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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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    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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    Insulating the Hot Water pipes- IECC and Washington State Amendment.

     

    I know I have been on a kick with the energy code of late. But with the adoption of the 2012 IRC and IECC I need to keep abreast of these changes when I am doing phase inspections and new construction inspections.



                                       

                                                   (Typical R-3 Insulation)

     

    The 2012 energy code (International Energy Conservation Code/IECC) is catching up to what Washington State has had in place. But  there will always be some challenges.

     

    In the energy code (IECC) there is a requirement for insulating hot water service piping but had these qualifiers per R403.4.1 and table R403.4.2.

     

    The 2012  IECC (International Energy Conservation Code) states this for hot water pipe insulation-

    R403.4 Service hot water systems.

    Energy conservation measures for service hot water systems shall be in accordance with Section R403.4.2.

     

    R403.4.2 Hot water pipe insulation (Prescriptive).

    Insulation for hot water pipe with a minimum thermal resistance (R-value) of R-3 shall be applied to the following:

    1. Piping larger than 3/4 inch nominal diameter.

    2. Piping serving more than one dwelling unit.

    3. Piping from the water heater to kitchen outlets.

    4. Piping located outside the conditioned space.

    5. Piping from the water heater to a distribution manifold.

    6. Piping located under a floor slab.

    7. Buried piping.

    8. Supply and return piping in recirculation systems other than demand recirculation systems.

    9. Piping with run lengths greater than the maximum run lengths for the nominal pipe diameter given in Table R403.4.2.

     

    All remaining piping shall be insulated to at least R-3 or meet the run length requirements of Table R403.4.2.

     

    TABLE R403.4.2 MAXIMUM RUN LENGTH (feet)a

     

    Nominal Pipe Diameter of Largest Diameter Pipe in the Run (inch)

    3/8

    1/2

    3/4

    > 3/4

    Maximum Run Length

    30

    20

    10

    5

     

    Washington State found this too confusing and made it simpler and amended this code provision. So Washington State’s rule is that all hot water piping will need to be insulated, that is in conditioned and unconditioned spaces.

     

    Link Below to  Washington State Amendment-

    WAC# 51-11R-40340

    Then there was an amendment to the amendment to reduce the insulation value from R-4 to R-3 so you can use the normal insulation which is rated at R-3.

     

    (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/laws/wsr/2013/23/13-23-095.htm )



                            

                                                          (R-4.5 Insulation)

    There are R 4 to R 5 insulations out there but R 3 is the most common.



                                       

                                                                ( R-5 Insulation)



    “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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    Dam Cracks- Grant County Power. It not what it has been cracked up to be- Issues with the Wanapum Dam

     

    Well during a recent home inspection I got to see the result of a pretty serious and interesting situation in Grant County. The Wanapum Dam in Grant County was discovered to have a 65 foot long 2 inch crack in it. It was discovered when a county worker noticed a bow on a railing section on top of the dam.

     

    This is a dam I have driven by many times and did not really put much thought to it. I drive past 4 major dams on the Columbia River fairly frequently.  But what I see now is the shoreline has been lowered to reduce the backpressure in the dam.The reservoir level has been reduced to 26 feet below normal and may stay that way for quite some time.




          

                              (Looking south down the Columbia River at Crescent Bar)



    The Columbia River originates at Columbia Lake on the west slope of of the Rockies in British Columbia.The Columbia River has an average annual output of about 244 billion cubic meters at its mouth at the Pacific Ocean making it only second to the Mississippi/Missouri river for total output in North America.

     

                            

    There is about 56 major dams for power and over 450 total dams for power, navigation and irrigation on the Columbia River basin.



                         

                                           (looking West up the Columbia River)

     

    It one of those items you take for granted till something like this happens.

     

    "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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    It is a snap. Snap connectors in Manufactured Homes and Stick Framed Homes.

     

    From a recent Home Inspector forum someone asked about snap connectors which is fairly common in manufactured homes. When I am doing a home inspection on manufactured home I often see these connectors at the marriage line to connect a circuit from one side of the to the other.



                        

                                                  (from a recent Chelan Home Inspection)

     

    So I did a little more research on these connectors and found out that there could be other permitted uses for them. One that I would not be very comfortable with but it would be okay by the electrical code.

     

    These snap connectors are officially referred to as  “Nonmetallic Sheathed Cable Interconnection Devices” .


