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    I am here to push your buttons- GFCI’s required around your home. Home Inspection Wenatchee

     

    I have been writing on the new requirements that will be adopted for GFCI’s (ground-fault circuit-interrupter) and AFCI’s (arc-fault circuit-interrupter). With the new rules adoption of the 2014 NEC I am trying to put this all together.



    Lets talk GFCI’s, as a home inspector in Washington State we are to test GFCI’s and recommend their installation in area required by “Industry Standards”, nothing like lawmakers dancing around the word “CODE”. So you can say when I am on a Home Inspection I am there to push your buttons… for GFCI’s that is.



     

    With no dancing involved here is the code section for the requirements of GFCI’s. (Bold and underline is mine).

     

    NEC 210.8 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel

    Ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel shall be provided as required in 210.8(A) through (D). The ground-fault circuit-interrupter shall be installed in a readily accessible location.

     

    Definition: Accessible, Readily (Readily Accessible)

    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.

     

    (There are other sections of the code that require GFCI protection see other areas below)

     

    Now we got that out of the way here is the list of locations that will be required in the home in regards to 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in these locations.

     

    Bathrooms- A bathroom is defined as “an area including a basin (sink) with one or more of the following: a toilet, a urinal, a tub, a shower, a bidet, or similar plumbing fixtures.”

     

    Garages, and also accessory buildings that have a floor located at or below grade level not intended as habitable rooms and limited to storage areas, work areas, and areas of similar use.

     

     

    Outdoors,  Exception to this rule: Receptacles that are not readily accessible and are supplied by a branch circuit dedicated to electric snow-melting, deicing, or pipeline and vessel heating equipment shall be permitted.

     

    Crawl spaces, at or below grade level.

     

    Unfinished basements, unfinished basements are defined as portions or areas of the basement not intended as habitable rooms and limited to storage areas, work areas, and the like

    Exception: A receptacle supplying only a permanently installed fire alarm or burglar alarm system shall not be required to have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection.

     

    Kitchens, where receptacles are installed to serve the countertop surfaces.

     

    Sinks, (all sinks including the kitchen sink) where receptacles are installed within 1.8 m (6 ft) of the outside edge of the sink. This would include a disposer receptacle under a kitchen sink, a microwave or refrigerator if within 6 feet of the sink.

     

     

    Boathouses

     

    Bathtubs or shower stalls, where receptacles are installed within 1.8 m (6 ft) of the outside edge of the bathtub or shower stall

     

    Laundry areas, all 120v receptacles, even the washing machine.

     

    Boat Hoists, GFCI protection shall be provided for outlets not exceeding 240 volts that supply boat hoists installed in dwelling unit locations. It is important to note that it applies to all outlets, not just to receptacle outlets. Therefore, both cord-and-plug-connected and hard-wired boat hoists are required to be GFCI protected.

     

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



    Other Areas (you need to keep in mind)-

     

    Hydromassage bathtubs, (Jet tubs) The GFCI device protecting the hydromassage bathtub is required to be readily accessible. Where the GFCI device is installed in the space under a hydromassage bathtub, the opening to that space must provide ready access.

     

    Electrically heated floors,  of bathrooms, kitchens, and in hydromassage bathtub locations.

     

    Hot Tub and Spa,  the outlet(s) that supplies a self-contained spa or hot tub, a packaged spa or hot tub equipment assembly, or a field-assembled spa or hot tub shall be protected by a ground-fault circuit interrupter.

     

    Pools,  Outlets supplying pool pump motors connected to single-phase, 120-volt through 240-volt branch circuits, whether by receptacle or by direct connection, shall be provided with ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.

     

    Fountains, Luminaires, submersible pumps, and other submersible equipment, unless listed for operation at low voltage contact limit or less and supplied by a transformer or power supply that complies with 680.23(A)(2), shall be protected by a ground-fault circuit interrupter.

    If anyone finds something I missed please let me know.

     

    Electric Drinking Fountains (I have run into these on home inspections) The GFCI protection must be either part of the fountain, included in the receptacle for the fountain, or provided on the branch circuit feeding the fountain. Bottled water coolers are not considered electric drinking fountains.

     

    If anyone see an area I missed please let me know and I will update this list.

     

    “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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    No grandfathers here. When you replace you must upgrade. East Wenatchee Home Inspection

     

    As always when a new code cycle comes out there it takes time to get many onboard with the changes that come with the new cycle. This includes, building officials, tradesman and home inspectors.

     

    This is very true of the new 2014 NEC which was adopted on July 1st in Washington State.





    Per 2014 NEC, 406.4(D) it now requires replacement receptacles to be AFCI, GFCI, or tamper resistant, where replacements are made at locations requiring such protection. So unless you have an exception you must upgrade to the new receptacle, no grandfather clauses here.

     

    One provision of the code that seems to be having a bit of division on meaning is when it comes to replacing receptacle specifically in areas that require AFCI protection per current standards.

     

    The way I read it it seems pretty clear. But there are those who are Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) that are not quite seeing this the same way. My feeling is that this will get corrected and everyone will be on the same page. But until then there may be varying interpretations of this provision.

     

    So here is exactly how the code for replacement receptacles reads.




    NEC 406.4 General Installation Requirements

     

    Receptacle outlets shall be located in branch circuits in accordance with Part III of Article 210. General installation requirements shall be in accordance with 406.4(A) through (F).

     

    (D) Replacements.

    Replacement of receptacles shall comply with 406.4(D)(1) through (D)(6), as applicable. Arc-fault circuit-interrupter type and ground-fault circuit-interrupter type receptacles shall be installed in a readily accessible location.

     

    (1)Grounding-Type Receptacles.

