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Should appliances be part of any SOP?


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Always with the astute analysis........our correspondent at the Globe.

Speaking of Standards.....

ASHI is in the process of review and changes again. Inspecting appliances has come up as a mildly controversial inclusion.

Should appliances be part of any SOP?

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Always with the astute analysis........our correspondent at the Globe.

Speaking of Standards.....

ASHI is in the process of review and changes again. Inspecting appliances has come up as a mildly controversial inclusion.

Should appliances be part of any SOP?

FWIW ... they (appliances) are still in the new/proposed Texas TREC SOP ... albeit they did remove the actual listing in the form template for the "trash compactor" and "whole-house vacuum".

Albeit the HI can still choose to report on them if they so choose.

They also moved "doorbells" from the Appliance chapter to the Branch Circuit Electrical chapter.

... we're styling down here ... [;)]

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Should appliances be part of any SOP?

Yes! If I paid a person to inspect my home I would expect them to inspect it and that would include all built-in appliances. With kitchens being one of the most important part of a modern home it is rediclious for an inspector to come up with reasons rainging from it is not in the SoP to you can't check every single cycle and disclaim all of the appliances.

Ya turn it on and if it cools, heat, runs then it is working. It takes little time to check the appliances in a home.. Some of the homes I'm looking at have 2-3 kitchens in them and my clients are expecting me to look at the appliances. With each appliance I look at I report the extent of the inspection and what the appliance did or did not do.

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Should appliances be part of any SOP?

No.

Agreed. A visual inspection tells almost nothing about the functioning of an appliance and 'visual' is basically what we do.

Marc

Hogwash. You operate light switchs, furnaces, A/Cs, faucets, etc. Operating a dishwasher is no different. Simiarly for garbage disposal, ranges, ovens, microwaves, and exhaust fans. Flip the switch or turn the dial to basic normal operation. Does the appliance turn on when the switch is operated, Yes or No? OPERATING an appliance thru a normal Off/On sequence is all that is being asked of you. No different than during on a furnace. Set the thermostat, felt air rushing that was warm. Moving on to next item. You didnt test the temperature, air flow, or capacity.

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I always check appliances for basic operation; except for roll away dishwashers. I have not operated one that did not leak. I tell my client so, explain how to hook it up, but I no longer operate them. If the client wants to stand there in the kitchen and make sure it does not leak all over the floor they can do so.

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Always with the astute analysis........our correspondent at the Globe.

Speaking of Standards.....

ASHI is in the process of review and changes again. Inspecting appliances has come up as a mildly controversial inclusion.

Should appliances be part of any SOP?

When asked if I inspect appliances I say, "you're spending a couple hundred thousand on a house, are you really worried about a couple hundred bucks worth of used appliances?"

The answer is always, "I never thought of like that."

One can actually see the lights come on.

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I run appliances. I hate it, I'd love to disclaim it, but customers expect it nowadays. I used to give them the Raymond line, they'd respond similarly, but they still want me to "test" the appliances anyway.

So I do.

I am not even mildly concerned with someone calling me back about a failed appliance. I've had clients call back and ask about problem appliances, but they also indicate they saw me operate the stuff and aren't mad, they just want advice.

Appliances are part of the commodification of HI work. It's a hard one to buck.

(I would split this off and start another thread, but I've forgotten how.....sorry.....)

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If you want to stay out of trouble, Bob K's idealistic/CYA point of view is for you. If you want to serve your client, a more practical point of view, like Bruce Ramsey's, is what you want.

I've always felt that doing your job and providing for a happy client is the best defense against trouble. That implies a practical approach and it's basically what I've done for ten years. Haven't had anyone file a claim against me yet.

I'm not saying I ignore the CYA details on my contract. I just tend closer to the practical on the ying/yang chart.

Marc

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I run appliances. I hate it, I'd love to disclaim it, but customers expect it nowadays.

I am in total agreement with you. I do the same, the question then becomes if you include it as part of the SOP where do you draw the line. Can you actually trust buurecrats (intentional spelling) to adopt a 'reasonable' standard. With all the variables involved what is 'reasonable.'

The other factor is customer expectations. At this point we are exceeding the standards of practice, when brought to their attention most clients appreciate this and value it. As soon as it becomes a standard it will elicit less appreciation and may in fact become something of which they are more demanding. You have raised their level of expectations.

Having changed the dynamics at what level will this become impractical, not cost effective, or downright burdensome? Will you charge more?

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Operating appliances should just be left as a voluntary courtesy. Make it mandatory and you are now responsible for not clearing crap out of the thing before trying it, or failing to notice that this that and the other had been busted and hidden.

I disclaim them and then I run them as a courtesy. Sometimes I don't. I always look inside, to get the serial numbers. I make note of obvious damage like a door gasket or a missing knob.

I always run central vac by shorting the contacts at the outlets. I almost always run dishwashers in condos, unless they are full of dishes. I will start the dryer if I suspect it may be haywire. But it is way beyond our main objective - to find significant defects.