        

    Here is what I found pertaining to their use.

     

    They are allowed where Type NM cable (Romex) is permitted, They are allowed in all exposed cable wiring in new work and re-work applications. They are allowed and commonly used for  interconnection of modular components of manufactured  buildings and homes, mobile homes, and recreational vehicles.



    But here is the kicker, they are also “allowed to be concealed” when performing Re-Wiring in existing buildings. This is the part I would not feel too warm and fuzzy about but it is in the code as allowable. I am not big on having a splice that is not accessable.

     

    They are designed for use with copper #12 and #14 solid strand wire. I found their cost to be anywhere from $6 to $8, so not the cheapest solution out there, but they may have their applications.

     

    So I  found the code on these bad boys.

     

    This is from the 2014 NEC- (Bold and underlined mine)

    334.40 Boxes and Fittings

    (B) Devices of Insulating Material.

    Self-contained switches, self-contained receptacles, andnonmetallic-sheathed cable interconnector devices of insulating material that are listed shall be permitted to be used without boxes in exposed cable wiring and for repair wiring in existing buildings where the cable is concealed. Openings in such devices shall form a close fit around the outer covering of the cable, and the device shall fully enclose the part of the cable from which any part of the covering has been removed. Where connections to conductors are by binding-screw terminals, there shall be available as many terminals as conductors.

     

    So there you have it on their use and application. Here is a couple interesting links on these devices.

     

    http://datasheet.octopart.com/208169-1-AMP-datasheet-14548063.pdf

     

    http://www.contact.com.gr/catalog/manuals/NM_Connector_Presentation_Rev3_Web.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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    Hitting for the cycle, Electrical wiring for the boys of summer. Chelan Real Estate Inspections

     


    Well spring is here and many homeowners think they can be electricians. Hey the proof is in the pudding, it all works it must be right? Wrong!!! Though it may still all work it really is not right. We have rules and they are there for a good reason. Just like a baseball game there has to be rules and cheating is really not look upon nicely.

     

    So here we have a homeowner who needed some power for their AC conditioning unit. No problem there is a nice pedestal with some open breaker positions and bingo we got us a circuit.

     

                                    So lets play ball.

     

    Up first we have a a little double lug where the neutral was placed under the ground lug. Not a huge issue, so It’s a single and we are on base.

     

           

                                                                            

     

    Next up we have Romex wire (NM) running outside (damp/wet location), which is not allowed, it is unprotected (no conduit), and is missing a restraint at the panel. Hey its the Triple !!! The hardest part of hitting for the cycle. One runs scores.

     

                               

     

    Third batter we have this cable not properly secured in the crawlspace with a slice not contained in a junction box. Its a double. Another run scores. Hang on kids, we are just a homer away for the cycle!

     

                                

     

    Yep, It is a circuit all the way back to the main panel… A HOME RUN!!!!

     

                                                  

     

    But wait…. It looks like the Umpire (Home Inspector) is making a call “You’re out” and game over.

     

    Don’t strike out and put your family at risk. Hire a professional when you are out of your league.

     

    “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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    Garage Fire Resistive Construction and Exhaust Fans.



    Sometimes I have to ask myself, really! What are we doing. I was performing an one year warranty inspection for a client and ran into a bit of a backlash from the contractor.




    Here is the story, my client had the washer and dryer moved to the garage to free up some interior space. The contractor put an exhaust fan in the garage to for these appliances. The problem is this now breaches the fire resistive barrier.


    In my report I state “ A fan was installed for the laundry in the ceiling that compromised the fire separation.”   

     

    The contractor did not see it this way and even went so far to have a “Construction Consultant” state that it was okay.

     

    Well maybe I am not the brightest bulb but I think I get what the meaning and intent of the fire separation of the garage from the home. An regular exhaust fan does not meet that standard and I am pretty darn sure this fan it is not listed for use in a fire resistive assembly.



    In this picture the arrows point to slots in the fan housing that I can see light and the grill through. Yeah that will work wonders in a fire.



    So I did find a fan that would meet the criteria for fire separation (*cost a lot around $300 to $400). This bad boy comes with a fusible link and a thermal shut off and is a listed item.

     

     

     

     

     



    The irony of this they could of just put a fan on the exterior wall of the garage and all is well, no fire separation needed, easier to install and no duct work. But the contractor went out of his way to try to prove the home inspector is incorrect.  Can we just accept that a mistake was made and correct it?

