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odd place for a register


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Originally posted by mthomas1

"This type of floor register is a trip hazard when when located where people can step on it, for example it can collapse under the weight of a "stiletto" type heel."

Stiletto heeled shoes don't get much floor time around here. [:-eyebrow

There are registers available that are suitable for light foot traffic. They're commonly cast aluminum or wood.

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Is it just me, or does anyone else find the idea of reporting on the possibilities of what someone in stiletto heel shoes might do to a floor register seem overzealous?

Of course, someone can trip on it, or not. When does reporting safety stuff go outside of safety recommendations and become the weiner patrol searching for something, anything?

FTR, I've had a floor register in the middle of my bungalow BR hallway for 18 years, and it's never been an issue, except it's a really lousy place for heat distribution. I'm moving it when I remodel the BR.

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Originally posted by inspect4u

Looks like it is in a closet or at the end of a hallway? I can see what appears to be a baseboard behind it and also behind the door.

Mike M

I was standing in the hall looking into the bedroom when the picture was taken. That is the entrance to the master bedroom. You do see a baseboard. When you pass through the door, you turn to the left to walk into the room. Behind the baseboard that you see in the picture is the closet.

mthomas1, Good point about the trip hazard with heels.

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For the record, I like stiletto heels and I'm against anything that may discourage women from wearing them. For that reason bunions piss me off.

There are registers available that are suitable for light foot traffic. They're commonly cast aluminum or wood.

I was at a Christmas party a few years ago that was hosted by a pompous ass and his lovely wife (I could never figure out why she married him) in their newly remodeled kitchen. I stepped on and fell through the new red oak floor grate. He suggested that I pay for my carelessness. I implied that my neck hurt and and asked for the limit on his home owner's policy. There was an awkward silence that was punctuated by me not paying for the floor grate.

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If it's in a location were people are likely to step on it, I call it out.

One reason: I know someone who badly cut their foot on the the knurled knob.

Same for many types of after-market metal tread edges.

One reason: my adult brother ended up in the emergency room after one neatly planed off the 3" of the bottom of his foot.

The edge probably stuck up 1/32".

It was enough...

Same for top-hinged laundry chutes.

One reason: a couple who were just utterly paranoid about this. I though they were nuts - till I later found out from the agent that their 3 year old daughter had died when she was strangled by the unrestrained lid of a toy box...

... built by her father as a birthday present.

You can bet THAT re-calibrated my opinion of such concerns...

And it's been this way of a lot of this sort of stuff: tempered glass in entry doors, anti-tip brackets and a few others - the experience has been having a client - as I start to give my rap about why this or that is a Bad Idea - roll up their sleeve and show me the scar or the place where they had plastic surgery after the scald that's been the wake-up call - I figure that if I run into people who have had the problem, it's a real concern and ought to be reported.

YMMV.

----------

Loved this one last week: million dollar new construction, various fireplace problems, developer is going on about how he's not going to fix them if it's too expensive, his mason has done lots of them this way, no problems, he's never see a home inspector stick a camera up above the damper before, etc.

Client is very politely not buying in.

A few minutes later she mentions to me that some friends had recently built a VERY expensive home in CA, only to wake up to to a smoke filled bedroom after the first time they started a fire in the romantic bedroom fireplace... half of house destroyed, the rest smoke damaged...

It was clear the developer was going to have some difficulty downplaying the fireplace problems.

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Originally posted by kurt

Is it just me, or does anyone else find the idea of reporting on the possibilities of what someone in stiletto heel shoes might do to a floor register seem overzealous?

It's you.

Of course, someone can trip on it, or not. When does reporting safety stuff go outside of safety recommendations and become the weiner patrol searching for something, anything?

Each inspector makes his own judgment calls on stuff like this. After a while, he becomes familiar with where his own weiner patrol line is. After enough years, he tends to be dismissive of other inspectors who've drawn the line at a different place. In his mind, other inspectors who place their line to one side become bucketheads and inspectors who place their line to the other side become nitpickers.

FTR, I've had a floor register in the middle of my bungalow BR hallway for 18 years, and it's never been an issue, except it's a really lousy place for heat distribution. I'm moving it when I remodel the BR.

After considerable thought many years ago, I decided that it would be a bad idea for me to sift my recommendations through the sieve of my own house. For instance, I have a freezer plugged into a GFCI receptacle, but I have no GFCI protection at my kitchen counter receptacles. I've got stairs without handrails. My office door is glazed with ordinary glass.

With each of these issues, I considered the risks and made a decision that I was comfortable with based on a complete understanding of the problem.

I expect my customers to do the same. But they can't consider the risks and make a decision unless I first tell them about the problem.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Pardon my jumping in, but it seems to me that the biggest problem with the register is that we seem to be putting a lot of effort into forecasting dire consequences -- broken legs, shaved-off foot soles, etc. Seems we're thinking like HIs, when we'd probably be better off thinking like homeowners.