    Where a grounding means exists in the receptacle enclosure or an equipment grounding conductor is installed in accordance with 250.130(C), grounding-type receptacles shall be used and shall be connected to the equipment grounding conductor in accordance with 406.4(C) or 250.130(C).

     

     

    (2)Non–Grounding-Type Receptacles.

    Where attachment to an equipment grounding conductor does not exist in the receptacle enclosure, the installation shall comply with (D)(2)(a), (D)(2)(b), or (D)(2)(c).

    1. A non–grounding-type receptacle(s) shall be permitted to be replaced with another non–grounding-type receptacle(s). A non–grounding-type receptacle(s) shall be permitted to be replaced with a ground-fault circuit interrupter-type of receptacle(s). These receptacles shall be marked

    2. “No Equipment Ground.” An equipment grounding conductor shall not be connected from the ground-fault circuit-interrupter-type receptacle to any outlet supplied from the ground-fault circuit-interrupter receptacle.

    3. A non–grounding-type receptacle(s) shall be permitted to be replaced with a grounding-type receptacle(s) where supplied through a ground-fault circuit interrupter. Grounding-type receptacles supplied through the ground-fault circuit interrupter shall be marked “GFCI Protected” and “No Equipment Ground.” An equipment grounding conductor shall not be connected between the grounding-type receptacles.

     

    (GFCI receptacles)

     

    (3)Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters.

    Ground-fault circuit-interrupter protected receptacles shall be provided where replacements are made at receptacle outlets that are required to be so protected elsewhere in this Code.

     

    Exception: Where replacement of the receptacle type is impracticable, such as where the outlet box size will not permit the installation of the GFCI receptacle, the receptacle shall be permitted to be replaced with a new receptacle of the existing type, where GFCI protection is provided and the receptacle is marked “GFCI protected” and “no equipment ground,” in accordance with 406.4(D)(2)(a), (b), or (c)

     

     

    (4)Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection.

    Where a receptacle outlet is supplied by a branch circuit that requires arc-fault circuit-interrupter protection as specified elsewhere in this Code, a replacement receptacle at this outlet shall be one of the following:

    1. A listed outlet branch-circuit type arc-fault circuit-interrupter receptacle

    2. A receptacle protected by a listed outlet branch-circuit type arc-fault circuit-interrupter type receptacle

    3. A receptacle protected by a listed combination type arc-fault circuit-interrupter type circuit breaker

     

    (5)Tamper-Resistant Receptacles.

    Listed tamper-resistant receptacles shall be provided where replacements are made at receptacle outlets that are required to be tamper-resistant elsewhere in this Code.

     

    (6)Weather-Resistant Receptacles.

    Weather-resistant receptacles shall be provided where replacements are made at receptacle outlets that are required to be so protected elsewhere in this Code.



    It is of my opinion that it is pretty clear, you must upgrade to these newer devices when receptacle replacement is performed. But as a home inspector I only get to make recommendations and it will be up to the AHJ’s to come to a consensus on this provision.



    “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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    Electromagnetic Harvesting, The energy envelope is all around us.

     

    It is  everywhere in our modern society, Electromagnetic Fields. The sources come from radios, TV’s, phones, receptacles, power lines and even from the heavens above… energy of the clouds.

     

     

    Well a German Student Dennis Siegel decided that with all of this free energy around there must be a way to tap into it.

     

    Siegel designed a electromagnetic harvesting device, actually two depending on frequency to obtain the energy from.

     

    These two types of harvester are aimed at collecting this energy, one is for most of the household devices with fields in the lower frequencies 100Hz or less. The standard electrical power to home is at frequencies of 60 Hz in North America and 50 Hz in most of Europe and some other countries.

     

    (Small Harvester)

     

    The second harvester is for those fields in a higher frequency (above 100 hz), these items would be your routers/bluetooth devices (2.4 GHz/5 GHz), radio frequencies (~100 Hz), cell phone frequencies (800 to 1900 Mhz) etc…

     

    These harvesters take that energy and then store them in batteries that you can use for other devices. Depending on the strength of the electromagnetic field it can charge a battery in a day.

     

    So the next time you are sitting around your coffee pot and getting that caffeine juice you can have your harvester there too juicing up a battery.

     

     

    Electromagnetic Harvester from Dennis Siegel on Vimeo.

     

     

    For more information here is a link- http://dennissiegel.de/electromagnetic-harvester/



    “The process of scientific discovery is, in effect, a continual flight from wonder.”

    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 website Blog.


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

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

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

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


                Alaska                The United States


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

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


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

                                 Humpback Whales Alaska

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

     

                         Sea Lions Alaska       Harbor Seals Alaska

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

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

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

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

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

    Charlie Chaplin


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

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


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    Shocking, The inventor of the GFCI…. Charles Dalziel                     Chelan Home Inspections

     

    Ever wonder how the GFCI ever came about. Well it turns out that Charles Dalziel(1904–1986), a professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences at UC Berkeley, back in the early 1960’s was doing experiments on the physiological effects of electric shock on humans.

     

    Charles Dalziel

     

    Link to his research paper- Deleterious effects of electrical shock

     

    In his study he conducted a series of test to determine the minimum current required to produce  ventricular fibrillation of the heart. Some of this was based on an earlier study,”AC shocks of varying parameters affecting the heart” using sheep and other animal subjects. Turns out that the sheep's heart was most vulnerable to shocks that fell during the T phase of the electrocardiogram of the heart.

     

    Out of all of this research it lead him to invent the Ground Fault Current Interrupter (GFCI). Which he received a patent on in 1961.

     

     

    Just three years after Dalziel received his patent manufacturers produced a commercially viable product that the National Electrical Code then required swimming pool underwater lighting systems to have Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter protection. The first introduction of GFCI protection.

