling finishes exposing the structure, unless there is an attic, crawlspace or basement available which could provide access for interconnection without the removal of interior finishes.

     

    "To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge."

     

    Nicolaus Copernicus

     

    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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    Asphalt shingles flashing requirements- The edge on the  "Drip Edge"

     

    This has been a pet peeve of mine for a very long time. When installing a new roof covering many roofing contractors omitted the drip edge flashing. It was only required if the shingle manufacturer required it. These flashings are relatively cheap yet were often not installed in my area.

     

                                               

     

    Now that is not the case, the 2012 IRC has now made it a requirement for asphalt shingle roofs to have a drip edge flashing installed, no exception.  All I can say it was about time.

     

    There are various forms of these drip edges. I prefer what is called a "D" style drip edge that allows the shingle to overhang the facia a little farther.  Water does not always play nice so the "D" style give a little more space for gravity to overcome surface tension.

     

                          

     

    So per the 2012 International Residential Code-

     

    R905.2.8 Flashing. Flashing for asphalt shingles shall comply with this section

     

    R905.2.8.5 Drip edge. (Bold and underline is mine)

     

    A drip edge shall be provided at eaves and gables of shingle roofs. Adjacent pieces of drip edge shall be overlapped a minimum of 2 inches (51 mm). Drip edges shall extend a minimum of 0.25 inch (6.4 mm) below the roof sheathing and extend up the roof deck a minimum of 2 inches (51 mm). Drip edges shall be mechanically fastened to the roof deck at a maximum of 12 inches (305 mm) o.c. with fasteners as specified in Section R905.2.5. Underlayment shall be installed over the drip edge along eaves and under the underlayment on gables. Unless specified differently by the shingle manufacturer, shingles are permitted to be flush with the drip edge.



    Of course this is all good if done correctly. Not like this example.



                

     

    Okay this will be fun when I am out in the world doing new construction inspections and phase inspections and see who is keeping up on the requirements, both builders and municipalities.

     

    “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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    On the Air- Wireless Electrical Connectivity

     

    With our electronic world now becoming a mess of cords, power strips and adapters to plug in our new world gadgets think of a world where the cord becomes obsolete.

     

    We can thank that wonderful think tank of MIT with what maybe the next biggest revolution in electrical connectivity. This is where Physics meet practical applications.

     

    Nikola Tesla theorized something like this about 120 years ago with “resonant inductive coupling”, also known as "electro-dynamic induction".


                                                            (Nikola Tesla drawing)

     

    Now to the future welcome to WiTricity Corp, a company founded in 2007 that is taken this electromagnetic theory from the lab bench to laptop.



                     

     

    Using an oscillating magnetic field there are able to take electricity convert it to a electromagnetic field and use of magnetic coupling to take that energy and convert it back to electricity at the receiver that could be built into our electronic devices.

     

    MIT Professor Marin Soljačić (pronounced Soul-ya-cheech) came upon this idea after hearing his cell phone beeping because of low battery and wonder why could not use all this power around the home. Marin quotes  “There is electricity wired all through this house, all through my office—everywhere. This phone should take care of its own charging!”. An idea is born.

     

    Think of it as wireless internet for electricity. I for one can not wait to see this become common place.

     

    Here is a report from CNN on this.

     

    Here is the 2009 TEDtalk link-  http://www.ted.com/talks/eric_giler_demos_wireless_electricity

     

    "To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge."

     

    Nicolaus Copernicus

     

    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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    Lights, Cameras, Energy Code Requirements for lighting! Kittitas County Home Inspection

     

    2012 Washington State Energy Code (WSEC) now requires that the 75% of your lighting be what is defined as high-efficacy lamps. This is for both interior and exterior lighting. There is no separate requirements for exterior lighting.

     

                                         

                                                      ( Incandescent, CFL, LED )

     

    What are high-efficacy lamps?

