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  1. Today
  2. I bought a Fenix PD35 in 2016 and have loved it since. I bought 2 extra batteries and keep them in my tool bag. 1000 lumen, several brightness settings, lightweight, tough and reasonably priced. This conversation prompted me to invest in the UC35 which has micro USB charging and a charge level indicator on the control button. Pretty cool.The E30R looks very nice, but I prefer to have a holster for my torch; less likely to fall from my hip into 18" of blown in fiberglass.
  3. Yesterday
  4. I like the little cheap ones because of they fit in my pockets so well. That scalloped rim on many models is supposed to be designed to break out a car windshield from the inside, in the event you are trapped in there.
  5. I've done a few over the years. Do what I can and write a report. What else could you do?
  6. Last week
  7. That's one reason I resist the trend towards the little flashlights, I want something with more heft. At my pre-licensing training in '02, there was a story by one of the speakers about how the inspector had gotten in trouble with the seller on account of him spilling the brain matter of his dog with a single blow of his flashlight. The dog had attacked him in the kitchen. German Shepherd, if memory serves.
  8. I've been using an Olight M20-X Warrior light for the past 6-7 years. Switch has never failed, have replaced one rechargeable battery and it has a 3-level switch. Has served me very well. Kurt M. gave me a head's up on this Olight many years ago when he was still active on TIJ. I recall one additional plus he made about the Olight was the scalloped light shroud that could be used to keep REAs at bay. I'm retired now, but still use the Olight for a multitude of projects each and every week.
  9. Time to replace the battery or the entire flashlight as my rechargeable Streamlight Stinger DS LED has left me stranded a couple of times now. I really loved the light when I replaced my Ultra Stinger with the $20 bulbs that would take a dump if you bumped the light with it turned on. Now though, I want more; an adjustable focus from flood to spot and dimmable settings. I have a couple of "no name - As Seen On TV" lights that have those features and are honestly as good operationally as the Stream light except they are so much smaller and cheaper that I don't really trust them yet. Flashlights have come a long way in the past few years.
  10. we have done thousands and thousands. Seriously during one 45day period we only did re-pos and not one single occupied "normal" house. no advice. abt 60% were semi-trashed and very difficult to inspect for a variety of reasons; no utilities, damage, trash etc. now we only do one or two a week.
  11. I've done similar - more than once. The magic pixies get real angry when you let them out of a circuit.
  12. Reminds me of that poem by Hilaire Belloc: Some random touch, a hand's imprudent slip The terminals flash, a sound like "zip" A smell of burning fills the air The electrician is no longer there!
  13. One of electricity's mysterious aspects is that you cannot see it at work. You can only test remotely, by measure, it performance. Sometimes when performance teeters off the stage it can only be traced by signs it left behind. This panel was installed ca. 2008 by licensed personnel. Why the shadows of arcs and the partially melted hot connection in the pic? Jim Baird
  14. we often advise homeowners to physically move out of house when a major build or remodel goes bad for just that reason. They return home every day and see the problem. anecdotally - likely 60% of the actions we win there is no actual money or value recovered. it cost a lot of money to be right.
  15. During the early days of the economic downturn, I did lots of foreclosed houses, but I can't remember how many were HUD/FHA. They were all crap. Those are not fond memories.
  16. I think that anyone who has lots of experience doing legal stuff understands that the legal route is rarely the best course of action. I've also got to stress that getting the demo done fast is supremely important. As long as the tiles are there, they're not just tiles; they're a physical symbol of a screw-up and they cause an emotional reaction every time anyone involved looks at them. After they're gone, the symbol is gone and you go back to moving forward (and healing).
  17. No, but I probably should look into them. We are at near zero inventory. In my zip code there are currently 5 houses for sale. Two are foreclosures, one Is a double wide that has been vacant for a decade or more. It was a total loss when i looked at it 8 years ago, $61k. The other is a little 1960 ranch with tarps on the roof for $30k. There is a new listing 2000sf 1870 colonial for $179k that's probably overpriced. The last is an outlier, 5000sf, 150 acres, $1.2 million in a community with a median price of about $100,000. The neighboring towns aren't much better. We had more inventory at the peak of the crash.
