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InspktorJim's Achievements

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  1. I am not using an HP camera, but are you indicating that the "adaptive lighting" can be made to occur in the camera? I agree that not all photos have the same problems, but most often, the HP adaptive lighting capability adequately fixes most of them. If I could just have every picture go through this, and create a separate file so the original is still available, then I would significantly reduce the picture editing one at a time. Jim
  2. I currently use HP Photosmart to do some photo editing prior to pasting them into the report. It has a feature called "Adaptive Lighting" that is really great for selectively altering the contrast in certain areas of a photo. If parts of a photo are very dark, it can lighten up that area selectively, not affecting the other areas. I wonder if anyone has knowledge of any batch photo editors that have this capability. Just select a folder and do an "enhance" to all photos as necessary. It would also be great if it preserved the original photo, and just appended an "a" or "b" to the enhanced photo file name. Jim
  3. I work for an inspector that has his own self made report template based on MS Word. It is not likely that he would move from this template because the customer base really likes the narrative style he has developed, and he has a lot invested in it. I would like to have an "add-in" that would be a two or three level dropdown list box to select specific predefined text statements, some may be as large as 5K characters. When selected, it would paste the item at the current cursor location, and be formatted per the document formatting at that location. Since he already uses the native autotext in MS Word, it would need to not affect its operation. I believe that several of the MS Word report systems out there do have capability similar to this, but I need something I can just install with our current MS Word report template. I'm sure that it could be developed, but perhaps someone has something that could work for us. Jim
  4. I worked at a Lowes for a while last summer. Here in Boise, the Lowes preach customer service, but what it mostly amounts to is welcoming the customer, helping them to the proper isle, and keeping a very neat and clean store. At the same time, Home Depot was getting national attention for very poor in-store customer support, their stores were messy. For both, the training is weak, the pay is poor, and the turnover is high. Not the characteristics of where to go for home repair advice. Both these stores have some good people, but the average homeowner will not know how to tell the difference. The good thing about them is that they continue to feed the need for home inspectors. Stores like this can help create more inspection business, because much of the advice they get is either wrong or incomplete. If I am asked by a client where to go for something beyond cosmetic, I first recommend a qualified contractor, giving examples of fine points that an "Uncle Harry" repair can miss that can cause even worse problems. If they press on, I may steer them to specialty stores that have more knowledgable staff. For instance, we have a local retail store that specializes in Electrical and Plumbing. Their salespeople are quite knowledgable, sell quality products, and will admit when they don't know. Jim A "remodeler" came in one day to get the materials to wire up a new subpanel and the kitchen for electrical appliances. I knew exactly what the issues were for this project and tried to help him, but he refused to listen, more interested in saving money. I finally excused myself, telling him that when he found what he wanted, just take it to the cash registers. Half hour later, I saw him at the register purchasing a couple of boxes of 14 ga. (only) Romex. I wanted so bad to report him to the building officials.
  5. Hi I have two 1/2 inch frost free sill cocks on my house, both at inconveinient places. They also have fairly low flow for using hose end sprinklers. (I am fortunate to have pressurized irrigation water for most of the growing season, but need additional water at the front and rear end of the season.) I have to move them, and would like to increase the water flow at the same time. At this time, both are at the tail ends of 30+ foot 1/2 inch pex runs, and when you actually look at the working oriface for the water at the interior end of the sill cock, it is about 3/8 inch in diameter. I would like to increase the water flow. I researched the various stores and sill cock suppliers, I could not find anything over the current 1/2 inch. The only thing I did find are the frost free hydrants that are sunk 3 to 8 feet into the ground, and that is not workable. I suspect that just increasing the pex size to the sill cock might some improvement, but not enough to make it worth while. I know I could use the historic homes solution of having a standard sill cock, perhaps 3/4 inch, and an internal disconnect valve in the crawlspace, but it would be easy to forget turning it off prior to winter, and could be a problem upon selling it if a change was made that violated code. Any suggestions? Jim
  6. Several times I have seen the spa tubs with a double sided gas fireplace almost at the edge of a spa (jacuzzi like) tub. Under the fireplace, where the controls are, is an outlet for the blower. Access to this outlet requires no tools. IRC 2006 E4.103.4.4 says that lights, fans, outlets must be at least 5 feet. The distance becomes greater for luminairs within 7.5 feet. So, shouldn't this mean that to a gas fireplace with accessible electric service must meet the distances (5 to 7 feet) or be controlled by a gfci device?