     

    HIGH-EFFICACY LAMPS. Compact fluorescent lamps, T-8 or smaller diameter linear

    fluorescent lamps, or lamps with a minimum efficacy of:

    1. 60 lumens per watt for lamps over 40 watts;

    2. 50 lumens per watt for lamps over 15 watts to 40 watts; and

    3. 40 lumens per watt for lamps 15 watts or less.

     

    Now when it comes to this requirement your two main choices are CFL and LED.

     

    My thought on this is LED is the way to go. The are at full brightness at the flip of the switch and run cooler than the CFL’s. I have been slowly replacing my lighting with the LED’s and so far I very happy with the light they produce.

     

    Also it has been my experience that the CFL’s just do not last as long as described by the manufacturers. One cause of this maybe that frequent cycling may degrade the CFL’s. Also Consumer Reports has found that turning CFLs on and off in less than 15 minutes period was leading to degradation of their life cycle. The life expectancy of CFL is about 6000 to 10,000 hrs per manufacturers.

     

                                            

     

    LED lighting has a life expectancy of 20,000 to 50,000 hours and some high quality LED’s will function for well over 100,000 hours. At 8 hours per day this would be approximately 17 years those in the 50,000 hour range.

     

    I expect the cost of LED’s will continue to drop as they become more common. Also some municipalities may have rebates for installing LED’s.

     

                                                      

                                                             (Retrofit Kit)

     

    Here is a link for Chelan County PUD for LED retrofit kits-

    http://appliancerebates.chelanpud.org/2014/energy-star-led-downlight-retrofit-kits/



    Here is a couple of links to comparison charts-

     

    http://www.designrecycleinc.com/led%20comp%20chart.html

    http://www.intermountain-rea.com/userfiles/LEDvsCFL.pdf




    “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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    If the shoe fits- PVC plumbing for your water supply Chelan Home Inspection Services

     

    Homeowners can be a creative bunch at times.

     

    Here we have another example of creativity that may just not be quite right.

     

    During this home inspection I find a water supply piping that is just not quite right. Any piping that is used for your water supply needs to be rated and listed for that use.

     

    Listed water distribution pipe materials Chelan Home Inspection

                                                    ( I do not see electrical conduit listed here ;)

    This homeowner needed to get some water supply piping to a bathroom.  In that mind set of “waste not want not” why not just use some of this perfectly fine conduit and connect it to the supply lines. Hey they fit together rather nicely, the shoe fits. Get some good PVC glue and you are all set.

     

    Electrical Conduit as supply lines Wenatchee Home Inspection

     

    Now electrical conduit is not rated or listed for potable water and who knows what chemical could be leaching out into the water supply.

     

    So though it is getting water from point A to point B it is just not right.  Time for a real plumber to come in and make it all right!

     

    “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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    Riser spacing on stairs. The dirt on open risers Wenatchee Home Inspection

     

    Many rules on risers and baluster spacing is aimed at the little ones in our lives. Those smaller children have a habit of sticking their little heads in places.

                                                Childs head

    So many of the codes are geared at protecting them. This is where the 4 inch rule comes in. But in an odd quirk of codes we have a loop  hole for a head hole.

     

    R311.7.5.1 Risers. ((from the 2012 IRC) (bold and underline mine)

     

    The maximum riser height shall be 73/4 inches (196 mm). The riser shall be measured vertically between leading edges of the adjacent treads. The greatest riser height within any flight of stairs shall not exceed the smallest by more than 3/8 inch (9.5 mm). Risers shall be vertical or sloped from the underside of the nosing of the tread above at an angle not more than 30 degrees (0.51 rad) from the vertical. Open risers are permitted provided that the opening between treads does not permit the passage of a 4-inch-diameter (102 mm) sphere.

     

    Exception: The opening between adjacent treads is not limited on stairs with a total rise of 30 inches (762 mm) or less.

     

    So in this photo the open risers on the stairs are considered a safety/code violation.


                                        Stair riser code violation

    And in this photo the riser spacing is perfectly okay by code, but what about safety? (There are other issues with these stairs, missing landing and handrail)

     

                                      Stairs riser

     

    I wonder if the code official have ever had children. The last time I looked it seemed that those little ones are much closer to the ground and I would assume if the issue is their heads being stuck it is much easier at lower height than with a very tall run.

