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Automatic safety controls


Chris Bernhardt
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Observation of automatic safety controls is required by most home inspection standards I assume but what are we looking for and how are we suppose to report on them?

Should we report which ones should be there on a particular piece of equipment? And report which ones we were able to observe and which ones we were not able to observe?

And concerning whether or not they are satisfactory or functioning as intended how do we answer that since were not required to test them?

Is the intention of this standard really aimed at only trying to catch ASC's that have been removed, disabled or are otherwise obviously deficient by just a visual inspection alone and not whether or not they are actually functioning as intended which would require some form of testing?

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Hi Chris,

I don't know what standards you are inspecting under, but the standards that I use do not "require" me to inspect automatic safety controls. In fact they are part of an exclusion.

6.2 The inspector is NOT required to:

A. inspect:

1. clothes washing machine connections.

2. interiors of flues or chimneys that are not

readily accessible.

3. wells, well pumps, or water storage related

equipment.

4. water conditioning systems.

5. solar water heating systems.

6. fire and lawn sprinkler systems.

7. private waste disposal systems.

B. determine:

1. whether water supply and waste disposal

systems are public or private.

2. water supply quantity or quality.

C. operate automatic safety controls or manual

stop valves.

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Originally posted by Scottpat

Hi Chris,

I don't know what standards you are inspecting under, but the standards that I use do not "require" me to inspect automatic safety controls. In fact they are part of an exclusion. . .

He's referring to the Oregon Standards.

http://ccbed.ccb.state.or.us/WebPDF/CCB ... andards%22

Look in the plumbing section and the heating section. We're required to "observe" automatic safety controls at the water heater and the heating system but we're not required to "operate" them.

Since January we're supposed to "record in the report each item listed in (the standards) and indicate whether or not the property inspected was satisfactory with regard to each item of inspection. . . "

So Chris is wondering how we can determine whether or not an automatic safety control is satisfactory when we aren't required to test it.

I agree with his last paragraph. It seems to me that we're supposed to confirm that the safety devices are present and visually ok.

For instance on a water heater, we look to see that a TPR valve is present & plumbed properly. We say in out report that it's present and plumbed properly. We don't have to test it, though we may if we want to.

On a gas furnace, we look to see if a hi-temp limit switch is present and confirm that no one's jumpered it with a paper clip. Etc, etc.

I think that's the only approach that makes sense.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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