     

    Some basic numbers discovered out of his on other research is that the resistance of hand to hand or hand to foot is about 1000 ohms(there are variables on this and is used as a basic guideline). It was also found that the heart works on 40 hertz cycle, which is not too far from the 60 hertz cycle used in North America (50hz in Europe and other countries), so we are very close to tuning the AC circuit to the hertz cycle of the heart. It was found that around even around 30mA of 120v/240v at 60hz can cause fibrillation and it can be as low as 1mA (and lower) if it is a direct enough path, GFCI’s work on a 5mA threshold.

     

    Typically around 10 to 20 mA you reach the “let go” threshold when the current will create a muscle contraction that you will not be able to override (it’s about 1mA per 10 lbs). As a musician in my early days I learned to always test potential “Hot” objects with the back of my hand. That way if you are shocked and have an involuntary grasp reaction that is was easier to pull away. I test panel covers and other electrical components this way today.

     

    OSHA- How Electrical Current Affects the Human Body

     

     

    At the time of Dalziel patent there was about 1,100 accidental electrocutions per year and now that has reduced to over half that number even though electrical usage and components have grown exponentially.

     

    It is very hard to know exactly how many lives have been saved because of these devices but if one may have been your child I think most would think it is worth 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

     

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


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    Just a touch away, Delta Touch2O faucets                 East Wenatchee Home Inspections



    Lets start with a lyric from a famous classic rock band

     

    “Nothing much, is all I know and it's alright, oh yes Light as a feather, and just a touch away”

     

    Deep Purple

     

    During a recent home inspection I came across several of Delta’s touch faucets, the brand name is ToucH2O.  This model was from their pre March 2011 series.  These units are battery operated and should not be connected to any power source other than batteries.



     

    Needless to say the one on this inspection was not functioning due to no batteries installed.

     

    Here is the faucet, you will notice it has a mounting bracket / spout insulating element at the base below the faucet spout and control handle.  Obviously you need the spout to be insulated from conductive surfaces.

     

     

    In this photo below you may notice that one of the base insulators will have a red LED light on it showing that the faucet is working. (No red light on mine)






    Read more: http://www.deltafaucet.com/pdf/productdocuments/Model_980T-MI-preMarch2011-63440RevB_15727.pdf

     

    There is also a Hands-Free option if the model is a Touch2O.xt faucet.  This faucet has a sensor that senses your presence within 4” and automatically shuts off within seconds once you remove your hands.

     

    Read more: http://www.deltafaucet.com/smart-solutions/touch2oxt.html#ixzz38lwKDHQ3

     

    These device may become more commonplace as we have seen in commercial applications. It would of been fun to actually try this device but I was a “Touch Away”.

     

    “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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    Residential Dryer Fires… You mean I have to clean? Wenatchee Home Inspection Services



    New report from USFA on Residential Dryer fires.

     

    (Don’t let this be you)

     

    I tell my client on every home inspection that cleaning your dryers should be done on a regular basis.  The USFA has just released a report on residential dryer fire “Clothes Dryer Fires in Residential Buildings (2008–2010)”. This back up my recommendations to my clients during a home inspection.

     

    (Transition Duct)

     

    Another very important piece is that you  want to use a proper transition duct, this hooks the dryer to the dryer ducting. Remember just because you can buy in the box store does not make it proper or safe. Many of the cheap transition ducts are dangerous and may void warranties on your dryer.

     

    The International Mechanical and Residential Building Codes specify “UL2158A Listed” materials to be considered as code compliant. Listed products should meet and/or exceed flame burning tests of at least 430 degrees Fahrenheit.

     



    According to the report:

     

    An estimated 2,900 clothes dryer fires in residential buildings are reported to U.S. fire departments each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.

     

    Clothes dryer fire incidence in residential buildings was higher in the fall and winter months, peaking in January at 11 percent.

     

    Failure to clean (34 percent) was the leading factor contributing to the ignition of clothes dryer fires in residential buildings.

     

    Dust, fiber, and lint (28 percent) and clothing not on a person (27 percent) were, by far, the leading items first ignited in clothes dryer fires in residential buildings.

     

    Fifty-four percent of clothes dryer fires in residential buildings were confined to the object of origin.

     

    Report Link-

     

    http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/statistics/v13i7.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

     

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

     


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    Travel log Tuesday- Stories from Stockholm

     

    Here is another story from my Travels in Sweden.

     

    Leaving Wenatchee in the heat of the summer (100+ degrees) and fire season for Sweden seemed even better because we would get a little reprieve from the heat and smoke.  But as luck would have it we would arrive in Sweden during a heatwave (for Sweden that is, it still felt cooler though).

     

     

    The first part of our Journey starts off in Stockholm. Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and has over 900,000 residence. There is over 2 million people in metropolitan Stockholm.  

     

    The main part of Stockholm is built on 14 islands connected by some 50 bridges. The waterways are part freshwater and part saltwater where Lake Mälaren merges into the Baltic Sea.

     

     

    Like several coastal cities in northern Europe many people live on their boats.



     

    An option for staying in the city is one of several floating hotels or hostels (ship below). We thought about this before we arrived in Stockholm but opted for a regular room that was very nice, but after seeing a few of these we thought how much fun would that be.

     

     

    But on of my favorite area was the old town… Gamla Stan. This area dates back to the 13 century. It has that classic European feel.

     

               

    Streets and Alleys

     

    Tyska kyrkan (The German Church)

     

        

    The Royal Guard at the Palace

     

    But in Stockholm is really is about being on the water. My wife and I did a boat tour called “Under the Bridges”. It was about a 2 hour narrated excursion around the town. I would highly recommend this if you ever get to visit the city. So relaxing yet you learn so much about the history of the city.  Nice to sightsee with a little cheese and beverages if you know what I mean.