     

    Toddler heights at 12 months, for boys is around 29 to 30 inches and for girls is 28.5 to 30 inches. At 15 months boys average 30.5 to 32 and for girls its 30 to 31.

     

    The circumference of the baby head is usually around 16 to 18 inches which is a diameter of 5 to 5.7 inches. Be we know that heads are typically narrow in one direction.

     

    So if the little one went up and stuck there head it that lower height could have just as much issue , and maybe more so than the higher one. Code are minimums and I will recommend that these risers meet the criteria of those over 30 inches. Knowing the rules is important, especially in new construction.

     

    “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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    Hidden boxes- Camera captured. Cle Elum and Kittitas Home Inspections

    As I have stated before sometimes the camera is the home inspector’s best tool.

    Here is another example of this handy tool. I have a habit of sticking my camera in places I cannot see or easily access.

    This was a wall with a cavity above with floor framing and conduits. I reached up and stuck my camera up there and take a few pictures.

    When I return back to the office and start preparing my report I go through my pictures and review my home inspection again. Many times I will see something that I did not see or notice while on the inspection.

    Here we have a junction box that was hidden in the ceiling. This is a no-no in wiring practices. All junction boxes have to be accessible.


    Hidden junction box



    There is good reason for this. These are the weak link in any circuit wiring. And as you see in this example further evaluation and repair is in need.

    The NEC (National Electrical Code) states-
    314.29 Boxes, Conduit Bodies, and Handhole Enclosures to Be Accessible.
    Boxes, conduit bodies, and handhole enclosures shall be installed so that the wiring contained in them can be rendered accessible without removing any part of the building or, in underground circuits, without excavating sidewalks, paving, earth, or other substance that is to be used to establish the finished grade.  

    Accessible (as applied to wiring methods) is defined as;  capable of being removed or exposed without damaging the building structure or finish or not permanently closed in by the structure or finish of the building.

     

    “Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.”

    Will Durant


    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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    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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    Being Connected- Wireless Smoke Alarms

     

    Smoke alarms are very important part of fire safety in a home and should be replaced every 10 years.

     

    Now with wireless smoke detection interconnection couldn’t be easier. I have been suggesting these wireless interconnected smoke alarms to home buyers for a while now in older homes that did not have wired interconnected smoke alarms, but the 2012 IRC made it official and they can be used in new construction also.

                    

                               

     

    Now when performing repairs or in new construction wireless interconnected smoke detector will be able to be used to create the inconnection..

     

    There are also hardwired wireless interconnectable smoke alarms with battery backup that can expand your current coverage by simply replacing an interconnected alarm then take advantage of the wireless technology for additional smoke alarms.

     

    http://www.kidde.com/Documents/kws%20data%20sheet.pdf



                              

     

    R314.5 Interconnection. (Bold and underlined are mine)

     

    Where more than one smoke alarm is required to be installed within an individual dwelling unit in accordance with Section R314.3, the alarm devices shall be interconnected in such a manner that the actuation of one alarm will activate all of the alarms in the individual unit. Physical interconnection of smoke alarms shall not be required where listed wireless alarms are installed and all alarms sound upon activation of one alarm.

     

    Exception: Interconnection of smoke alarms in existing areas shall not be required where alterations or repairs do not result in removal of interior wall or ceiling finishes exposing the structure, unless there is an attic, crawlspace or basement available which could provide access for interconnection without the removal of interior finishes.

     

    "To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge."

     

    Nicolaus Copernicus

     

    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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    Coming down the Pike-  New AFCI rules for 2014

     

    Well there is a buzz  in the electrical world with the upcoming adoption of the 2014 NEC, (on July 1, 2014 for Washington State). The big one is in regards to AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) protection, and now all the areas they are to cover. (Here is an article from 2012 on why AFCI protection-  Link )

                         Arc Fault

    But now the debate rages on about the new rules from the 2014 NEC in regards to these devices, their cost versus protection they provide.