     

    “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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  • 05/19/14--23:36: The Tragedy of the Traverse
  • The Tragedy of the Traverse- Chelan Real Estate Inspections

     

    First lets start off with a definition- Traverse (verb)- To travel across or through.

     

    Okay that is simple enough. Next is a question. Is your home inspector doing a home inspection or looking for and excuse to not inspect something or some area? Is that who you want to hire?

     

    I am hearing all too often about inspectors who are not entering and traversing crawlspaces or attics when they can. Even for me, at times,  I have not been able to fully enter or traverse a crawlspace or attic. But I will have a good reason and I will state in my report the reason why I could not “TRAVERSE or fully TRAVERSE” the crawlspace or attic. I will advise that these areas should be made accessible or there may be hidden issues.

     

    Here is example one, a live wire in the attic next to the duct. This was just a foot or so from attic access. This home was inspected a few weeks prior to my home inspection.





    Does anyone else see another issue here in the picture?



    Per the Home Inspector’s standards of practice of Washington State-

     

    (1) The inspector will:

    Describe the type of building materials comprising the major structural components.

    Enter and traverse attics and subfloor crawlspaces.

     

    But here is the caveat in the SOP that so many seem to invoke. This is a judgement call, and I underlined the escape clause.

     

    The inspector is not required to:

     

    Enter

    (a) Subfloor crawlspaces that require excavation or have an access opening less than eighteen inches by twenty-four inches or headroom less than eighteen inches beneath floor joists and twelve inches beneath girders (beams).

     

    (b) Any areas that are not readily accessible due to obstructions, inadequate clearances or have conditions which, in the inspector's opinion, are hazardous to the health and safety of the inspector or will cause damage to components of the home.

     

    Move stored items or debris or perform excavation to gain access.

     

    This leads me to the next question, if you as a home inspector are unwilling to enter and traverse these spaces why are you a home inspector? What is your real purpose?

     

    Example two, A Drum Trap that has been leaking for who knows how long. Again this home had a pre-listing home inspection done.


    Who did this serve? Not the person hiring the home inspector.



    For all others in Real Estate industry if you see a home inspector not doing this why are you not informing your clients that this is not being performed and the obvious issue with this?

     

    This is such a huge disservice to everyone and is not right. This is a critical part of the inspection process and cannot be overlooked.  How would everyone feel about an electrician or plumber who said,  “thats really too bad, your plumbing and electrical is in a crawlspace, I will not look at it and/or repair it”?  It’s their job and they need to go fix it. Then why would you allow a home inspector to not do their job?

     

    As a homebuyer you need to report any inspector who is not performing a proper inspection.

     

    Here is the link to file a complaint-

    http://www.dol.wa.gov/business/homeinspectors/hicomplaint.html

     

    It really is up to all of us to correct this situation. The tolerance of these actions is hurting everyone, the Home Inspection Profession, the reputation of Realtors referring these inspectors and lastly and most importantly the Homeowner or Buyers that hired the home inspector to help be protect them and inform them.

     

    “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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    Recall of Nest Smoke/CO combo alarms due to arm wave silence.

     

    Nest Labs is recalling their Smoke/CO Alarms due to a failure to sound an alert. \






    These alarms can be controlled by a computer or a smartphone using a wireless network. The issue is the “Nest Wave” function. Turns out you may accidently silence the detector by waving your arms. This is sort of the “clap on- clap off” feature of these device.

     

    Homeowners who have these devices already connected should confirm the update to disable this function has been installed at the "Nest Sense" area of their account. You should also ensure the button for "Nest Wave" is set to off and grayed out.

     

    About 440 thousand of these have been sold at Best Buy, Home Depot and other retailers nationwide, and online at nest.com, amazon.com, bestbuy.com and homedepot.com from November 15, 2013 to April 3, 2014 for about $130.

     

    “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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    Taking the stand through time- Laundry Standpipes and Washing Machines.

     

    When purchasing an older homes most buyers will be having unique challenges as homeowners, trying to fit in some of the normal appliances and conveniences that are normal in modern life into a structure where many of these conveniences were not even conceived at the time of build.

     

    Unless some updates have been made to the major components, plumbing and electrical, the home may not be ready to accept the new appliances or conveniences.

     

    Let’s start with one of the greatest conveniences of modern life… The Washing Machine.