     

     

     

    There is more to tell about our adventure. But I will save that for another time. So I will leave you with this Swedish Proverb.

     

    “Bättre lyss till den sträng som brast än aldrig spänna en båge.”

    Translation- “Better listen to a broken string than never having bent a bow.”

     

    And as always a travel quote-

     

    “To travel is to take a journey into yourself.”

    Danny Kaye

     

    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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    Are you now a fan? A little light on the subject.                  Kittitas Real Estate Inspections

     

    As always it seems I run into certain items on a home inspection in groups.

     

    This item is a fairly common one, switching out a light for a fan (without a light). This maybe okay, catch word… maybe, but you may have now just created another issue. It is required that each habitable room (bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms, dens etc…) needs to have a switched light source. This can be achieved by a switched light fixture or a receptacle that can control a lamp (with exceptions for baths and kitchens). You can also use a motion sensor to achieve this requirement with some conditions.

     

    By code this requirement goes back to the mid 70’s. But was in practice much earlier than that.  If the room already has switched lighting you cannot remove that function even though at the time of build it may not have been required.

     

     

     

     

     

    Here is how the code reads-

     

    Per NEC 210.70-

     

    Habitable rooms— At least one wall switch-controlled lighting outlet must be installed in every habitable room and bathroom of a dwelling unit. See the definition of "Lighting Outlet" in Art. 100. There are two exceptions to this rule.

     

    Exception No. 1: In other than kitchens and bathrooms, a receptacle controlled by a wall switch can be used instead of a lighting outlet.

     

    Exception No. 2: Lighting outlets can be controlled by occupancy sensors equipped with a manual override that permits the sensor to function as a wall switch.

     

    Notes:

    A receptacle outlet controlled by a wall switch is not permitted to serve as the required lighting outlet in kitchens and bathrooms.  A switched receptacle is not considered one of the receptacle outlets required by 210.52 unless it is a split duplex receptacle.

     

    Occupancy sensors are permitted to be used for switching lighting outlets in habitable rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms, provided they are equipped with a manual override or are used in addition to regular switches.

     

     

    The other issue when replacing a ceiling light with a fan is that the existing junction box may not be rated for the weight of the fan. Most plastic juntion boxes will not meet the requirements unless specifically designed for fan installations. So you need to be sure that the junction box is appropriate for mounting a fan.

     

    Remember when you do a simple project it just may not be that simple, knowing the rules that apply is very important.



    “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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    The burning fact, the story of the 9V battery gone bad.  East Wenatchee Home Inspection

     

    Well till I found this while doing some other research I would of never thought of this. But there is a potential fire hazard when storing 9 V batteries.  If you are like me I have many of these 9v batteries laying around in drawers and other areas. I never gave one thought that these could be potential issue for fire.



     

    Turns out this has happened on several occasions. Now I am not saying this is a common occurrence but it could happen.  

     

     

    With the positive and negative terminals on a 9v battery being close together there is the potential if a metal object touches the two terminals causing a short circuit.  This effect was like the old camping trick of using steel wool and a 9v battery as a fire starter.




     

    So throwing those 9v batteries into a drawer or other storage area where it could potentially contact some metal such as aluminum foil, keys, pens, steel wool (duh), other batteries, bobby pins, pens etc… could heat up just enough to ignite a combustible object nearby such as tissue paper.

     

    Below is a video on a house fire that was started by a 9v battery being collected for recycling.



    As stated in the video and from the NFPA it should be good practice to place some electrical or duct tape on the terminals of a 9 v battery to prevent accidental ignition potential.

     

    The NFPA suggest this-

    • Keep batteries in original packaging until you are ready to use them.

    • If loose, keep the posts covered with masking,  duct, or electrical tape. Prevent the posts from coming in  contact with metal objects.

    • Keep them someplace safe where they won’t be  tossed around.

    • Store batteries standing up.

    • 9-volt batteries should not be stored loose in a drawer.  Do not store them in containers with other batteries.




    Here is a couple link on this-

    http://www.nfpa.org/~/media/files/safety%20information/safety%20tip%20sheets/9voltbatterysafety.pdf

     

    https://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/firesafety/news/20120808-9-volt-batteries.html

     

    “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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    Bonding of other systems, stop the shock. East Wenatchee Home Inspection Services



    Bonding of other systems, Intersystem bonding what you need to know.

     

    Proper bonding is one of the most crucial mechanisms when it come to safer electrical installations.  By bonding all systems together this will help reduce potential induced electrical ( knows as voltage ) differences between the homes power and communication equipment, such as phone, cable and satellite. These differences can come from lightning, accidental energizing and even static energy.

     

    Another issue with more and more sensitive electronic equipment proper bonding  (and grounding) is even more important. So proper bonding is not only a safety issue, but also helps protect that electrical equipment from negative electrical effects on sensitive electronics.

     

    Intersystem Bonding Terminal

     

    So in the 2008 electrical code it became a requirement to install what is called an intersystem bonding termination.

     

    From the 2008 NEC Handbook- “The code requires that separate systems be bonded together to reduce the difference of potential between them due to lightning or accidental contact with power lines. Lightning protection systems, communications, radio and TV, and CATV systems must be bonded together to minimize the potential differences between the systems. Lack of interconnection can result in a severe shock and fire hazard.”

     

    ( IBT on new Construction)



    From the 2014 NEC-                      

     

    250.94 Bonding for Other Systems

     

    An intersystem bonding termination for connecting intersystem bonding conductors required for other systems shall be provided external to enclosures at the service equipment or metering equipment enclosure and at the disconnecting means for any additional buildings or structures.

     

    The intersystem bonding termination shall comply with the following:

    • Be accessible for connection and inspection.

