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Savoy

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    USA
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    Home Inspector

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  1. My mother moved into a home last summer. This home is concrete block with brick veneer siding. The home is early 70's. and sits on a basement. The basement is heated by a gas furnace. A couple of quick questions. 1. The windows had all been upgraded to double pane sliders. This winter there has been a large amount of condensation on these windows. I know what causes condensation but why would this home have so much more than I typically see and what Can I do about it? 2. This home sits on a basement and I want to finish a section of the basement this month. The main water line enters the basement in this area. The main line is copper, it moves up the foundation wall and to the water softener which is located on the other side of the basement. From the moment it enters the home until it gets to the softener there is also a large amount of condensation dripping off the pipes. What can I do so that my walls and ceilings will not always be water stained or damaged? Thanks Jon
  2. Scott You bring up something very interesting. About five years ago I attended a "Questar" seminar, they are the local gas provider in this area. They claim that the gas is clean and does not need a drip leg in the Utah and surrounding area. Two years ago they started encouraging all owners of all gas burning appliances to have the units checked to insure that they were operating efficiently. (They call it “Green Taggingâ€
  3. Brian How about Utah, they beat up on Texas A&M pretty Good. (I know, I know, they’re not Miami or FSU but they still looked pretty good.) BYU, well they beat Notre Dame (They even played Notre Dames fight song fairly well.) but they have always been able to win the opener. They just need to end the season after the opener. (Speaking of Nebraska, the "Y" has several transfers from the Huskies, I believe they were a good addition.) Problem with Utah is they have a week schedule and will never be able to prove how good they really are. They’ll win this conference hands down and may even work up a sweat. Oh well, I guess I will have to settle for my favorite powerhouse. I am an Oregon fan. Jon
  4. I have given this some serious thought and I can't see what is wrong with this or if anything is wrong. I need someone to explain why this is wrong if it is. The Scenario. The main panel was located on the exterior but when they added a garage the panel is now located in the garage. This is no longer the main panel and is nothing more than a large junction box. The main grounding wire is still connected and a copper #6 conductor exits the panel and passes through the concrete. The ground connection is not visible. The new main panel is located on the exterior of the garage addition and a copper grounding wire is present. It is also a #6 copper conductor and exits the panel and goes into the ground. The ground rod is not visible. The sub-panel is located on the far end of the home and also has a grounding #6 copper wire exiting the panel box and running about 30 feet where it is connected to the main water line below the shut off valve which is copper. (Copper line all the way to the street.) The sub-panel is grounded/bonded correctly. Why would all the panel boxes have a grounding conductor and is it wrong? Why? I hate to day something is incorrect if I cannot explain why. Thanks Jon
  5. Seems like I am getting more and more calls to an area where the homes are constructed of logs. This area requires that homes are built with logs or have some type of wood exterior siding. (I have never seen hardboard siding in this area.) I feel fairly comfortable with the inspection of log homes. What I am looking for is a good web site dedicated to the care and maintenance of log homes. I did a google search and found large amounts of information but not the site I was hoping to find. If you know of a good log home site please let me know. Thanks Jon
  6. Savoy

