The purpose of a home inspection is to evaluate the function and safety of a home’s systems and components. In most homes, a home inspector will look at 300 to 500 items.
During this Oswego home inspection, the water temperature was found to be 150 degrees Fahrenheit. This is scalding hot water that can burn a person in a matter of seconds. The fix is simple: turn down the water temperature on the water heaters control valve to the manufacturer’s recommendation, which typically is 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
While at a home inspection in St. Charles, I noticed water running out of the extension pipe of the water heater’s Temperature Pressure Relief (TPR) valve. TPR valves are design to release water from the water heater if the temperature exceeds a certain temperature or if pressure in the plumbing pipes exceeds a certain level.
As water temperature rises, water expands. As water expands it has to go somewhere. The pipes are already full when the water isn’t heated so what happens to this excess water? In older homes the water would be pushed back into the supply pipes from the city. However, cities don’t like this as there is the chance that this pushed back water is contaminated. For many years, cities have required back flow preventers to be installed at the water meter to stop this excess water from going back into their supply lines.
Therefore, expansion tanks are now installed, typically at the water heater, that absorb the excess water when there is a demand for hot water. In this particular situation, it’s not that the water temperature exceeded a certain level but that the expansion tank is sagging and most likely waterlogged, making it incapable of absorbing the water. The expansion tank needs to be either bled or replaced. Many homeowners see that the TPR valve is leaking and figure it’s faulty when, in fact, it is doing its job. Whenever the TPR valve is leaking, its recommended a plumber be called to diagnose the problem and make the appropriate correction.
During a recent Yorkville home inspection, a boot for the HVAC supply register wasn’t connected to the PVC duct in the concrete floor. An opening in the PVC duct was never cut by the builder to attach the boot. This can negatively affect the comfort level in this room.
I would bet the first home owner never had a new construction home inspection.
During a home inspection in Aurora, the condensate drain tube for the air conditioner was terminated directly into the waste stack of the plumbing system. This can allow sewer gases to enter the tube, making its way into the HVAC system, and subsequently spread into the house through the duct system.
Obviously, sewer gases can be a health problem. Drain lines are typically terminated above a floor drain.
On a recent home inspection in Montgomery, water was found in the HVAC duct that serves multiple lower level rooms. This duct system was installed in the concrete slab.
Water here indicates that the duct has been compromised, allowing ground water to enter. This can lead to many other problems, such as poor indoor air quality, radon entry, elevated moisture levels in the house, and so on. Unfortunately, there is not an easy solution to this problem. However, there are companies that can reline the ducts, or installed new ducts in the ceilings of the lower levels. In either case, be prepared because repairs will be costly.
This Batavia home inspection revealed an imminent safety hazard. The exhaust vent has rusted and fallen apart. Exhaust gases, which may contain carbon monoxide and other harmful gases, are being vented directly into the crawl space. These gases can migrate into the living area of the house.