    • Consist of a set of terminals with the capacity for connection of not less than three intersystem bonding conductors.

    • Not interfere with opening the enclosure for a service, building or structure disconnecting means, or metering equipment.




    Bonding to metal conduit at meter



    In homes built prior to the  Intersystem Bonding Termination requirement. The grounding conductor and any antenna discharge unit must terminate to the nearest accessible location in the following locations:

    • Building or structure grounding electrode system [250.50].

    • Interior metal water piping system, within 5 ft from its point of entrance [250.52(A)(1)].

    • Accessible means external to the building, as covered in 250.94.

    • Metallic service raceway.

    • Service equipment enclosure.

    • Grounding electrode conductor or the grounding electrode conductor metal enclosure.

     

    Bonding requirements for other systems does go back a ways, in 1981 NEC 250.71 (b) was the first occurrence of this specific code provision.

     

    When doing home inspection I am always evaluating these bonding areas to see if they are performed correctly. It does not really matter if these systems where installed prior to these requirements the danger is still there and should be corrected.





    Here is an example of of communication system going to an independent ground rod. Well this one is very independent since the grounding conductor has come loose. These independent ground rods need to be bonded to the main grounding electrode system even if they were installed before these requirements to prevent potential electrical differences.




    “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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    Dry charge, loopholes, refrigerants, cooling costs and you! Chelan Home Inspections

     

    If you live in a part of the country that air conditioning is part of your life you should have some information when it come to servicing and replacing Air Conditioners (AC’s) and Heat Pumps.

     

    So one of the items I look at when evaluating HVAC systems during a home inspection is what type of refrigerant is in these systems.  As of 2010 all new AC’s and Heat Pumps should be using the newer non-ozone depleting refrigerants, such a R-410A. R- 22 has been the standard for quite some time and is typically what you will see in older units.






    Back in 1987 there was an international agreement called the Montreal Protocol. This agreement requires a worldwide phaseout of ozone-depleting CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) which R-22 is one. So by 2020 R-22 will not be produced anymore and the only available materials will be recycled and reclaimed materials.

     

     

    Per the Montreal Protocol by 2010 the U.S. is required to reduce its consumption of HCFCs by 75%. This means that new equipment can not use Virgin R-22, HVAC  (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning)  manufacturers can not produce new air conditioners and heat pumps using R-22. Another benefit for the switch is that the newer refrigerant (R-410A) is more energy efficient. But since the R-410A refrigerant has higher working pressures than the older R-22, these older systems cannot be filled with this refrigerant so replacement of the both coils are required. At this point it really make sense to install a whole new system with will have all new components.




    Dry Charged Heat Pump



    But wait... there is a loophole,  called “Dry Charging”. While R-22 cannot be installed in new units at the factory some companies will manufacture a new unit with no refrigerant in it. Since the manufacturers is not putting in any refrigerant in they are not breaking the law. But they are breaking the intent.  So in these “Dry-Charged” units the field technician will install the refrigerant (R-22). See how that works!

     

    Why all of this? Because it is initially cheaper to the homeowner to replace just the exterior unit, but that initial lower cost will have some downstream cost. One as the R-22 becomes more restricted the cost will go up.

     

    A typical residential air conditioning unit can hold anywhere from 5 to 15 pounds of R22. Now lets say you are pay $50 a pound,  you can do the math on what the true cost to the new unit is. And future servicing will get much more expensive.

     

     

    Also think about this, you just replaced the exterior coil, what about the rest of the system? It is all getting older and and will need more servicing. Another little tidbit is that dry charged units typically offer much shorter warranty periods.

     

    In February of 2011 Carrier actually tried to petition the EPA to remove this loophole but they did not succeed.

     

    So what is the biggest reason for replacing these units? It is from compressor failure. But this is where things get a little more complicated. When a compressor burns out it spreads highly acidic burned oils throughout the system. Now if the installer does not properly clean and flush the system, these acidic oils and other contaminates will circulate throughout the system and immediately begin to damage new components.

     

    Dry Charged AC label

     

    So while it sounded appealing and cost effective in the first place it really is not as good of deal as you think. It has been my experience when this type of replacement is performed that the installation is not performed all that well.  People are looking for a cheap installation and that is exactly what they get.

     

    I recommend investing that money into a new system, it may sound more expensive at first but most likely will save you money and aggravation in the long haul.



    Additional information on R-22 and Dry Charging-

     

    http://www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/phaseout/22phaseout.html

     

    http://contractingbusiness.com/archive/carrier-petitions-epa-close-r-22-loophole




    “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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    What is a Sufficient Number of Receptacles? A historical review of Convenience receptacles.

     

    In modern homes we want to have proper amount of receptacles in the home for convenience and to keep people from using extension cords on a more than temporary basis.  As a home inspector the use of extension cords other than temporary power is a safety issue.

     

     

    There are code provisions that determine what the minimum spacing of receptacles needed. We refer to this as the “6 and 12 rule”. Where there will be no space greater than 6 feet from a receptacle measured horizontally. There should be at least one receptacle on any wall space that is 2 feet or greater. This requirement applies to habitable rooms (Habitable: any room used or intended to be used for sleeping, cooking, living or eating purposes.) Note that the NEC does not define “Habitable Rooms” but does reference the term in the code.

     

    So lets do a little walk through electrical history and I am going to keep this to mainly indoor convenience receptacle requirements and habitable rooms with a few exceptions.

     

     

    Let us get started, in 1923 convenience outlets first appear NEC section 1404: "Receptacles for attachment plugs (convenience outlets) are strongly recommended in order to facilitate the use of electrical appliances which, otherwise, must be connected to sockets designed primarily only as lamp holders."  I can’t help but always think of “A Christmas Story” when the “Old Man Parker” is trying to light up the Christmas tree and sparks are a flying.