    The earliest know motorized washing machines appear in the early 1900’s. Most attribute this invention of labor savings and convenience to Alva J. Fisher. This may not be quite accurate and there is some evidence to think there may have been others before him. But he had the first mass produced washer, the “Thor Washing Machine”.

     

    ( The Thor Washing Machine )

     

    We take for granted this item and how much it saves us time. Washing clothes is really pretty darn easy today.



     

    But like many things these machines evolved and with that the plumbing system needs to be upgraded to handle them.

     

    So in comes the “Standpipe”. This is the plumbing receptor for the discharge of the washing machine.  The current standard is the standpipe should be 2 inch in diameter, many earlier standpipes were 1-½ inch pipe. Even though the new washers use less water they pump it out much faster rate and can overrun a 1-½ standpipe.

     




    Per UPC (Universal Plumbing Code) the Standpipe should not be more than 30” or less than 18” above trap, no trap should be  installed below floor and the trap should be installed 6” to 18” above floor.



    Here is a couple of examples of a common issue when buying an older home. Both are from pre 1940’s homes. In both cases there was an attempt to add a new laundry appliance, the washer to the older plumbing system. In these examples they failed to get it right.

     

    Example one- Attaching the washer to the old waste stack, though it most definitely can handle the discharge rate, there is no trap and we are getting sewer gases into the home.

     

       

     

    Example two- Attaching a untrapped standpipe to the existing laundry sink piping. Well this one again has no trap and the standpipe is way too short.

     



    When buying older homes there will most likely be needed or desired upgrades. And something like just getting a new washer quickly becomes a bit more complicated and some thought will be needed when making these installations.



    “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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    GFCI’s and Garages, got them all protected? Douglas County Home Inspection

     

    As a requirement of Washington State SOP for Home Inspectors we are to identify any missing or inoperative GFCI’s per industry standards. With GFCI’s we are required to tell our clients that they should be installed in all areas missing them.

     

    So lets talk about garages, accessory buildings (ground level) not intended as habitable rooms and used as storage areas, work areas, and areas of similar use are required to be GFCI protected.

     

    It used to be that you could have one dedicated receptacle for a freezer but that has been removed. Another receptacle often missed is the receptacle for the garage door opener, yep it needs to be GFCI protected also. I found the best way to test for this is trip all the GFCI’s in the garage and then see if you can open the garage door. It open there most likely no protection.

     



    The requirement for GFCI receptacles in garages and sheds is to improve safety for persons using portable hand held tools, string trimmers, snow blowers, and similar tools that might be connected to these receptacles. They are also required because auto repair work and general workshop electrical tools are often used.

     

     You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and on my website Blog.

     

    “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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    GFCI,  New Rules for bathtubs, showers and Laundry areas- East Wenatchee Home Inspection

     

    With the upcoming adoption of the 2014 National Electrical Code on July 1st and the Washington State requirements for home inspectors to identify where GFCI are not present per industry standards.

     

    There are a few new areas of GFCI protection we will need to take note of, now any 125v 15 and 20 amp receptacles that are installed within 6 ft of the outside edge bathtubs or shower stalls (not in bathrooms) and laundry areas will need GFCI protection.






    The 2014 Code wanted to clarify that there are some instances where there may be a bathtub  or shower stalls that are not installed in areas that might not meet the NEC definition of a bathroom.  Many of these areas may have tile or other conductive materials, and possibly grounded, floors.

     

    There could be potential shock hazard present. This change in Code language ensures that tubs and showers in home will have the same requirements for GFCI protection of receptacles, regardless of what the room is called.

     

     

    In addition there also is a requirement for GFCI protection of receptacles in laundry areas which is also new for 2014. Wet clothes and puddles of water can pose a shock hazard when using any appliance in laundry areas.



    “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 Chelan Home Inspection- Problem with PEX Fittings

    This blog came from a conversation with Steve Smith, King of the House Inc , about reported issues and a class action lawsuit with certain PEX fittings.  (See my blog on PEX   Wenatchee and East Wenatchee Home Inspections- Per-P(l)EX-ing situation)

    The fittings in question are from Uponor and Zurn. (Links to lawsuits - Uponor  Zurn)

    The fittings that are having issues are made from brass. These brass fittings are subject to premature failing because of stress corrosion cracking.  The fittings at issue were installed from the early to the late 1990's.