  7. I am a relative "newbie", that feels that there are other paths than the one expressed above. My history goes like this: I have had a degree in Electronic Engineering for 30 years. Designed, drafted, engineered and built 2200 sq ft 3 level cabin in the mountains, with full compliance to the State Building codes and requirements. I learned a lot there, but certainly not enough to call myself an inspector. Other than that, no experience in construction or codes. (by the way, the instructors on several occasions told me that being an engineer would get in the way of being a home inspector. I think that is a poor generalization.) I found the 2 week ITA on-site course to be a great introductory course for learning the basics of what a Home Inspector needs to know. Does it instantly make you a good inspector? NO. But it does give a rounded perspective of what a house is, how the systems work, the interaction of these systems, how things have changed over time, and even more important, how much you do NOT know. I found it invaluable, and worth the time and money spent. In fact, I believe that ALL inspectors should go through a multi-week on-site structured course before entering the profession. (I find it difficult to believe that correspondence courses can come close to depth of an on-site class.) I believe that those of you that take on a new candidate for inspection will find it much easier if they have this education behind them. The classes became the springboard to daily researching the web, libraries, and ........ materials to study. Websites like Journal of Light Construction, Building Science......, the Mfgrs. sites, etc. I read daily the forum boards like this one, ASHI, The Inspectors Journal, and others........ I am just beginning to comment on and post replys on existing posts. I do think one shortcoming of the class I took is in not supplying a road map for continued learning in each of the disciplines. Like a list of "must" websites for further learning. The list seems to always be a list of the other course offerings. But, that is not a reason for discounting the value of these instruction companies. The next important (no, I mean critical) thing is knowing what you do not know. And, when you don't know, taking the time to learn. If you are too confident, then you will be a problem to yourself and the industry. I joined ASHI in October, passed the exams in November, began doing ride-alongs with a 14 year veteran in November, was doing parallel inspections all December through mid-Jan, and then began inspecting and writing my own reports in mid-Jan. I advanced to ASHI Assoc. with Logo several months ago, and am close to 100 fee paid inspections. AND, I am a GOOD and an ETHICAL inspector. My MUST list for an inspector in training: 1. Attendance at a reputable 2-week on-site class. 2. Immediately preparing for and taking the NHIE exams. There is no better time to do them than in the weeks following the classes. I do not feel that a new inspector should be doing inspections until these exams are passed. 3. Find an inspector to be a mentor 4. If there is a local HI chapter, join it. (no matter what national organization it is.) 5. A commitment to lifetime learning, not limited to just "conferences".
  8. I did a lot of searching on the web, and found mostly that it is $4, and the only sites that sold them referred to Mfgd homes and RV. One reader board mentioned that they were unreliable. They are a spring and rubber flapper. The flapper doesnt last long, and the spring breaks. Found no info regarding installation. So, wrote up that: 1. unreliable 2. may be mounted in wrong orientation 3. may need to be higher than highest water level of sink. 4. call qualified plumber. I would still like to find the installation instructions. I will call the local code official soon and get their take. Jim
  9. Hi I inspected a remodeled 1917 home that had no vent for the sink drain, just a black device that is mounted horizontally. (I believe Air Admittance Valves are mounted vertically.) The markings are "pro vent AB8-1". I looked at the pro vent website, and see only one venting product, that is not even close to this device. Can anyone tell me more or guide me to a site with the information? Jim (whew! My first post) Image Insert: 61.86 KB[:-graduat
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