     

    Now in 1928, NEC section 1602, it was recommended that each room be provided with at least two attachment plug receptacles.

     

    The 1933, NEC section 2012, The following was  recommended  for all single family dwelling having provisions for cooking (electrically or otherwise) that have a total floor area for a single family of more than 400 square feet square feet.  Every kitchen, dining room, breakfast room, living room, parlor, library, den, sunroom, recreation room, and bedroom should have a sufficient number of receptacle outlets that no point on the wall be more than 15 feet distance from such outlet. At least one receptacle outlet to be installed near to each permanently installed laundry tub or set if such tubs.

     

    In 1935 the recommendation was slightly modified and it was “required”  in NEC section 2010 to have at least one receptacle outlet in each 500 square foot floor area.

     

    Now in 1937 per NEC section 2010 it was now “required” that there could be no more than 10 feet of wall space from a receptacle in every kitchen, dining room, breakfast room, living room, parlor, library, den, sunroom, recreation room, and bedroom. At least one receptacle outlet to be installed near to each permanently installed laundry tub or set if such tubs.

     

    Then in 1940 NEC section 2110 the requirement was changed to one receptacle per every 20 feet or major fraction thereof  of a total distance around the room as measured horizontally along the wall  at the floor line. In 1947 a receptacle in the floor that was not close to the wall would not count towards this requirement.

     

    In 1956 NEC section 2124  the “20 foot rule” (linear wall/floor measurement) was changed to a “12 foot rule” using the same measuring methodology.

     

    So comes 1959 and we get what is pretty close to our modern requirement of the “6 and 12 rule”. NEC section 210-22 states, “receptacle outlets shall be installed so that no point along the floor line in any usable wall space is more than six feet, measured horizontally , from an outlet in that space including any usable wall space two feet or greater and the wall space occupied by sliding panels in exterior walls.”

     

    1968 brought a new term “Family Room” which was added to the listed rooms types.

     

     

    In 1971 it required at least one receptacle installed outdoors, adjacent to a bathroom basin, and in each basement, attached garage as well as fixed room dividers.

     

     

    Here comes the 1990’s and with it the explosion of kitchen appliances.  In 1990 NEC Section 210-52 (C) Counter Tops; “In kitchen areas and dining areas of dwelling units a receptacle outlet shall be installed at each counter space wider than 12 inches.  Receptacles shall be installed so that no point along the wall line is more than 24 inches, measured horizontally from a receptacle outlet in that space. Island and peninsular counter tops 12 inches or wider shall have at least one receptacle for each four feet of counter top. Counter top spaces separated by range tops, refrigerators, or sinks shall be considered as separate counter top spaces.”

     

     

    There are more minor tweaks in the following code cycles but this does get us to what our modern requirements are.

     

    Codes change over time but there really is two basic reason. The changes are made to reflect changes in technology and address any life safety issues.

     

    “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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    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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    Circuit breaker orientation. Up, down and all around.       Chelan Home Inspections

     

    When performing home inspections on older homes/housing stock you often will run into odd, or out of the norm installations.

     

    One such case was an older home with a panelboard installed horizontally versus the normal installation of a  vertical installation. This is not a normal installation of a panelboard. But the question is, Is it wrong? If so why?

     

     

    Now there are some practical reason why this is not a good, code or no code.  On this particular home the cover wants to keep shutting on you which is actually dangerous because of the weight of the cover it could actually injure you when trying to access the circuit breakers. Some of these old dead fronts are pretty darn heavy.

     

    But lets get back to the question at hand, is it okay? Well the answer is “maybe” and “it depends”.

     

    Prior to 1975 the code is silent on orientation. So in 1975 the National Electrical Code added Sections 240.33 and 240.81.

     

    1975 NEC, Section 240.33 Vertical Position.

     

    Enclosures for overcurrent devices shall be mounted in a vertical position unless in individual instances this is shown to be impracticable.

     

    1975 NEC, Section 240.81 Indicating (Bold underline is mine)

     

    Circuit breakers shall clearly indicate whether they are in the open (off) or closed (on) position. Where circuit breaker handles on switchboards are operated vertically rather than rotationally or horizontally, the ‘up’ position of the handle shall be the ‘on’ position.

     

    Hold on here, there is a word that needs to be understood, “Switchboard”. This is where semantics comes into play. A “Switchboard” is a different beast than a “Panelboard

     

    Here is how the code defines these two type of boards-

     

     

    Switchboard.

    A large single panel, frame, or assembly of panels on which are mounted on the face, back, or both, switches, overcurrent and other protective devices, buses, and usually instruments. These assemblies are generally accessible from the rear as well as from the front and are not intended to be installed in cabinets.

     

    These are typical in commercial settings.

     

     

    Panelboard.

    A single panel or group of panel units designed for assembly in the form of a single panel, including buses and automatic overcurrent devices, and equipped with or without switches for the control of light, heat, or power circuits; designed to be placed in a cabinet or cutout box placed in or against a wall, partition, or other support; and accessible only from the front.

     

    So we can see that the orientation of the circuit breaker handles is only applied to those installed in Switchboards, it does not apply to Panelboards which what we normally see in residential.



    So now comes the 1984 NEC and there is some modification of Sections 240.33,  240.81.

     

    In section 240.33 there is an exception now included-

     

    Section 240.33 Vertical Position

    Enclosures for overcurrent devices shall be mounted in a vertical position

    Exception: Where this is shown to be impracticable and complies with Section 240-81.

     

    The handbook for 1984 added this notation.

     

    “This section indicates that a wall mounted, vertical position is desirable to achieve easier access, natural hand operation, normal swing or closing of doors or covers, and legibility of manufacturer’s markings.”