    Identification-

    The fittings from Uponor at issue do not say Uponor or RTI on them. They have a stamp on the side of the fitting that says P Pex or MB Pex. The stainless steel clamps that holds the pipe onto the fitting usually will have the same P-Pex or P Pex stamp on the side.

    Uponor Fitting 

    Zurn's brass fittings have a Q Pex or QPex identifying stamp.

    Zurn Fitting            Zurn Fitting 2    Zurn Fitting 3

    Related information-

    Good article on the issue with the brass fittings (Article Link).

    It looks that the main issue stems from dezincification of the fittings in certain water systems that have higher chlorine and mineral content. (There may be are other factors also)

    Brass is a copper alloy that can contain between 5 to 40% zinc. The Zinc is added to brass to increase the strength of the alloy. The issue seems to be that the corrosion of brass increases as the percentage of zinc increased.  It is recommended that the percentage of zinc in brass fittings be less than 15% and some say that number can safely go to 19%.  The lower quality brass fittings and valves on the market may have a zinc content of up to 35%.

    The other issue may be the machining/manufacturing that left the fitting walls thin and more susceptible to fracturing.

    If you have PEX plumbing installed in the 90's it may be wise to see what fittings are being used.

    I would also like to hear from any Inspectors out there that have seen this failure in the field. This may be more localized based on conditions of the water supply.

    Wenatchee and Chelan Home Inspection- Problem with PEX Fittings

    NCW Home Inspections, LLC  is located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington.                                      

    NCW Home Inspections LLC-509-670-9572


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  • 06/15/14--02:29: Cover your Bottoms.
  • Cover your Bottoms.                                                  Wenatchee Home Inspection Services



     

    Cover your bottoms… covering of I-joist floor joist in unfinished spaces such as unfinished basements.

     

    There is a new requirement in the 2012 IRC about floor joists that requires them to be covered. This is mainly aimed at the engineered/manufactured I-floor joists.

     

    2012 IRC- R501.3 Fire protection of floors.

    Floor assemblies, not required elsewhere in this code to be fire-resistance rated, shall be provided with a 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum wallboard membrane, 5/8-inch (16 mm) wood structural panel membrane, or equivalent on the underside of the floor framing member.



    I found this to interesting and significant. When talking with a friend who is a firefighter one of the greatest concerns for firefighters in newer construction was with engineered materials such as I-joists and trusses. The reason is that under a fire scenario these materials do not have the same ability to remain structurally strong for as long as dimensional lumber. Creating a greater risk for a firefighter to fall through during a response.

     

     

    It is now required that 1/2” sheetrock (gypsum board) or other approved membranes will need to be installed on the underside of floor assemblies of structures using manufactured joist in construction or dimensional wood 2x8 or smaller.

     

    This change is for the protection of Fire personnel during a response to a structure fire.

     

    Here is a link that will help bring the reasoning into light-

     

    It’s not lightweight construction. It's what happens when lightweight construction meets fire.

     

    “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

     

    You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and on my website Blog.





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    How To Find a Home Inspector in Wenatchee?

     

    Buying a home is a taxing proposition for most people. You have done all you financial stuff and found out what you can afford then the search begins for the new home.

     

    You now found a home you are interested in and you need a home inspection. Home inspections are not required but they should be a high priority.

     

                                           

     

    So how do you find a Home Inspector in Wenatchee?

     

    Well for most they get a list or direct referral from the Realtor. I would advise against using the list exclusively (even if I am on the list). Do your due diligence… Caveat Emptor!

     

    Research the home inspectors. Review a copy of one of their inspection reports. Remember in the end this is what you are buying. Check out testimonials and review the Washington State Standards of practice for a home inspection. This is the minimum requirements of the home inspection as required by law. ( Link- Washington State Home Inspectors SOP )




    Should I have a structural pest inspection?

     

    There are several wood destroying insects in the Eastern Washington to be concerned about. The two that are most common to cause structural issues are Subterranean Termites and Anobiid Beetles.

     

                                         

                                                (Termite Mud Tubes Wenatchee)

     

    Most home inspectors are structural pest inspectors, if they are not you should ask yourself why. What the structural pest inspection does for you is require the home inspector to do more thorough inspection, report and identify insect damage and requires the inspector to carry a minimum insurance policy. Insurance is not required for those who are just home inspectors.

