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  1. That's what got me thinking about the cold water. Vapor diffusion is a slow process, especially in new homes (vapor barrier, vinyl siding, etc…). Therefore, the heated pipe would add heat and not moisture, thus no change in dew point. If hot water were dumped down the drain, the drain would not stay hot for long, not allowing much time for vapor to pass into the wall cavity by diffusion (there would be no standing water in the pipe, and the specific heat of PVC is quite low in comparison to water, plus a lower density). Plus, the RH in the winter is already very low, and heating would only decrease it further, so where is the moisture to come from in the winter with a vapor barrier installed? Cold water in the pipe lower than the dew point in the summer would cause the insulation to become saturated if condensation occurred. Once the condensation has occurred in the wall, the vapor would be pretty well trapped between the vapor barrier and vinyl siding. That’s what I’m seeing in the pictures is the entire cavity with mold; the moisture has spread throughout the cavity via insulation osmosis. I think we all can say that the wall needs to be properly insulated, especially around the drain pipe. I’ll just reiterate my stance and be sure to insulate behind the drain pipe on the exterior facing portion of the pipe with foam. Oh, and fix that worthless stud.
  2. Well, my bracket is shot. Anyone else?
  3. First off, in the first picture, you need to add another stud next to the one that has almost been completely notched out by the drain piping. How dare they put all that wood in the plumber's way. [] What I'm wondering is if the back side of the drain line was insulated. I'm guessing that there was no insulation between the exterior and the drain line. Almost as if insulation was placed over the drain, providing no insulation behind. That would cause condensation to form on the pipe on the back side when COLD water was put down the drain in the summer. (Hot water would add heat, thus decreasing RH). I'd say, be sure to insulate completely around the pipe to prevent condensation. Maybe use foam.
  4. Oh, I didn't say it wouldn't help. 10% sounds about right, though on the high side (the walls are insulated). Also, one of those documents states "up to 10%" loss through the floors. The best would be if the floor was insulated. However, If you can insulate the floor and decrease the maximum 10% down to say 5%, that would save you $5 per month on a $100 heating bill. Is that worth it? Well, maybe. All I'm saying is that it may not give you the results you want. Personally, I'd only insulate it if my feet were cold (which I did in my old house).
  5. Is the area you are looking in a heated climate? As others have said, get rid of the water first. Knowing that the majority of your heat loss is out the roof, insulating the floor may not give you the results you are after, especially if the walls are insulated. If you do want to insulate, I say insulate with no vapor barrier.
  6. Pretty good. Engineering is heavily influenced by lessons learned (just like any code book, IRC, IBC, ASHRAE, NFPA, B31.1, B31.3, etc...). Yes, failures have occurred in the past, but these failures are a part of our learning as human beings and make us smarter in the long run. Thank god for engineers (it is almost St Patrick’s day you know; the patron Saint of Engineers). Actually, engineers have developed all the codes and standard practices inspectors follow. It’s the engineer’s broad based technical education that is the building blocks of progress of humans.
  7. My vote is for KU! Kansas will win (but lose in the final 4 [])
  8. One more chapter in the drama, the builder is billing the insulator for the fix. I bet this insulator loves me. Everyone loves being told they're wrong. [] I seriously wonder how many homes this insulator has done incorrectly in this area? I'm betting hundreds, and every other home in my neighborhood thus far.
  9. Well, after almost 3 weeks, the builder is finally admitting defeat, especially since I got the city engineer involved. [] I "told" on them. The city engineer asked for documentation and any technical reason for the backwards installations, and while they said they had it, they could not produce any. So, I talked to the builder today and he said, "well, I guess we're going to tear out the drywall and do the patch work...". Almost as if he's doing me a favor. Oh well. I won. [] Thanks everyone for your input.
  10. Glad to hear it Kurt. I too love a good debate. As the saying goes, mud wrestling with a pig is like arguing with an engineer; sooner or later you'll realize the pig likes it. (Truth be known, I didn't answer some of your questions because I felt the conversation was going south...)
  11. While I've never made the claim to disagree, this is exactly what I have yet to start collecting fees for my services as a home inspector. I want experience. Others may just jump out of the box not knowing what they’ve doing (I live in a state that does not require any HI licensing), but I want to know exactly what’s going on. I have certain personally created goals that I want to meet before I start. That’s just how I feel. The only point I was making that a PE, or any engineer has a better platform to build experience on. That's all. Is that really that crazy of a take on this subject? Most people have this misconception that, take a structural engineer for example, only take classes on structures, which is not true at all. The core engineering curriculum for most any discipline includes classes in fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, electrical circuits, and statics. It's not that a engineer is better than anyone else, it's that they pick up on things much quicker than others (well, those who paid attention in school that is []) Are we all still friends? []
  12. Now hold on everyone. This was not to turn into a pissing match. While I've given my opinion (I a fully knew it wasn't going to be popular), I've also stated that I lack the knowledge to ethically (IMO) take someone's money for my services. I've also stated that there is no replacement for experience. If some of you think that I'm trying to "show off", or have a "chip on my shoulder", you are not reading me correctly. The reason I'm here is to learn. Not from "lesser souls", but from more experienced inspectors. I was only giving my OPINION. I've even stated that I think the PE license is too easy to keep and hold. So, for those of you who think I'm trying to be better than anyone, ask yourself this; why am I here asking questions if I have all the answers? Now on the other hand, I’m sure I can offer others here some good advice as well, as long as those “experiencedâ€
  13. I see you had to use dictionary.com’s definition to find out what psychrometrics is. (Oh, and there was a typo in my first response; it's psychrometrics, not psychometrics.) [] However, while your definition is not “wrongâ€
  14. Yeah, homes rarely have air conditioners and boilers, and knowledge of psychometrics is worthless. []
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