     

    Now the other change of note is that the term “Panelboard” was now included in 240.81.

     

    1984 NEC, Section 240.81 Indicating

    Where circuit breaker handles on switchboards or in panelboards are operated vertically, rather than rotationally or horizontally, the ‘up’ position of the handle shall be the ‘on’ position

     

    In the 1990 NEC  section 240.81 removed the terms “Switchboard and Panelboard”

     

    240.81 Indicating

    Circuit breakers shall clearly indicate whether they are in the open “off” or closed “on” position.

    Where circuit breaker handles are operated vertically rather than rotationally or horizontally, the “up” position of the handle shall be the “on” position.

     

    Then in the 1999 NEC  we get another slight modification of the vertical position.

     

    1999 NEC Section 240.33 Vertical Position

    Enclosures for overcurrent devices shall be mounted in a vertical position unless that is shown to be impracticable. Circuit breaker enclosures shall be permitted to be installed horizontally where the circuit breaker is installed in accordance with 240.81. Listed busway plug-in units shall be permitted to be mounted in orientations corresponding to the busway mounting position.

     

    The modification of this section is to deal with busways and their various attachments. Here are  examples of circuit breakers on a busway (from Square D).



     

     

    So this get you to our modern version of these code sections.



    “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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    Shocking... GFCI protection for pool pumps and more. Wenatchee Home Inspection

     

    We are moving towards GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter)  protection for almost any location that could be remotely associated with water and electrical outlets and equipment.  

     

    One area seems to be a no brainer is receptacles, outlets and equipment associated with swimming pools, and to be a little more specific I am focusing on in ground pools.



     

    Now any receptacle for circulation and sanitation equipment need to be GFCI protected. Also any circuit to a motorized pool cover needs to be GFCI protected.

     

    Pool cover circuit needs GFCI protection

     

    But one area I want to focus on is the pool pump itself. There have been some changes in recent codes in regards to when GFCI protection needs to be provided. As a home inspector in Wenatchee and Eastern Washington I see my share of pools. Though pools are outside the State SOP’s  I feel electrical safety is just too important to not be part of the home inspection.




    So lets jump into the water so to speak. The code started picking up pool motor protection in section 680.22.

     

    680.22 Area Lighting, Receptacles, and Equipment.

    (A) Receptacles.

    (5) GFCI Protection.

     

    The 2002 NEC required that all 125 volt receptacles located within 20 feet of the inside walls of pool or fountain be GFCI protected. Receptacles supplying pool pump motors rated 15 or 20 amperes, 120V through 240V, single phase, be provided with GFCI protection. But there was a slight problem, there are some receptacles that are rated for 250v.

     

    The 2005 NEC cleaned this up and changed the section to read that GFCI protection is required for receptacles that supply pool pump motors rated 15A or 20A, 125V through 250V, single phase.

     

     

    In the 2008 NEC Section 680.22 a new subsection was added.

     

    (B) GFCI Protection

    Outlets supplying pool pump motor from branch circuits with short-circuit and ground fault protection rate 15 or 20 ampere, 125 volt or 240 volt, single phase, whether by receptacle or direct connection, shall be provided with ground fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.

     

    In the 2011 NEC  GFCI protection was added to section 680.21 for motors.

     

    Article 680 II Permanently Installed Pools

     

    680.21 Motors

    (C) GFCI Protection.

    Outlets supplying pool pump motors connected to single-phase, 120-volt through 240-volt branch circuits, whether by receptacle or by direct connection, shall be provided with ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.

     

    Now remember that per code an “Outlet” is a point on the wiring system at which current is taken to supply utilization equipment. This term is frequently misused to refer to receptacles. Although receptacle outlets are outlets, not all outlets are receptacle outlets.

     

    “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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    Burning Down the house. Direct Vent Gas fireplaces. Chelan Home Inspections

     

    “My house's out of the ordinary, That's might don't want to hurt nobody

    Some things sure can sweep me off my feet, Burning down the house”

     

    Talking Heads- “Burning down the house”



    Sometimes during a home inspection you find something that you go “How long before this catches fire?”



    Wood charred from heat

     

    On a recent home inspection I found the direct vent from a gas fireplace had begun charring the roof overhang from the vent. Often in areas where I do home inspections snow and ice can be an issue so protecting protrusion from the home is often desired. But in this case you need to ensure you have proper clearance to combustibles.




    Improper clearance to overhang



    Most gas stove installations requires a minimum of 12 inches to unvented soffits or other like areas such as under decks, verandas or porches.



     

    It is very important to understand that often these appliances are rarely used so even if there is no evidence like in this situation that these clearance need to be verified.

     

    We do not want our clients humming to the tune of “Burning Down the House”.

     

    “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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    The missing piece. Metal Plate Connected Wood Trusses.        Cle Elum Home Inspections

     

    It is very important when during a home inspection to try to traverse the attic space if possible, and it is require by Washington State Home Inspection Standards when we are able to do so. But often this is very difficult in truss design roof structures. With a 4:12 pitch or less and blown in insulation often it is not really possible to fully traverse the attic space or get much past the access hatch.

     

     

    So on a recent home inspection I can across a situation. We had a HVAC air handler installed in the attic space. This is nice because I get a platform to view the attic from. To install air handler, whomever the installer was, had to cut a truss to install the unit. The number one rule with “Trusses” is that they are not be cut, notched, drilled, spliced or altered without proper approval to do so. Well I am pretty darn sure that did not happen.

