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I rarely see anything other than 'hot element' or 'electronic spark' ignition here.

I won't turn on any utility service because I don't know for certain whether some appliance somewhere is not ready for service. I don't want the liability if something goes wrong.

Marc

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Wondering how many light pilots, turn on water mains and gas valves if they are off in a property?

Gas Fireplaces

I light these all the time. No problems so far.

Water Main

The only way I'll turn on a water main is when I receive the correct answer to a single question, "Who will be responsible for all water damage that occurs as a result of turning on the water?" There is only one correct answer, "Not Jim Katen." Once I receive this response, I'm happy to turn on the water and flood the house.

Gas Main

If the owner turned it off himself, I'll turn it back on with the same restriction as above. If the gas utility shut it off, there'll be a blank washer across the coupling and I'm not about to mess with that.

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I'm with Katen on fireplaces.

I always operate bypass valves, ie filter or softener, but never touch the utility valve. Ever.

Gas is off for a reason. Tell the RE to go find out what it is. Tell my client to have his RE ask why it's off. After all it was their job to make sure everything was on.

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Well, I don't carry matches or a lighter so unless the device has a built-in igniter it's not going to get lit?

With many gas log fireplaces the air needs to be bled from the line and this can take a longtime. If it does not light after a few attempts, I report that the air needs to be bled from the line and to have the owner demonstrate that it works properly prior to closing.

I don't light standing pilot's, but then I just don't see them any longer.

I require the water to be turned on for me? I use to have a meter key (Long pole of rebar with a "U" at the bottom to turn the water on at the meter) that I kept in my truck but I took it out several years ago.

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Yes, there are times when I will turn on. Mostly it is dependent upon my mood, blood sugar and the physical attributes of the turner-oner.

We never turn the water on, but will accommodate client for fireplace.

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Thanks for the responses. Many of the foreclosures that I go to have water off, pilots for fireplaces and water heaters off as well. Typically I tell clients, sellers and realtors what I expect to be accessible and what services should be on in order for me to adequately inspect the property. Unfortunately, it's seldom that my requests are appeased. This typically ends up in me returning to the property to reinspect after utilites have been turned on and making addendums to reports after the fact. Do any of you send an email to the sellers or realtors in advance to remind them of what needs to be done to prepare for an inspection. Trying to obsviously avoid these situations all together and really hate limiting the inspections for the sake of my clients.

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Same here. I tell them revisits cost extra.

I love having realtors turn stuff on. Had a full tilt flood one time. Not my fault.

The same thing happened to me. It was awesome. The seller's agent was so mad that he had to turn on the water. "All you have to do is turn the water on at the street" he said. He turned the water on the night before the inspection . I arrived the next morning to find water running down the driveway from the garage.

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I turn on nuttin. If the realtors want to do stuff, I warn them why I don't.. This policy has worked like a charm for over 20 years.. This includes sink risers, toilet shut-offs, valves, gas lines, pilot lights, etc.. There is already way too many legs on this profession and enough landmines involved.. you don't need to be creating landmines.

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Thanks for the responses. Many of the foreclosures that I go to have water off, pilots for fireplaces and water heaters off as well. Typically I tell clients, sellers and realtors what I expect to be accessible and what services should be on in order for me to adequately inspect the property. Unfortunately, it's seldom that my requests are appeased. This typically ends up in me returning to the property to reinspect after utilites have been turned on and making addendums to reports after the fact. Do any of you send an email to the sellers or realtors in advance to remind them of what needs to be done to prepare for an inspection. Trying to obsviously avoid these situations all together and really hate limiting the inspections for the sake of my clients.

I send out a "preparation for inspection" addendum along with my inspection agreement. Some times it works but mostly they don't read or bother to forward it to the sellers or their agent. But it reduces the crying when I inform them of the additional fee to come back[:-weepn]

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Gas Main

If the owner turned it off himself, I'll turn it back on with the same restriction as above. If the gas utility shut it off, there'll be a blank washer across the coupling and I'm not about to mess with that.

