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    Appraiser and Home Inspector

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  1. I guess it depends on the area it is used (probably not good in Minnesota) and what one determines as expensive. My entire home is electric. I ran the hell out of my heat pump furnace this past Winter. Kept it between 75-78 the entire time. My highest utility bill for my furnace, hot water heater, cooking, lights...everything, was $135. Add another $40 for water and for around here, thats a darn cheap utility bill! Of course I have a 99% efficient Trane system too. Even still, I have a Ranch style home with approximately 3,300 finished living space (finished full basement)that is heated or cooled. I am pretty impressed with its performance. We have our share of sub-zero weather in the Midwest, but granted it is periodic and does not last as long as say Minnesota or upstate New York. If I were in one of those areas up North, I would probably still have my heat pump system, but I would put in a helper system like a pellet or wood stove on a thermostat to help take up where the heat pump is lacking in the colder climate
  2. There is never a need to put a heat pump unit's thermostat to the emergency heat setting unless the heat pump is malfunctioning. All electric heat pump units automatically switch to heat however many stages of coils necessary to heat to the set temp when the heat pump is no longer providing the heat more efficiently than the electric coils. The emergency heat setting turns ALL COILS of the system on all at once instead of adding however many coils it needs in succession until the requested temp is reached. My heat pump system has 6 electric heat coils. If the heat pump is not efficient to heat, each coil will activate in succession, as needed, until the unit can produce the desired heat temp. It may only take one coil, it may take all six, but it is done automatically. If I turn the t-stat to emergency heat, all six coils are activated and will stay activated to reach the desired temp each and every time the t-stat temp falls below the desired temp set. If the heat pump is working as it is intended, the emergency heat setting will NEVER have to be selected.
  3. The only place I have seen that bad of wiring job is in the Ghetto of Kansas City, Missouri or Kansas City, Kansas. Those guys don't even have "drivers" licenses, let alone electricians licenses. Oops! I forgot. I don't have a popular opinion here so I am treated like the plague. Sorry. Its been a while since I have been here. I forgot that this is a "club" forum. Dan
  4. Obviously, math is not among your strong points. Actually math isn't my strong point, but I just didn't do the math here at all before posting, which is why I missed this. I struggled to get the A's in Calculus 1,2,& 3 and the A's in statistics, thermodynamics, etc. I got my undergrad in engineering with nearly a 3.8 GPA. No, I am not the smartest math guy out there, but with an IQ of 130, I survive the math ok. But...thanks for being so kind to point out my error! No offense intended, it just made me laugh. Sorry. I guess I am a little gun shy. I have had some negative responses on TIJ, so I have inadvertently become defensive of posts. Obviously I was too quick to judge this one incorrectly. It's hard to see someones motives or intentions in e-form sometimes. I truly wish to only help others when I can and learn from others when I can. I have gotten off to a bad start with many here at TIJ, and some of these that I have gotten off to a bad start with are not very forgiving or quick to start over when mistakes are made on either side. The Marine in me makes me stand my ground when sometimes I should maybe reach out my hand instead. I am trying to be better about how I handle such situations, but it is not an easy or quick process. No harm, no foul. Thanks for setting the record straight with my errored judgement of your post. Dan
  5. n/a26