     

    Something is missing



    What gets complicated is that most modern trusses are metal plate connected (MPC) wood trusses. Trusses are designed for specific design criteria on proprietary software packages by the plate manufacturer.  So when you order your truss package you will provide the truss manufacturer information; Live and dead loads, snow loads, wind speed, roof design (slope and heel height), bearing points etc… This also includes any unusually items such as a concrete roof, attic space or equipment in the attic so the truss system has to be designed to handle all the loads and design features.



    The Missing Piece



    So the question is, was this truss system designed to have even have an Air Handler in the attic and can the truss system handle this additional loading? You would need to know what the original design analysis was that determines the axial, shear and bending forces of a given area of the truss design.




     

    If you can find the truss manufacturer stamp (typically on the bottom cord) that will be the easiest path to pursue. If that information is not found then an engineer/registered design professional will be needed to design a repair.



     

    From the 2012 Residential code on truss alterations-

     

    R802.10.4 Alterations to trusses.

    Truss members shall not be cut, notched, drilled, spliced or otherwise altered in any way without the approval of a registered design professional. Alterations resulting in the addition of load (e.g., HVAC equipment, water heater) that exceeds the design load for the truss shall not be permitted without verification that the truss is capable of supporting such additional loading.

     

    So any time a truss is damaged or has been modified an engineer/registered design professional or truss manufacturer will be needed to design a repair

     

    “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

     

    Instructor- Fundamentals of Home Inspection-  Bellingham Technical College



    www.ncwhomeinspections.com                                                  509-670-9572



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


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    The Brown Recluse Spider, The legend of…        Chelan Home and Pest Inspections

     

    Well being a structural pest inspectors I have gotten several calls over the years on spiders, and especially the Brown Recluse Spider. I even grew up thinking there was Brown Recluse spiders in Washington State because my dad said there was. You always believe what your dad says, right?

     

    Brown Recluse

     

    First off I am structural pest inspector so my main concern is those bugs and organisms that can cause structural damage to homes (wood destroying insects) ; termites, carpenter ants, anobiid beetles, moisture ants and so on.

     

    But since I am a “Bug Guy” people think I must know about all of the bugs, well no and not even close. But I do happen to be interested in bugs so I do know some information about “Some” bugs that fall outside these structural pests and one of them is the Brown Recluse.

     

    Brown Recluse Range

     

    There are many myths or legends of the Brown Recluse in Washington State, but most of all they are myths and legends. The Brown Recluse does not inhabit the NW region. It has been proven that Brown Recluse spiders are extremely rare in Oregon, Idaho and Washington. They have most likely have been brought in with something like furniture or boxes that came from a different part of the country where they do inhabit. Often what people are seeing and even may been bitten by are Hobo Spiders or Yellow Sac Spiders. Both of these are not aggressive and usually only bite if they are trapped against you.



    Yellow Sac Spider

     

    The CDC (Center for Disease Control) list the Hobo Spider as one of the three venomous spiders, but this is highly debateable if their venom is really that dangerous to humans. Now remember almost all spiders are venomous, only two small families of spiders lack venom glands.

     

    CDC Link- http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/spiders/



    Hobo Spider



    The question with the Hobo Spider is their venom really dangerous to humans? From my research I would say it is probably not. Now with that said, a specific person may have a toxic reaction to a specific spider bite but it most likely will not be life threatening and will be localized.

     

    Washington Dept. of Health- Spiders

     

    So the next time you hear someone say “I have been bitten by a Brown Recluse” in Washington State you are most likely safe in saying that is probably not the case.

     

    Black Widow Spider

     

    Now if you want to talk Black Widow Spiders, those I see a ton of. But I like to tell everyone these are very shy creatures and I carry a much bigger hammer.

     

    Homeowners Guide to Spiders around the Yard (Idaho)




    Playing with Black Widow Spiders

     

    “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

     

    Instructor- Fundamentals of Home Inspection-  Bellingham Technical College



    www.ncwhomeinspections.com                                                  509-670-9572



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


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    Is my window too high off the floor for emergency egress? Manufactured Homes Rules.

     

    Wenatchee Home Inspection Services.

     

    This is a quiz for those who sell and do home inspections on Manufactured Homes. What is the required sill height for egress windows/emergency escape and rescue?

     

    Well lets look into this a bit.

     



    Most of us home inspectors know that the IRC (2012 IRC- 310.1) requires a sill height of not more than 44 inches measured from the finished floor to the bottom of the clear opening.  

     

     

    But the standard for a manufactured home is actually different. Manufactured home use the HUD standards which are define in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR’s) specifically 24 CFR Part 3280 - “MANUFACTURED HOME CONSTRUCTION AND SAFETY STANDARDS”

     

    Here is the HUD Standards for egress windows-

     

    CFR 3280.106 Exit facilities; egress windows and devices.

     

    (a) Every room designed expressly for sleeping purposes, unless it has an exit door (see§ 3280.105), shall have at least one outside window or approved exit device which meets the requirements of § 3280.404, the “Standard for Egress Windows and Devices for Use in Manufactured Homes.”

    (b) The bottom of the window opening shall not be more than 36 inches above the floor.

    (c) Locks, latches, operating handles, tabs, and any other window screen or storm window devices which need to be operated in order to permit exiting, shall not be located in excess of 54 inches from the finished floor.

    (d) Integral rolled-in screens shall not be permitted in an egress window unless the window is of the hinged-type.

     

    Manufactured home uses AAMA standard 1704-85 which is very similar to the IRC requirements of egress window openings.

     


    You see the Manufactured Home actually has a stricter requirement that requires 36 inches above the floor versus the 44 inches required by the IRC along with only a 5.0 Sq. Ft. opening requirement like the IRC for grade floors.

     

    “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

     

    Instructor- Fundamentals of Home Inspection-  Bellingham Technical College



    www.ncwhomeinspections.com                                                  509-670-9572



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


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