Per CFR49xxx, I'd consider turning on the utility riser valve a questionable practice by non utility personnel, though done quite often. Unless considered to be a "qualified operator", one should not turn it on. A couple of the bigger concerns I'd have is as to whether one does a "spot" or "drop" test to check for the detection of gas leaks when turning on the valve, and check for leaks. Quite often, the riser valve will leak as soon as it's turned back on-- it's got a serviceable valve core.

We've tried to get away from people turning on our high pressure riser valve, which is why you'll see a ball valve "customer valve" on the gas line just downstream of the utility set.

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  • 5 months later...

Turn on the water and be responsible for the damage caused by broken pipes? That's why the water was off.

Turn on the breaker and burn down the house? That's why the breaker was off.

Turn on the gas and then discover that the pilot won't ignite and the gas valve won't shut off? The house is filling with gas but the electricity is on. Will a switch spark and ignite the houseful of gas or will you just not turn off the lights and hope for the best (I was there for that one).

All these things are not uncommon. The SOPs don't require it, but if you want to accept that liability... you will not impress the agent because you've been suckered into doing something unprofessional and foolish. You will not impress the client if it turns out you made a big mistake. The list of people you won't impress by turning on utilities that are off at the time of the inspection gets longer.

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I'll light most any pilot or at least give it a good honest effort (some exceptions may apply). If the gas is off at the meter, but not locked, I'll turn the main on. Around here, on vacant homes, the utility company will remove the lock but leave the valve in the off position. They place a tag on the meter explaining how to turn on the gas and light the pilots. If it is locked it stays locked. People pay me good money and I'm not looking for excuses to not provide a good inspection.

I'm with Katen on turning the main water valve on. I'll do it as long as everyone (including the listing agent and / or owner) is aware I'm not responsible for any leaks or damage and they acknowledge this. First I go around and make sure all the faucets, water heater drains, TPRV, etc are closed, then I'll ask whoever else is at the house to help monitor the different areas and yell if there is a gusher. Once I turn on the main I check each bath / kitchen for leaks, but most important is listening to the sound of the water. After the toilets have filled (a minute or so) I should not be hearing the sound of running water. If I do hear running water I figure out (very quickly) what is running and if need be turn the water back off. I've had a few major leaks, but not many, and they were quickly spotted.

If the water is on to the house, but off to a sink or toilet I don't touch it.

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Just curious.....

How is one relieved of responsibility by a group of people....none of whom have power of attorney or any legal authority for anything other than unlocking a door and showing a house...and who on any and all occasions throughout my entire career have shown themselves to be motivated by self interest alone....how do these people....verbally no less....relieve anyone of responsibility for a disaster in a house?

"I'll turn the water on, but only if you say it's your fault and not mine." Yeah...uh huh....

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Just curious.....

How is one relieved of responsibility by a group of people....none of whom have power of attorney or any legal authority for anything other than unlocking a door and showing a house...and who on any and all occasions throughout my entire career have shown themselves to be motivated by self interest alone....how do these people....verbally no less....relieve anyone of responsibility for a disaster in a house?

"I'll turn the water on, but only if you say it's your fault and not mine." Yeah...uh huh....

I can't speak for Chicago, but in Oregon the ability to provide that kind of assurance goes along with the responsibilities of agency, at least according to my attorney.

I can't speak for places like Chicago, but in Oregon, the ability to negotiate that kind of assurance goes along with the responsibilities of agency. If a

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A verbal understanding between me, the seller, (or the sellers rep) and the buyers, may not stand up in a court, but it is not completely worthless either (IMHO) and it has served me fine up to now. There are some occasions after I explain that there could be a major gusher and I'm not responsible that everyone looks at each for who is responsible and ultimately the water stays off. More important to any verbal understanding is being just being careful.

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