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I run appliances. I hate it, I'd love to disclaim it, but customers expect it nowadays. I used to give them the Raymond line, they'd respond similarly, but they still want me to "test" the appliances anyway.

So I do.

I am not even mildly concerned with someone calling me back about a failed appliance. I've had clients call back and ask about problem appliances, but they also indicate they saw me operate the stuff and aren't mad, they just want advice.

Appliances are part of the commodification of HI work. It's a hard one to buck.

Agreed. Take 5 minutes to run the kitchen appliances, give them the classic Jowersy "Most things in a house last about as long as a dog" talk, and get on with your day, Lads. It always helped me justify my fee and in 25 years I never paid a claim on a kitchen appliance. #aintworthgettinworkedupover

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I run appliances although it can be a challenge with the ridiculous amount of buttons and dials that some have. It's always fun to stand around an oven or a clothes washer and nobody knows how to turn it on.

I also always carry a bag of popcorn and pop up a bowl if there is a microwave... NOT.

I have one kitchen disclaimer that says I do not run microwaves but if there is a cup handy I will gladly heat up some water and see if the little glass plate inside spins.

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If you want to stay out of trouble, Bob K's idealistic/CYA point of view is for you. If you want to serve your client, a more practical point of view, like Bruce Ramsey's, is what you want.

Marc

In case anyone forgot, The question was, "Should appliances be part of the SOP?"

I have no idealistic/CYA point of view; whatever that is? I was trying to point out the difficulties and encumbrance that occur from making appliances part of the SOP.

So which is it Marc? First you said NO, now it seems like your saying YES.

I don't care what you actually do. Tell me why it should be or shouldn't be part of the SOP.

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The Texas TREC SOP requires that we test/run appliances. The SOP does indicate testing in "basic" mode.

Basic mode meaning that I do NOT test convection or any other special capabilities.

Basic is "BASIC". D/W run on 'short cycle' with soap tray cover engaged to ensure it has 'opened' after the cycle. Ovens ... turn on broiler (do the coils light up Y/N) then turn it to 350-degrees with an oven thermometer inside to see if the resulting temp (after an hour or so) is +/- 25-degrees of the requested 350. Yes the 350 and the =/- is in the SOP.

Now if my oven was outside of 25 degrees +/- I would not be a happy camper ... now mind you I do a lot of cooking at home and my oven had best be damn close to what temp I call for.

All in all ... a lot of verbiage above, but truly not a big deal.

I'm just not sure about having to deal with the TREC moving our "doorbell" item from the Appliances chapter to the Electrical/Branch Circuit Chapter in our SOP and 7-3 report template ... That could give me some heartburn ... [;)]

As for them being part of an SOP ... I really don't care as it is a requirement in the state where I inspect and am licensed and required to already inspect such.

As for ASHI or any other state ... I would not have any problems with them adding such.

Like Jimmy noted ... not something to get one's knickers is a wad about.

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There are regional differences. It is common here for the movable appliances to be included in the sale.

Normal practice here is to simply record make and serial number as a deterrent to swapping after the inspection, and it works well, AFAIK.

I had an incident where the old dryer in a mobile home looked like it was being used, but I didn't operate it. My client complained that when she moved in, the electric dryer outlet wasn't working. I suspect the sellers pulled a wire loose when they jerked the old dryer out from the wall. So now, I will push the start button to test for power at the machine. If there is no machine, I definitely check the outlet.

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Hi,

I don't think they should be required in the SOP; but at the same time I think we should still look at them but we should set the client's expectations.

Before I begin an inspection I explain to the client that when I'm looking at appliances I'm primarily concerned with ensuring they are wired and plumbed correctly, that they don't leak, that they drain properly when they are supposed go drain and that they come on and go off but I don't check the quality or efficiency of the operation of the appliance.

For example:

I explain that I don't have any food to put down a disposal; I'm only concerned with whether it is installed correctly, wired correctly and plumbed correctly and whether it will spin when I hit the switch. I tell 'em I don't have any food to put down it so I won't even know if it isn't capable of chewing up a half cup of half-melted Jello.

I explain that I'm only checking the stove/oven for proper installation - wiring and presence of an anti-tip bracket and whether the burners light or get hot - but that I won't be putting a cake in the oven to see if can hold 350? for an hour.

The same for other appliances. Just make them aware of the limitations up front so that they don't end up with unrealistic expectations of what you'll do with the appliances.

Today's inspection was on a 1969 condo that had a dishwasher that looked like it was installed in the 80's. I took one look at it and said, "I'll test it but if it doesn't leak I'll be very surprised. Even if it doesn't leak, if it fails when I'm backing my truck out of the driveway I won't be surprised - those things are designed to last about 10 to 15 years, not to be older than you are and continue to run."

Big suprise, it leaked all over the floor.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Bill, we include all fixed appliances; dryer, washer, disposer, dishwasher, microwave, etc when we do multi family and do not include with single family. We sometimes use the operation of a device as a way to keep someone busy. We have an agent present at 99% of single family houses and they will "help". We report on the hookups, brackets, tabs, drainlines etc, but not on the operation per se.

Mike O, I agree with you. It works.

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