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  1. At the risk of stating the obvious, the panel has to be mounted to a wood backer or have an air space between it and the foundation wall in order to prevent condensation. As we all know, the breakers are a bit warmer than ambient air and condensation is not uncommon especially when, as perviously mentioned, the SEC is not sealed.
  2. I'm sure you noted it but just in case....the chimneys need to have crowns installed on them. I'd hate to be the original home inspector on that one. Looks like he is in for a earful after the owner get's your one year bldrs warranty report.
  3. Yes, they can be installed in either orientation since the electrical code does not state a preference. If we are going to be 'performance based' home inspectors then I think receptacles should be installed with the grounding slot up in a vertical installation and with the neutral slot up in a horizontal installation for the reasons mentioned by Scott P.
  4. I use HomeGauge report writing system and they include a draw inspection template that has worked well for me. You should be able to view a sample at their site. I started doing draw inspections for a local bank recently and it seems like I've become their 'go to' guy in large part because of the HomeGauge draw template. A bank is looking to CYA on a draw inspection so the addition of pictures to the draw report is invaluable to them. Keep the report short, add photos, don't be shy in estimating degrees of completion and be prepared to tell the bank when a draw is not warranted. Good Luck! I'm not exactly highly seasoned in this field but I'd be happy to talk if you have any questions.
  5. info on fpe panels and breakers can be found at http://www.inspect-ny.com/fpe/fpepanel.htm
  6. I have performed thousands of 'inspections' for several insurance companies. I did these years ago and it was a good way to transition from contractor to inspector. We usually took a picture of the front of the home and any obvious big ticket defects. Then measured and rough-diagrammed the home to arrive at the square footage. Only homes that were over sixty years old or in excess of 3,000 sq. ft. required interior inspections. These were performed only for insurability and risk determination purposes. We were paid around 12 to 15 dollars each on the 'drive-bys'. On a day with good routing I could do twenty or more with no problem. My personal best was 45 inspections. The money wasn't great but it helped me see a lot of homes, get paid for it, and start thinking like an inspector. The main problems were poor routing, long distances, outdated rural addresses, dogs, etc. I'm still in contact with my old bosses and colleagues there. They are great people and have a large, multi-state territory. Email me directly if you want any more info. Good Luck!!
  7. Jim Katen may be correct in his diagnosis but there may also be something more going on there. Accreted minerals and rust inside galvanized piping certainly does result in a loss of pressure and volume but it is typically consistent and not fluctuating when only one fixture is flowing. I ran into this for the first time in 2,000 plus inspections and I'm not sure what caused it. On the installation I saw there was no pressure tank or booster pump. Upon opening a tap water would flow well and then peter out to a glorified trickle after 20 or 30 seconds. I thought maybe an underground leak in the service pipe could be causing it or a partially closed buffalo box. I'd love to hear any other thoughts.
  8. Circuit tracers are available at any home center. I bought one recently for around $30.00 Doesn't seem to much to spend in order to avoid all that radio and extension cord rigamarole.
  9. Well Brian...When I use exam questions to prep my HI students I don't believe I'm doing anything unethical. Is that so different from what Mr. Gromyko is doing? Perhaps the solution is in a longer and more difficult state exam that is harder to prepare for through memorization. Thoughts?
  10. Scored 94 and actually left one answer blank accidentally. Doesn't seem any harder than the original test posted on NACHI's website. How could a working home inspector fail this thing?
  11. To all the home inspectors and visitors who expect a professional reply to your questions....check out pblg.com and visit their message boards. No smart ass comments from nitwits who think they're God's gift to HI.
  12. Iceman....check out the Brick Institute of America website (BIA) for info on proper flashing and weep details. DO NOT caulk the lintels!!! Re-pitch the sills and make sure to use urethane caulk where the limestone sills meet the adjoining brick. Drop me a line if you need more info. I'm going way down south of the city to inspect a house for a friend next week and would be happy to look over your exterior masonry for free. Good Luck!
  13. thanks for the reply blackjack; that makes sense and it's something that will make sense to my clients also. i don't think "kurt says it's ok" would be an acceptable response to a clients inevitable "why?"
  14. Water Softener was opened and the salt and water were both clean. No 'stagnet' water found. For the fourth time, this was water sucked from the drain into the dishwasher and then back into the hot side of the water supply piping. I ran the kitchen sink water before starting the dishwasher and the water smelled and looked normal. Chlorinated city water sitting in a copper pipe is not going to go gray/black and smell like water from a grease trap! It will not stagnate or become stagnant. I am not about to drive forty-five minutes to see if the water is still clear the next day. God bless you if you would! I'm doing three to five jobs a day and don't have that luxury. Thanks for the cogent and enlightening reply.
  15. Are brass pipe nipples between the copper water supply piping and the galvanized water heater tank an acceptable substitute for di-electric unions?
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