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Steve Knight

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    Home Inspector

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  1. It's hard to tell from one picture, but based on the size and location of the pipe and the age of the home, it might be an old sandpoint well casing. I do alot of rural inspections and see these all the time. If you can get the cap off and see how deep the pipe extends down you will generally know. If it's more than 10' deep it's generally a sandpoint.
  2. Kurt, Some of the builders in my area are using this product for the vapor retarder in finished basements. The product is suppose to provide a vapor barrier with a vapor permeance of 1 perm or less during winter, but allow below grade block or concrete wall to dry to the inside during summer months and prevent moisture buildup inside a fiberglass energy wall. I believe the University of Minnesota did some tests on this product, but I have not seen the results.
  3. I suggest you hire a Forensic Engineer. They specialize in providing scientific information on the cause and affects of accidients. If you are dealing with the RR or their attorneies you will need good documentation and scientific evidence. Your insurance company may be able to help you contact a good Forensic Engineer. You might want to file a claim with them, as they should help you settle a claim with an outside party that causes damage to your home. Good Luck.
  4. If there is a large amount of air leakage from conditioned space in the home into the attic adding additional ventilation will not help. Two places I frequently find large bypasses at are around chimneys and in soffits. When I see signs of condensation at the eaves it is frequently from a soffit that was framed prior to drywalling and contains a large bypass.
  5. I agree, inadequate return air flow is most likely the problem. Sometimes I see this when the filter is clogged. I can't see how more refrigerant would help.
  6. I ran across this web page called the history of industry brands a year or more ago. I book marked and have referred to it several times. The few items I have double checked have all been correct. http://www.johnmills.net/work/history.html
  7. You can download a copy of the ASTM standard E2018 at the ASTM website www.astm.org, but it will cost you $44. The form can be downloaded in PDF format and includes a license agreement to allow you to print the document for inclussion in inspection reports. The primary purpose of the Standard is to define a level of due diligence for lending institutions. Standard and Poors also has a published guide. The Standard and Poors guide requires the inspection to be performed by a licensed engineer. You can down load a copy of the Standard and Poors guide at their website.
  8. Richard, I looked into water testing when I first started up. I typically do inspections right after the PA is signed. The mortgage companies want the testing done within 30 days of closing. As the closing is ussually more than 30 days after closing doing water testing would require a second trip to the home. With lab and travel costs I could not compete with other water test companies. Steve
  9. Kondrad, Black 2" plastic water line is probably HDPE (High Density Polyethylene). The line from the well to the pressure tank is normally connected with a clamp to a special female fitting that is pushed into the pipe prior to fastening the clamp. Most of the water lines from well I see come in under the footing through a 4" sleeve. Typically the sleeve terminates in the basement floor and extends out 5' from the outside wall of the house.
  10. Terry, I had a similar problem earlier this year. I had water on one knee following a string of crawl space inspections. Doctor advised me to wrap the knee and always wear knee pads when kneeling. I bought a strap on pair that I primarily use in crawl spaces. I also have a pair I can put on under clothes. The problem I had with them is they were always sliding down. I use an inspection mirror for some things, but not under sinks. Its too hard to see everything.
  11. I saw this flue on an older GSW power vent water heater today. While the water heater has a power vent, it still has a draft hood. When I got inside and started up my Monoxor II it read 5ppm. I took it outside to check calibration and it went back down to 0. Back in up to 5. Whole house was at 5ppm. There was a significant back draft occuring at water heater flue. There was virtually no wind, but outside temp was 20 degrees below indoor temp. Back drafting was causing CO from pilot light to flow back into house. A return air duct was located just outside mechanical room and seemed to be spreading CO throughout the whole house. Download Attachment: water heater flue.JPG 102.91 KB
  12. I just inspected a Heat-N-Glo gas fire place and found their product installation manuals on the web at http://www.heatnglo.com/products/fireplaces/index.asp. The model I inspected was SL-550TRS-D. There was a table in the installation manual showning minimum height from roof to lowest discharge opening (bottom of termination cap). The required height above the roof depends on roof pitch. The roof I inspected was 6/12 and required height above roof was a minimum of 12". The termination cap is also suppose to be 2' minimum from a vertical wall or horizontal overhang.
  13. There has to be some means of drying the crawl space. As Mike noted, this can be done by making the crawl space part of the conditioned space or by venting. The link Mike provided to the Building Science Corp web page is a great source of information. The builders guide for various climates you can find on this link are well worth the investment. Only 5-10% of the homes I inspect (in Minnesota) have crawl spaces. However, I have seen a ton of problems in poorly vented or improperly sealed crawl spaces.
  14. Donald, According to the CPSC fact sheet on CO - CO alarms should be installed according to the manufacturer's instructions. CPSC recommends that one CO alarm be installed in the hallway outside the bedrooms in each separate sleeping area of the home. CO alarms may be installed into a plug-in receptacle or high on the wall because CO from any source will be well-mixed with the air in the house. Make sure furniture or draperies cannot cover up the alarm. You can see the Fact Sheet at http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/466.html
  15. Donald, I agree with Richard. New construction requires a 4 wire/4 prong dryer connection. If buyer has been using dryer at a previous house it may have the wrong pigtail and the pigtail might need to be changed for use in a new home.
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