    Grounding

    Thanks for the information. This was really an easy inspection. The home was located in a small coal mining town and is a repo. I was contacted by the bank to find out what type of condition the home was in and provide a photo log and report. The electricity was off at the home at the time of the inspection and while I was there the local gas company came and placed a notice that if the bill was not paid they would shut the gas off by the 11th. When they came through the home and saw that it had been trashed and vacated they allowed me to run the furnace through a cycle and then shut the fuel off early. Saved them a return trip. While I was on the roof looking at the Service Entrance my mind just got to looking at all the metal around and wondered if grounding all this metal would be appropriate or if it is required. I could picture some ugly things happening. I do have to admit that while I was looking at all the metal I did overlook the obvious that Konrad referred to, the clearance above the roof. Thanks Jon
  7. I know this has been hashed out before and I know that I have read about this on a forum somewhere but humor me, look at these photos and give me your thoughts. On this old home the first photo is of the Service Entrance Conductors. Aside from the lack of a drip loop you will notice that the covering is deteriorated and the wires are bare. The second photo is a close up of the neutral and you can see that there has been some arching and sparking. The wires are only inches (Maybe two) above a metal rain gutter. The rain gutter has metal downspouts that are secured to the siding. You guessed it, the siding on the home is also metal and the closest it gets to the ground is maybe 24 inches. I went to an electrician today to ask him about grounding the metal siding. He was not there but the journeyman electrician (I guess he was a electrician in training) did not think it was needed and that the bonding between each panel was probably not sufficient to do any good if it was grounded. The siding seemed to be secured and each panel seamed to me to have good contact with the panel both above and below. My questions are: 1. Should this metal siding be grounded, and are the metal siding panels sufficiently bonded to each other? 2. I am used to seeing Federal Pacific Panels everyday with the stab loc breakers. On this same home there is a panel that I have not seen in my area before. It was a Federal and then below it read "Noark". This panel was only rated for 70 amps and was outdated, but is this panel a sister company of Federal Pacific or/and does it carry the same concerns as a Federal Pacific? Thanks, there is no hurry on the answer, the report is already sent this is just for my info. Jon Sorry folks, I accidentally placed this in the HVAC section and don't have a clue how to move it over to the Electrical section. Download Attachment: 76.jpg 114.67 KB Download Attachment: 77.jpg 47.56 KB
  8. Brian That looks like a dielectric union on the line. I don't mean to change the direction of the thread but is that acceptable? I have never seen a dielectric union on a gas line. My mind tells me that it is OK but I have never seen this. In my area it is black pipe all the way. Another question I have, It seems to me that I was once told that the sulfur in Natural Gas has a corrosive effect on copper connections. (Or is that just LP) If that is true, then would the copper line and the clamp become even more of an issue? When someone answers Brian questions can you answer mine as well. Thanks (Sorry Brian for the thread drift.) If that were a water line then the clamp looks like the clamps that I typically find that supply water to the evaporative cooler. Jon
  9. Mike Is there a way to go back in and edit your remarks? Say for instance you hit the submt reply and then you notice that you incorrectly spelled a name. (James Hardy, James Hardie) Can I change that or do have just have to live with it? Thanks Jon
  10. Donald I may have lead you astray. I believe the substitute board can be manufactured by anyone. It seems to me, if I remember right, that the board used as a substitute for that particular stucco finish was manufactured by James Hardy. I think the ware house full of replacement board related to Weyerhauser claims. It's been a couple of years since I've dealt with one of these. I will dig out my notes but in the mean time contact Pat he deals with it daily. Jon
  11. Donald I have seen this board quite frequently. There are different manufactures to this board but one of the main distributors or manufactures in your area was Masonite. You are going to have to pull a panel though to get a positive I.D. What Percentage of the claim do they take? A very large percentage. These claims are not that difficult to do. The hard part about filing a claim is having the patience to deal with the number of times the claims administration is going to send you a letter letting you know that the information you have provided is insufficient. I have done over the past several years many of these claims for large commercial properties and I know the process well. Masonite in there class action was able to get a clause placed in their forms that states if there is a suitable substitute that is manufactured by them then it reduces the overall payout of the class action. Supposedly there is a warehouse down in Louisiana or somewhere down that way that is stock full of that substitute board. I have seen the substitute board and it does not look much like the original. I have no idea what the judge was thinking when he allowed that. Most of the claims are designed to screw the consumer one way or the other. Can I recommend one? Yes, American Siding Consultants. His name is Pat Richardson and he has been in that business for a long time. Contact him at www.sidingconsultants.com. You can see what bad board is like and he is right now campaigning against Masonite on the substitute board issue. The best part is that he will give free advice to home owners and help them in any possible way. He is very current on all class actions but only does commercial buildings. This man knows his stuff and is one of the few that has lasted through the many, many class actions. He is also current on the few that are coming to a head in the near future. If you any other questions e-mail me. I can help some. Jon
  12. Mike I own a home that was built in the late 1860’s out of a rock material called Oolite. It is a very beautiful white stone. My home used to be an old roller mill and has many interesting characteristics that I would love to preserve but as has been mentioned before will cost a significant amount of money. To compensate for this I am currently taking historic restoration classes that are being offered by a company that is very reputable. I am very found of old construction and they make up a very large percentage of my work. The story that I wanted to tell is that I had an opportunity to do a very large home that was built around 1900 on the other side of the mountain. It was a two-hour drive one way but did it because a large amount of my relatives came from that side of the mountain and the age of the home As I walked up to the home I was completely awed by the beauty of the architecture, and was even more impressed at the interior and how well it had been preserved. Fortunately a single woman devoted to restoring this home was the current owner. She was quite old and could no longer continue in this large home. During the inspection she would show me several things that as a home inspector I would have missed. For example: The builder of this home was a polygamist and under the stairs was a hidden door that opened up into a room where he would hide his other wives and children, this same thing would happen in the bedrooms where there were hidden panels and false walls. The most amazing thing was a tunnel that was lined with rock that leads out into an open field some hundred yards away. (Too many spider webs for me to go into.) This home was build during the time that the government was cracking down on the polygamists in the area. I have never seen such a home. I was in this home most of the day and still felt like I had not seen everything. Now for the interesting part: I knew that my great, great grandfather had spent several years in prison for refusing to not practice polygamy. (Something that did not carry on with the rest of the family.) I started to inquire on whom the builder was and if they had done all the woodwork and building. The lady told me the name and it stopped me in my tracks. It was my great, great grandfather who had built this home. I did some further investigation since the home is registered with the historical society and sure enough, I had the opportunity of looking at the ingenuity and craftwork of a master, my great, great grandfather, the polygamist. Jon
  13. The last couple of inspections I have noticed something about my "Sure Test" that I don't believe was happening before. I need someone to tell me what is going on. I will plug the "Sure Test" into the outlet it will give me a reading of a Faulty ground. I take it out move to another outlet and then come back to the original outlet. This time I do not get a Faulty Ground reading. Why? The next thing I notice is I can go to an outlet and get a reading of voltage drop of 6%or greater. (Both of the green lights do not come on.) I move to another outlet and then I go back to the outlet that had excessive voltage drop and this time I get a different reading on the voltage drop. Why? I have had a "Sure Test" for at least a couple of years. (Mine came in a leather case.) I hope there is a good reason and that I do not have to send it in for repairs. Thanks
  14. Recently I have been seeing a large amount of business in an old coal mining town. I have yet to see a Forced Air Furnace in this town. Most of the heat is supplied by older coal boilers that served a steam system but have been converted over to gas and hot water. Occasionally I see a newer boiler system in this area. Many times when I look at these monster boilers and there set up and wonder what I am looking at. Even the newer ones I feel inadequate and wonder if I am doing my client justice on the heating system. I have made arrangements to ride with a older boiler specialist who I have been told is very good but still works in a mine and does boiler repair only periodically. My question for the forum is do any of you know of a good book that is out there on hot water boilers? One that any inspector who sees a boiler should read and have in their library? I just ordered a book "The Lost Art of Steam Heating" by Dan Holohan but I don't believe it covers much on Hot Water and boilers. Thanks Jon From Forced Air Country
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