     

    As a business policy a structural pest inspections is always performed by NCW Home Inspections, LLC.

     

    When to find a Home Inspector in Wenatchee?

     

    I highly recommend finding a home inspector prior to you actually finding a home. A good home inspector many times can help answer questions about a home that you are looking at.

      

     

     

    Is time in the industry a good indicator of quality?

     

    So often a home inspector, realtor, builder or tradesman states “I have been doing this for “Blank” many years”.

     

    Well having some time in the industry is great but the sad fact is that “time in the industry” does not seem to always correlate to the quality. For example if the home inspector has been doing poor quality or substandard home inspections for 15 years, it will still be that 10 to 15 years later.

     

    Unfortunately I see this all the time in the building trades. Builders who have building home for “30” years and still make the same mistakes for 30 years, not exactly a great statement on quality.



    So if you are starting that process to buy a home along with finding a great Realtor you should start your process of finding a great Home Inspector. I would love an opportunity to discuss the home inspection process.




    (Getting ready to crawl)



    “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

     

    You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and on my Blog.





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    Upstream and Downstream. We all scream….. AFCI Chelan Home Inspections

     

    Okay we don’t all scream, but many do. The 2014 NEC is moving one step closer to the eventual goal of whole house AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) protection. As a home inspector in Washington State we are required to report the location of any inoperative or missing GFCI and/or AFCI devices when they are recommended by industry standards. So keeping up on these new rules is very important.

     

    In review some of the new requirements I had some questions on AFCI protection.  The code provides 6 ways to provide this AFCI protection. In one of the provision options for AFCI branch circuit protection you are allowed to install a listed outlet branch circuit (OBC) type AFCI at the first outlet on the circuit.

     

    (OBC type AFCI)

     

    So my thought is if we are moving toward whole house protection what about the wiring from the panel breaker to this device?

     

     

    Well here is where it gets interesting. It turns out that the outlet branch circuit (OBC) type AFCI will provide both upstream and downstream protection from series arc faults.

     

     

    But what about the more dangerous parallel arcs? The OCB type AFCI will only provide downstream protection.

     

    Turns out that from studies that wiring from the panel to the OCB AFCI (Home run) a regular circuit breaker usually clears a parallel arc fault for that portion of circuit. This is based on the current being high enough to trigger the trip value of the circuit breaker and due to the fact there is a low impedance path between the breaker and the OCB AFCI device.

     

    The impedance is dependent on the circuit length and that is why you only allowed to use the outlet branch circuit (OBC) type AFCI where the home run length is 70 ft or less for 12 AWG and

    50 ft or less for 14 AWG.

     

     

     

    So as we move to the new standards we as Home Inspectors will be seeing these devices showing up more and more.

     

    “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


    You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and on my Blog.


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    It really can be just skin deep.                                         Wenatchee Home Inspection Services

     

    It really is all skin deep when talking about power transmission through conductors.

     

    First off there are two main types of current in our world.  DC  (direct current), which is a constant stream of electrons in one direct and AC (alternating current) where the electrons flow is back and forth. AC is the standard use for power transmission.

     

     

    I have known that when AC current runs through a conductor that it can create an effect that causes the electron flow to be towards the outer area of the conductor. I have read about this effect on several occasions when it comes to electrical flow in conductors. As for the pure physics involved that I can not help you with. But I can give you a bit of understanding in the lay principles.

     

    With Alternating Current (AC) we have what is known as the “Skin Effect”. This is caused by electromagnetic eddy currents that cause the electrical flow to be greatest towards the surface of the conductor.

     

     

    The intensity of this effect is the result of the frequency at which the current is being transmitted. The higher the frequency the greater skin effect. At 60 hz (which is what the standard for North America) and with copper as the conductor the skin effect causes electron flow to be concentrated at the outer 8.5 mm’s (or about 1/3 of an inch). The skin effect causes the effective resistance of the conductor to increase with the frequency of the current. At 60,000 Hz (60 kHz), the skin depth of copper conductor is around 0.25 mm or about 0.01 inches. When frequencies are high enough the interior of large conductors do not carry much current.

     

     

    Where this becomes used in a practical sense is with the high-voltage, high-current overhead power lines. It is common to use aluminum cable with a steel reinforcing core or known as ACSR cable (Aluminium conductor steel-reinforced ). Steel has a higher resistance to current flow than aluminum but it will not matter much because the steel will be below the skin effect depth where essentially almost no current flows. The outer aluminum strands are typically a high-purity 1350 or 1370 aluminium alloy. This aluminum is  because of its excellent conductivity at a low weight and cost.