  18. I would plan on spending a significant amount of time on your reports early on. Jim has a wealth of experience and his reports will undoubtedly be faster than yours as a newer inspector. If you are going to use any of the popular reporting programs, it takes time to organize photos and even longer to caption them if you go that route. It is also quite an investment to create and organize narratives and develop your template. Additionally, when you run into installations and materials that you are unfamiliar with, time will be spent researching those. I often find myself on tangents when reading installation manuals and looking into code requirements. If you want to be thorough, you cannot be fast. That's my opinion.
  19. i am too embarrassed to post the other photos of the removal. embarrassed for him, not me! I do lots of legal stuff and my kid is an atty, so you would think i would take that route, but in fact I am letting the guy off the hook a little while he wraps his head around the costs and effort this involves. maybe I will post more photos.
  20. The fact that tile can be removed is proof positive that it wasn't properly installed. One cannot remove a properly installed tile in one piece. If the tile are 12x12 or larger, the ASTM standard includes back buttering and a 1/2" trowel.
  21. One thing I've learned about construction mistakes: Get the demo done as fast as possible. Everyone involved prefers re-doing to un-doing.
  22. Yet another topic where, despite my 20+ yrs experience, I find myself a beginner. We don't get many HUD FHA foreclosures around here. The subject property was the only one listed for my county. I took the bait as it is in my town of current (30 yrs) residence. Subject property was foreclosed under FHA rules, bank completely off the hook. No utilities allowed to be connected. Property offered "as is". Buyer big time beware. HUD sends a crew from two states away to "inspect", although they will not activate any utilities. The crew energized the electric system with a generator, and said they operated two HVAC systems and found them operational. I, working for a buyer not yet under contract, found this at disconnect of a condenser. I have never seen a disconnect jerried to not switch off. Maybe it kept tripping and they stuck this screw in there to keep it on. Owners who walked from the house took the water heater with them, but left behind a fairly late model car with good tires with a license plate expired in Oct '17. Do the brethren here do many of these half vast inspects?
  23. Yet another topic where, despite my 20+ yrs experience, I find myself a beginner. We don't get many HUD FHA foreclosures around here. The subject property was the only one listed for my county. I took the bait as it is in my town of current (30 yrs) residence. Subject property was foreclosed under FHA rules, bank completely off the hook. No utilities allowed to be connected. Property offered "as is". Buyer big time beware. HUD sends a crew from two states away to "inspect", although they will not activate any utilities. The crew energized the electric system with a generator, and said they operated two HVAC systems and found them operational. I, working for a buyer not yet under contract, found this at disconnect of a condenser. I have never seen a disconnect jerried to not switch off. Maybe it kept tripping and they stuck this screw in there to keep it on. Owners who walked from the house took the water heater with them, but left behind a fairly late model car with good tires with a license plate expired in Oct '17. Do the brethren here do many of these half vast inspects?
  24. well, he was really onboard until we started removing tiles. now not so much. At this time I am trying, in vain, to make him understand he can't remove tile and reset the same tile without clearing the back of tile. also looks like we will have to replace the heat film. stay tuned.
  25. That's true if you're using it to look inside an electrical panel, but not in a large attic or crawlspace. In those spaces, 350 lumens is probably the bare minimum. Try including some Surefire products in your next review. They're made in the USA, they're solid performers, and they're nearly indestructible. I've got an 8-year old G2X Pro that's never had its switch replaced.
  26. I did some serious research into this way back in the '90s and found that the numbers were even worse than yours. I tracked them over a 2 year period and found that after 24 months, only 1 in 17 was still in business. That was before licensing in Oregon, when you could just fall into home inspections with little or no commitment. I suspect that the numbers are a little bit better now because it takes more time, money, and education to get started. And that's the problem. Most people who get into this think of it as a job, not a business.
  27. Will the tile guy be participating in this exercise?
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