     

    2014 NEC article- 210.12Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection

    Arc-fault circuit-interrupter protection shall be provided as required in 210.12(A)(B), and (C). The arc-fault circuit interrupter shall be installed in a readily accessible location.

                                     Arc Fault breaker Circuit

    (A) Dwelling Units. (Bold and underlined is mine)

    All 120-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets or devices installed in dwelling unit kitchens, family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, laundry areas, or similar rooms or areas shall be protected by any of the means described in 210.12(A)(1) through (6):

     

    So basically the 2014 NEC will require AFCIs in all homes (dwelling units) for all 15 and 20 amp 120v circuits except for bathrooms and garages.

     

    Now here is the real kicker that has some electricians really going crazy-

     

    210.12Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection

    (B) Branch Circuit Extensions or Modifications — Dwelling Units.

    In any of the areas specified in 210.12(A), where branch-circuit wiring is modified, replaced, or extended, the branch circuit shall be protected by one of the following:

    A listed combination-type AFCI located at the origin of the branch circuit

    A listed outlet branch-circuit type AFCI located at the first receptacle outlet of the existing branch circuit.

     

    Exception: AFCI protection shall not be required where the extension of the existing conductors is not more than 1.8 m (6 ft) and does not include any additional outlets or devices.

                        AFCI Receptacle

    This means if you modify a branch circuit,  that modification will require that the affected circuit will now have to be AFCI protected.

     

    If you have not read  this article from Doug Hansen it is worth a read-  AFCIs Come of Age

     

    Let the debate begin!!!

     

    “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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    Crazy plumbers, What were you thinking. Bad Water Heater Install

     

    Sometimes you really have to wonder... "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!!!"

     

    On a recent home inspection I came across a water heater stuffed into a closet. The instillation was obviously not an easy one.

     

    Water Heater 2

     

    So to get the water heater into the closet the plumber (I must assume since they signed the insulation wrap)  removed the outer jacket on the water heater leaving the elements and thermostat and associated wiring totally exposed.

     

    Water Heater

     

    Well we know they are plumbers and not electricians because this failed that section pretty well.

     

    Then to top it off the reduced the diameter of the TPR valve discharge tube and routed it to the crawlspace, another non-no. I think this plumber needs a few more apprenticeship hours.

     

    TPR Valve

     

    In addition they should of installed a pan too, but I am being picky now... am I not.

     

    So here's to you, you proud plumber, who was proud enough to leave your company name written on the insulation for this installation.

     

    “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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    On the Air- Wireless Electrical Connectivity

     

    With our electronic world now becoming a mess of cords, power strips and adapters to plug in our new world gadgets think of a world where the cord becomes obsolete.

     

    We can thank that wonderful think tank of MIT with what maybe the next biggest revolution in electrical connectivity. This is where Physics meet practical applications.

     

    Nikola Tesla theorized something like this about 120 years ago with “resonant inductive coupling”, also known as "electro-dynamic induction".


                                                            (Nikola Tesla drawing)

     

    Now to the future welcome to WiTricity Corp, a company founded in 2007 that is taken this electromagnetic theory from the lab bench to laptop.



                     

     

    Using an oscillating magnetic field there are able to take electricity convert it to a electromagnetic field and use of magnetic coupling to take that energy and convert it back to electricity at the receiver that could be built into our electronic devices.

     

    MIT Professor Marin Soljačić (pronounced Soul-ya-cheech) came upon this idea after hearing his cell phone beeping because of low battery and wonder why could not use all this power around the home. Marin quotes  “There is electricity wired all through this house, all through my office—everywhere. This phone should take care of its own charging!”. An idea is born.

     

    Think of it as wireless internet for electricity. I for one can not wait to see this become common place.

     

    Here is a report from CNN on this.

     

    Here is the 2009 TEDtalk link-  http://www.ted.com/talks/eric_giler_demos_wireless_electricity

     

    "To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge."

     

    Nicolaus Copernicus

     

    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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