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Jim Katen

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Jim Katen last won the day on March 1

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About Jim Katen

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  1. Asymmetrical roof valley

    If it has a closed-cut valley, the steeper side should overlap the shallower side.
  2. Electronic signature

    We presently use ISN, which works ok. We used to use Docusign, which worked great. The customers are, generally, already familiar with it because it seems like most realtors use it.
  3. Tub/Shower Step

    What's the problem here? Having a step in front of a tub?
  4. A/C compressor unit clicking - Split system

    It's possible, but difficult to damage a scroll compressor by running it in cold weather. It's much easier to damage a piston-type compressor in cold weather and the first few seconds will be the moment when it happens as the pistons try to compress fluid.
  5. Unknown Object

    Thanks Nolan. It looks very similar to "Style A" which would have set someone back $0.17. Clearly, it's a repurposed piece of telegraph equipment. Thanks again for the leg work.
  6. Unknown Object

    Radio grounding connection or radio antenna are still my prime suspects. The thing is, most old radio grounds & antennas consisted of a simple wire connected directly to the radio. Sometimes they used a radio antenna plug, which I see several times a year. This little gadget just seems awfully involved for a simple radio splice point. After seeing Jim Baird's comment, I looked at lots of pictures of telegraph equipment and this thing really looks like part of that equipment. I doubt that the house had a telegraph, but someone might have re-purposed a piece of telegraph equipment as the antenna or ground connection for their radio.
  7. condo asphyxiations in Mexico

    I once stayed in a condo in Mexico where the old drum trap had been converted into a floor drain. They simply took off the cover from the trap and placed a grate over it instead. The smell was enough to knock you over. I tried to explain the issue to the manager, but she didn't want to hear about it. Finally fixed the issue by folding up a wet towel and placing it over the grate.
  8. I wouldn't share a past report with new customers, but I'll certainly use whatever information I know about a house when inspecting it for a 2nd time. Who would this harm?
  9. Home inspector needed- Silverton, OR area

    I'd start with Chris Bernhardt. If he can't do it, have them call me and I'll go there. Jim Katen
  10. Cool Historical Building

    Be aware that the asbestos is also going to be inside the furnace itself. If you want to get rid of the asbestos, you'll pretty much have to get rid of the furnace. Do these furnaces ever remind anyone else of the Master Cylinder from the old Felix the Cat show?
  11. Cool Historical Building

    Certainly. They used to be as common as fruit flies in my area but I've never seen one with a big red Coleman cooler in front. Found this cool illustration: http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/edu/ViewLoitDa.do?method=preview&lang=EN&id=19202
  12. Cool Historical Building

    It looks like it much harder to nail. Think about it. You nail off one side first. Then when you go to nail off the other side, the force of the hammer hitting the diagonal cut drives the stud outward and instead of 16" oc spacing, you've now got 16-1/4" spacing. What a pain. Square-cut blocking ensures even spacing.
  13. Cool Historical Building

    Very interesting. I can't recall having ever seen diagonal wall blocking like that. Any ideas why they'd do that? What the heck is the big thing sitting in front of the furnace? I've never seen a burner like that. In my little town of Gaston, the old K of P building lay abandoned for years. A guy at the bank realized that their bank account had been dormant for many years so he did some investigating and discovered that every one of the Pythians had died. After some legal wrangling, he revived the lodge, drummed up some members, fixed up the building, and they're now a strong organization in the community.
  14. pvc flue pipe

    I'd hardly call it "wrong." It's just a non-direct-vent setup and slightly less efficient.
  15. pvc flue pipe

    I think it's fine. The pipe should slope back to a drain or a condensate pump that should be amply able to deal with any rainwater that enters the pipe. As for sealing the pipe, it looks like a classic pitch pocket setup that's relatively easy to seal. If there are no gaps between the sealant and the plastic pipe or between the sealant and the old B-vent, it's probably going to be fine. The stains on the ceiling look like they're related to a failure of the B-vent flashing. Maybe look more carefully at that.