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rlskfoster

Do ya'll test water shut-offs at plumbing fixtures

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Had a conversation with a friend last night who is also an inspector. A plumber had called him and asked did he operate the water shut-offs under sinks, at toilets, etc. He asked the plumber why and he said that he was asked to replace a water shut-off called out by another inspector. My friend asked who did the inspection and it was me.

My friend does not check them for operation and the plumber had said your just gonna cause a leak if you do operate them. I had started checking them in 2003 or 2004 when I first started in this business after a client called me and was unhappy that his shut-offs were frozen and he wanted to change out a faucet set. He said if he had known he would have asked for a plumber to repair them during his negotiations. Ever since then I have checked the operation of all shut-offs.

My question is what do all of ya'll do in regards to testing the shut-offs at fixtures.

Buster

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That topic sometimes comes up when I'm dealing with clients. I explain to them that those valves usually sit for years without being operated and often leak when they are finally disturbed. Our SOP doesn't require us to check them for that very reason, so I don't.

Plumbers often change them out with the fixture, as insurance against a callback.

Marc

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I don't, but I also say that I don't. and why I don't.

Same with TPR valves on water heaters.

Sooner or later you'll have a real leaker like I did.

I used to check TPR valves with everyone telling me not to.

One day I gut the heavy leaker after checking one and it was in the laundry room. Had to get a plumber to replace it. That was the last one I checked and I bet it's 10 years ago....

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Don't touch 'em. They leak when you do in many cases.

Our TREC SOP requires testing of the W/H TPR Valves as well, but I also use an exclusion clause to 'not touch' them.

TREC SOP does not 'require' testing of cut-offs. (At least for now!!)

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Every inspector should absolutely be operating every shut off valve to confirm its proper operation. Otherwise, when the buyer moves in and finds one that doens't work, he'll sue you.

Also, absolutely no inspector should ever operate any shut off valve becuase it might leak and the seller will then sue you.

The same goes for TPR valves and main water shut off valves.

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Every inspector should absolutely be operating every shut off valve to confirm its proper operation. Otherwise, when the buyer moves in and finds one that doens't work, he'll sue you.

Also, absolutely no inspector should ever operate any shut off valve becuase it might leak and the seller will then sue you.

The same goes for TPR valves and main water shut off valves.

Tisotn* has spoken!

*the inspector sage of the northwest

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Do not operate. On a couple of occassions I have to check to see if it is on or off if there is no water to the fixture. If it doesn't move with ease I let go.

Now you can get ball valves that have the same ovate handles as the old valves and they work great and look old school.

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Every inspector should absolutely be operating every shut off valve to confirm its proper operation. Otherwise, when the buyer moves in and finds one that doens't work, he'll sue you.

Also, absolutely no inspector should ever operate any shut off valve becuase it might leak and the seller will then sue you.

The same goes for TPR valves and main water shut off valves.

Tisotn* has spoken!

*the inspector sage of the northwest

He most certianly has. I think.

Marc

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Every inspector should absolutely be operating every shut off valve to confirm its proper operation. Otherwise, when the buyer moves in and finds one that doens't work, he'll sue you.

Also, absolutely no inspector should ever operate any shut off valve becuase it might leak and the seller will then sue you.

The same goes for TPR valves and main water shut off valves.

Tisotn* has spoken!

*the inspector sage of the northwest

He most certainly has. I think.

Marc

Which way did he go?? "eyes looking left and right" [?]

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Don't tell anyone, but occasionally I turn on water valves. The "no friggin' way" meant that I don't make a habit of doing so. If water is off at the fixtures on a newer home, I'll typically turn them on. On older homes, I tell the agent they are off and that I can't ask them to turn the water on because of the liability[;)]

On places where valves are already on, I won't mess with them.

I had to read Jim's answer twice before catching what was said.......does that mean my brain is slow?

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I don't touch them as a rule and have never heard a beef from a buyer over them. Everybody knows they are crappy valves.

I fixed one under my own sink recently by just replacing the valve and handle assembly with one from another valve out of my junk box. FYI, easy fix.

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I don't operate them.

I just feel them by wrapping my hands and fingers around them. Sometimes, it's easier to find a leak/drip if my fingers are wet than being able to see it.

I do the same, also with the traps and the stopper rod entry into the tailpiece.

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Looks like a pretty firm NO!

Well, I guess I should think on this awhile and consider changing my modus operandi.

I forgot to mention that the plumber that questioned my friend about me calling out the shut-off is the sellers brother and the original plumber who plumbed the house. She, the seller, called him to fix it.

Thanks for the thoughts,

Buster

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I don't check them as a matter of practice, but if the sink or toilet, etc. are not working, I'll investigate further and turn them on if they are off, so I can proceed with checking the fixture.

These days, so many bank repos have fixtures turned off in addition to turning the water service off to the home.

But I'm well aware that they will probably leak if I operate them and many do, but most of the time a little cranking on the bonnet nut fixes that. If I get one that I can't fix, I'll turn the water off to the building at the end of inspection.

If the valve feels stuck, I won't even try to operate it.

The whole matter is one of those "dammed if you do and dammed if you don't" inspection dichotomies, that Jim Katen brilliantly stated.

Chris, Oregon

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I don't check them as a matter of practice, but if the sink or toilet, etc. are not working, I'll investigate further and turn them on if they are off, so I can proceed with checking the fixture.

Chris, Oregon

The real estate agent will usually turn them on for me or the buyer. I'm not damned if I won't, and I won't.

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I don't either - not even the main shutoff. In the plumbing section of my report, I explain why I don't, and state that there were no leaks at any shutoffs. If one is leaking when they move in, someone tested or disturbed that shutoff valve after I inspected the property.

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