    F Y I

    That's exactly right. For years, I've continued in my boneheaded contention that a little dirt was good for me; I operate on the idea that whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger. Well, the other day I read an article in the paper about researchers that are recommending that we forget the antibiotic soaps, cleaners, & let kids get dirty. Their (the researchers) study concluded that kids need some dirt to allow their immune systems to develop properly. They essentially stated what Mike O' just said. Years ago when there wasn't any "refigeration" methods, people used to bury their beef and game animals in the ground with salts, etc. to preserve them. Their were natural enzymes from the ground (dirt) that helped the natural digestion process and balance the stomach acids. Naturally, over time, with the invent of refigeration and people being overcautious to wash their fruits and vegetables before eating (mainly from the insecticides used now days), there is no longer an intake of these natural enzymes found in the dirt. A lot of people have digestive problems such as Irritable Bowell Syndrome (IBS). Most of these people have had these problems rectified or at the very least, well maintained, by the addition of these enzymes (medically called "probiotics") in their diets. There is a product you can get at most health food stores called "Primal Defense" which has all the enzymes that occur naturally in soil. Thing is, a 30 day supply is about $40!!! Nope, a little dirt never hurts anybody really.
  6. Obviously, math is not among your strong points. Actually math isn't my strong point, but I just didn't do the math here at all before posting, which is why I missed this. I struggled to get the A's in Calculus 1,2,& 3 and the A's in statistics, thermodynamics, etc. I got my undergrad in engineering with nearly a 3.8 GPA. No, I am not the smartest math guy out there, but with an IQ of 130, I survive the math ok. But...thanks for being so kind to point out my error!
  7. Yeah, I wish I had waited. I seen them at Home Depot not too long ago. I was gung ho and bought mine from ITA while in training. I think I paid $60 for the 4 set.
  8. I don't think there is much to disagree on Crusty. Two other people have said the exact same thing that I have said. Have it your way. Makes no nevermind to me...
  9. If not to memorize, why "read" code manuals? I mention code in my home inspection reports all the time. It substantiates reasons for defects written in the report and suggestions for remediation, etc. There is nothing wrong with backing up your report with code. As non-municipal home inspectors, we just don't use code as the whole basis of our inspection and we do not "enforce" remediation of any defects or code non-compliance like a municipal inspector does.
  10. Oh...and on the topic of mold...I was the one a couple months back who asked on TIJ about doing mold inspections. I got the advice that mold inspections were worthless to the home buyer. I did my own research just to support this advice and I found that the advice was right on the money. Just as Kurt said, "Toxic Mold" is an urban legend. Only those susceptible to an allergic reaction to mold, etc. are at risk. There is probably more risk of harm from eating cheese than from mold spores found in a home with moisture problems and mold.
  11. You are right. Concrete is horrible at barring water penetration. This is why on new construction their is a vapor barrier sheeting placed around the foundation where soil will be in contact with the foundation walls. Some also use a spray vapor barrier in addition to the sheeting. Lots and lots of basement cracks are from water soaking into the concrete and then freezing in the cold months before it has a chance to dry out, rather than from the foundation settling or moving as people suspect. That is just what I have found anyway. Dan
  12. I agree with all the above 100%. I am familiar enough with the code books to know where to find codes, but there is no way I am even going to try and memorize codes or even "read" code books. For that matter, it's when an inspector tries to memorize codes or interpret codes from memory that he/she gets into trouble by quoting a code incorrectly, etc. Those code books are there for a reference and not intended to be read or studied to memorization for that exact reason. I have the code checks I purchased from ITA school and I also have the complete collection of 2003 international codes on cd rom disk. I always have my laptop with me, so the code reference on disk, along with my visual inspection report and pictures, I think I am pretty well covered without memorizing codes. I know a lot of code just from looking up the same defects so much, etc. Even still, I look up the exact code verbage most of the time...if nothing else, but to CMA. Dan
  13. If it isn't code, what is the basis for your comments and findings? And thanks for your concern Dan but I'm getting my 8-12 per week. We use code to help us determine areas of a home that need attention, but we are not municipal code inspectors using code as our only reporting criteria. I am a municipal code inspector in addition to being a home inspector. Two very different inspection professions. Yes, home inspections use code when forming reports and suggestions, but not exclusively and definitely not to the point where we need to memorize the code reference manuals. Like Mike said, the Code Check's are more than enough code reference for what a home inspector is expected to use in their reports. It's all good.
  14. Crusty, I certainly do not knock you for your educating yourself and I am glad you find time to read reference manuals. However, I spend too much time doing inspections to be able to "read" something that is not meant to be "read". The code manuals are a reference, not educational learning material. However, I do spend plenty of time in classes, seminars, and reading literature on all areas of home inspection, construction, etc., which is more feasible to read and "learn from". Nobody can remember all those codes nor where exactly a code is in those code books which really deems that reading not too feasible for most people. If you have photogenic memory and can read code manuals and get that much out them, I think you should be doing something other than home inspections, like medical research or something similar. You certainly are going above and beyond what most consider normal continuing education for a home inspector, especially since code is not really part of the home inspectors area.
  15. Yep. Just looked it up. My bust. Reading the code manuals is not only S&M, but not really feasible unless have no other life purpose but to read tech books. Even the code officials don't "read" tbe books. Even the certifications don't require that extensive of reading. Those code books are a reference, not reading material. However, I should pay better attention to finding the code that actually pertains to the situation. That was a lack of attention to detail on my part. Sorry.
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