     

    So next time you look up into the sky at them overhead power cables think about what is going on and remember it may only be skin deep.




    “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

    Albert Einstein



    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


    You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and on my Blog.


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    Rub a dub dub... about them dishes in the tub! Douglas County Home Inspections

     

    Okay here another thought for all of us out in Home Inspection land and Real Estate professional.

     

    With the new version of the Electrical Code the outlet for the dishwasher will have to be GFCI protected, this does not mean just a receptacle, and outlet from Article 100 is, "A point on the wiring system at which current is taken to supply utilization equipment." Which means receptacle outlet, lighting outlet, or hardwired.

    Per NEC 210.8 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel

     

    Subsection (D)  Kitchen Dishwasher Branch Circuit. GFCI protection shall be provided for outlets that supply dishwashers installed in dwelling unit locations.

     

    So for most this mean just putting in a GFCI receptacle if you have a cord and plug installation, but hold on that will not do. This or any GFCI needs to be readily accessible and that means; Capable of being reached quickly for operation, renewal, or inspections without requiring those to whom ready access is requisite to actions such as to use tools, to climb over or remove obstacles, or to resort to portable ladders, and so forth.

     

    Now add to the mix that at least here in Washington State the kitchen has to have arc fault protection then you're going to have to really think about how this protection will be provided.

     

    Square-D has now come out with a dual function AFCI/GFCI Breaker. This will solve this issue.  But unless you have a Square-D panel you maybe out of luck. I am sure the other manufacturers are not far behind.

     

    Notice the Purple button



    Another scenario is that you have a AFCI breaker in the panel and then GFCI device such as a blank face style (no receptacle) GFCI that is in A “Readily Accessible” location. By definition under the sink would not met this requirement.

     

    Blank Face GFCI

     

    So like many things this will be a little painful in the beginning but we will work though this. These changes are likely here to stay so we all will need to deal with it at one time or another.




    “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



    You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and on my website Blog.


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    Distant drumming of the Diatoms, Diatomaceous Earth in Attics Chelan Home Inspection






    What is this diatom you are drumming about? Well these are a vast group of photosynthesising algae. They have a siliceous skeleton which is commonly used as an abrasive and also because it is a siliceous material it is also a desiccant.





    Diatoms are one of the largest organism groups on the planet and can be found in almost every aquatic environment, be it freshwater, saltwater and even damp soils.

     

    Because of their abundance, diatoms probably account for as much as 20% of global photosynthetic fixation of carbon. I guess there are greenhouse gas friendly.

     

     

    This lead us to Diatomaceous Earth (DE). Diatomaceous earth is comprised of the fossilized remains of these diatoms.  Diatomaceous earth is typically an off white talc-like powder. Needless to say it is a very dusty material. Most diatomaceous earth is an amorphous silicon dioxide. So good hygiene practices/PPE (personal protective equipment) should be used. Also most of DE is not pure and may contain very low levels of crystalline silicon dioxide, which is potentially harmful substance.



    Where this comes into play for us as home inspectors, home owners or Realtors? It is that this diatomaceous earth may be found in Attic Spaces or even crawlspaces, most likely older homes like what I found on a recent home inspection.

     

    (Diatomaceous Earth in Attic)

     

    Diatomaceous earth was and still is used as for pest control. It was used in older home for this reason. It works, because like glass it can rub holes through the outer shells and joints (the abrasive part) of pests and then sucks out moisture from the insects’ bodies (desiccant part). So it is dangerous to those little critters with an exoskeleton. This is not a chemical pest control in the normal sense because the method of killing is physical.

     

    (Diatomaceous Earth)



    Other uses for DE ranged from a mild abrasive used in products such as toothpaste, a stabilizing component of dynamite, liquid absorbent, filler in plastics and rubber, cat litter, activator in blood clotting studies, and a thermal insulator

     

    You will still find diatomaceous earth in you local stores in the garden area.

     

     

    Because ot the mode in which it controls insects it fairly safe to use around people and pets, with just a couple of simple precautions of course.

     

    So with their abundance these little creatures, the diatoms, will still be drumming in the distant future.



    “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

     

    You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and on my website Blog.


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