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  1. So much for discussing whatever we want!! See ya!!
  2. Terry, If we're talking apples/apples here, what you describe may be vitreous clay blocks/tiles. When I was a kid my stepdad was still using the pipe style vitreous clay for sewer installs or repairs. Some of the pipe had rubber gaskets in a bell on one end. I think the foundation blocks and wall tiles are the same thing: the clay is fired once to set it, then refired with a glaze applied. The crock sounds like a dry well, and under the dirt you may find gravel or even shards of the vitreous clay blocks/tile.
  3. Brian, In the squirrel world lead is an aphrodisiac. Rhinos also use it after losing their horns, but have not learned to get to the flashings without falling thru the roofs.
  4. Hey Brian, One of my first "real" jobs (early 60's) with my step-dad was learning to cut and thread galv. and black iron pipe. We were also packing and pouring moulten lead around cast iron drain joints. I still see galv. water lines and even bought a home in 2000 that still had some. It had low rate of flow at several fixtures and I fixed it readily by replacing the main feed. The line from the street had been replaced. It seems the horizontal runs always clog before the vertical and in my experience it is worse at joints, especially street elbows for some reason. If I suspect galv. coming from the street I know it is near the end of it's service life and always advise a pro's evalutation. I have a couple of fittings I use to show clients and if my camera will take a good enough close up I will post them soon. Galv. drain pipes will also clog, and the long 1-1/2" kitchen drains seem to be the worst for this. The only lead I have seen has been drain lines, but because they also involve galv. pipe I suggest a pro eval. here too.
  5. In my lifetime I have driven an airline pilot to the airport to report for a flight [:-knockout] less than 8 hours after we had partied together. To question his violation of the safety rules would have meant questioning my own denial about my drinking habits. I am sure he was peer reviewed and had to meet exacting standards. I was a Physician Assistant for 20 yrs. I worked with several surgeons who were little more than hacks [:-skull] and they were able to continue practicing only because the support staff kept their mistakes alive and the referring physicians were just as mediocre. Dennis hit the nail on the head. As long as the mediocre inspectors are assured a supply of clients from the realtors, licensed or not, they will continue to keep us all at their level. I no longer see this issue as black or white. Since visiting this and another forum, I now believe that one can accept referrals from realtors and still protect the interest of one's client. The question becomes why would I want someone with a vested interest in the sale of a house to have anything to say about how my business is conducted? Well, I don't! I am all for licensing of HI's in Ohio and I think it should be administered by the same board that oversees engineers and architects. Previous attempts at legislation have failed and I suspect that somewhere in the smoke a realtor or two were lurking. [:-eyebrows][:-eyebrows]
  6. I do most of my inspections where no code authority exists and have seen expensive new homes with no ventilation for basement or crawl or sited below finish grade. On two occasions I have recommended evaluation of structural concerns by an engineer and the "buyer's" realtors consulted with competing HI's to contest my findings. One of these guys is a former realtor and the other is a former inspector who is now a realtor. To say that they are in bed together is an understatement.[:-banghead]
  7. Another fantastic idea. Before my ex decided I should relocate and my back wore out, I had a remodeling business in Cincinnati and was headed toward doing restoration work on the old girls. My most memorable project was a civil-war era concrete house (one of three on the street). I got to build a wall and replicate woodwork in the "parlor" and then went on to work for this couple for about nine months doing all kinds of things, including two bedrooms and a bath in the previously unfinished attic. And it was all done for time and material. THOSE were the days my friends.
  8. Sign me up for crappy week. My "little" brother (6'/350/54y/o) has been in ICU all week..has had two silent heart attacks and is not a surgical candidate because of weight and diabetis. I have been taking Mom to see him and it was not pretty from Sunday to Thurs. He has shown remarkable progress, but his wood cutting days are over. Wife and I are quitting smoking. Mom called last night at 11:00 PM...her water heater was leaking. Took me SIX hours to change it today..I had to come home to get the BIG wrenches to break the unions. Then the old tank was so full of gunk it wouldn't drain, so I loaded it on my hand truck and found out the tires are flat. New tank 7" shorter than old, holes in different places and I haven't sweated copper in about 5 yrs. Installed new unions and they stopped leaking after the fourth or fifth tightening....grrrrrrrrrrrr. I know this is petty compared to sick kids, but I've been there and done that and it's supposed to be easier now, isn't it?? Maybe it's just been our turn in the barrel and Monday will bring sunshine and lollipops to us all.
  9. Just so you know going in...we designated drivers have been known to take our buddies to the wrong hotel just for the yucks.
  10. George, I used up my party ability by age 32, will be sober 25 yrs. in Aug. That is not to say I wouldn't love to meet each and every one of you. Minimal standards would help keep costs down and those standards could be pretty high. The insurance could actually be a vehicle for recognition of excellence on a national level. There might even be a way to do a non-profit set-up. I think we mostly agree that eliminating the bottom feeder nusance suits would engender the most savings. I know that an occasional ligitimate claim will be made, but if it is known that member inspectors will also be protected, the gnats will go elsewhere. Even if this goes nowhere, I am really glad to be witness to this dialog.
  11. George, It has been my contention since learning of the high rates in 2000 that the insurers saw a good thing and they will milk it untill we finally say enough. I got "sued" about a yr. ago. I responded to the claim made by the client's attorney, met with him once, and made it clear that no E&O insurance would be involved. I knew they would roll over and pay and with my deductible at 3 grand, no way. Suit got dropped 3 days before we were to see the judge. I have since dropped my E&O coverage after thinking about the math. If 500 of us put $1,000 each in a kitty, we could hire our own shark to investigate any and all claims and still have a nice Christmas party at the end of the year.
  12. Hi Alan, When I took the NACHI on-line exam it was 100 questions; I scored 93 in 30 mins. and for that reason decided to not pursue joining that particular org. I believe our standards need to be higher than that. Another thought re: gaining knowledge. See if you can spend some time with HVAC, electric, plumbing, or whatever tradespeople. They might only be doing a service call for something simple, but most will answer your questions and steer you right if you buy the coffee. I grew up building/remodeling and have read, read, read for years. I truly enjoy sharing my knowledge with my clients. This is a serious business and we perform a valuable service. We may even be preventing injury or death because we strive to ensure safe homes for our clients. Best of luck.
  13. n/a27


    I learned the basics of this the hard way (most memorable way). If you pull an outlet that is in a circuit that is under a load upstream of the pulled outlet, logic says the black wire will fry you. Well, the white (neutral)wire will bite too!! Maybe not as hard, but it will bite. Now, if the ground wire is tied to the white, any current going to ground will energize both wires. If the appliance (and you) offer the best ground.....zzzzzzzzzzzap!!
  14. Dennis, If realtors can't grasp a simple concept like: "I don't care if you sell this house or not", how do we get them to grasp a mechanical device that competes with them producing hot air??
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