That said, we could do a customer a service just by writing something like, "The register is in a place where people will likely walk. The register could fail when/if somebody steps on it. There are sharp edges on the register, and in the duct underneath the register. I recommend that you get an HVAC contractor to move the regsiter and seal up the hole."

That took me about 30 seconds. Might help somebody; I don't see a way that it could hurt anybody.

WJ

PS: Reminds me of the time my OHJ cohort Larry Jones had a caller who worried about her children walking on the metal grate over the in-floor furnace. He told her, "Ma'am, my Basset hound figured out that it's best to walk around the grate. I'm sure your family can do the same."

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It's not dismissive. Honestly, I don't care a lick if folks spend 11 hours looking for everything that might cause an accident. Don't be putting attitudes on me.

There's a lot of gear shifting here. I wonder about stiletto heels, and that's filtered through proven safety hazards like safety glazing, handrails, etc. Explaining problems to customers is what the job is about, and then everything gets turned into a problem, because taken that bent, everything is a problem.

Anything , and I do mean anything in a house, given the right barefoot/stiletto heeled/bareskinned/exposed eyeball/hangnailed situation, could cause injury.

I know someone who misplaced their hand on a code compliant handrail, their arm slipped between the rail and the wall, then they snapped their radius and ulna when they tried to recover.

I raked my foot open on a thin unsanded projection of polyurethane on a nice wood floor.

(Everyone insert own crazy home accident story here......)

Walter phrased it well. We're investing a lot of energy forecasting dire consequences. A more useful perspective would be thinking in ways other than the completely projected conjecture.

Do a quick google on injuries from wearing stilletto heels or platform shoes, sans floor register. Lottsa injuries from folks simply wearing the stupid things.

I'm going to start reporting on folks fashion choices. If I see them wearing heels, it's going in the report. It's a proven safety hazard.

Which, by the rationales expressed here, is what we should be doing. I mean, one of my customers might be walking around out there, right now, w/stiletto heels on, and they don't know it's a problem. (well, it's not a problem for Chad)

How they gonna know if we don't tell them?[:-shake]

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I'm tempted to put a sample report on my website that reads along the lines of...

*I found live electricity all about the house. Electricity poses a shock hazard. Have it removed.

*There are stairs in the house. Falling on stairs is a prime cause of injury in a house. Have them removed.

*There is a basement under the house. Basements can suffer seepage and promote catastrophic flood damage. Get rid of the basement.

*I saw a roof on the house. Roofs leak every day, causing significant damage...

Yeah, it can get out of hand.

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Just a thought: I'd bet that there are at least 100 home inspectors who have store-bought generic boilerplate that they'll use to warn people about deadly floor registers.

"Hey, an English Ph.D. wrote it. They couldn't sell it if it weren't jam-packed with truth."

Dang pointer-clickers...

WJ

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I think that ignoring things that could cause a problem is like playing Russian Roulette. Provide the information and let them decide. There are certain kinds of clients that will appreciate this approach. These are the people I prefer to work for.

How can you expect me to change what I do for each situation. If I tried to do that, how would I ever maintain an identity to myself? If I don't let em make me, they can never break me.

If you don't like my style, hire the other guy next time.

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Originally posted by SonOfSwamp

Just a thought: I'd bet that there are at least 100 home inspectors who have store-bought generic boilerplate that they'll use to warn people about deadly floor registers.

"Hey, an English Ph.D. wrote it. They couldn't sell it if it weren't jam-packed with truth."

Dang pointer-clickers...

WJ

It's inevitable. Of course, there is the nagging little detail of IT'S A FLOOR REGISTER. THEY'RE MADE TO BE INSTALLED ON THE FLOOR. I think the only sane and safe recommendation is to tell folks to install all floor registers on the wall or ceiling.

I'm going to print up big red warning labels, and stick them on the front of every house.

"DANGER! This Place is Full of Stuff That Is Going to Severely Injure, or Maybe Even Kill You, If You Don't Watch Out!!!"

It'll be a top seller at the Inspection Infinite Cosmos annual convention.

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Hi,

Well, it's an interesting conundrum. They're installed in front of large sliding exterior doors around here all the time. They're also almost always installed exactly where lots of homeowners want to plunk down a piece of furniture or place the head of the bed. I can't remember anyone every complaining about them.

It's a weird location. My guess is that the house has had an addition and that's where the system ended before the addition went on and they were too lazy to add a few more feet of ducting and move it. As long as there's a way to get to the underside of that floor to move it, it's not going to be hard to do, but it's really not anything that everyone has to take sides over.

If he wants to write it up it's his prerogative. I probably would have commented on how it was inevitable that it will eventually be bent by someone walking on it and become inoperative and it would be prudent to move it, because I think that's more likely than the stiletto theory, but I wouldn't have called it based on safety.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Well, the new avatar soundbite is pretty funny, although I'm going to miss the little devil......

Yep. In front of sliding patio doors all the time.

How 'bout them wood cold air returns in the big old historic gravity heat houses? Those are 1" openings x 5sf, and the damn thing is located at the bottom of the stairs in the main hallway most of the time.

Pointy headed little kids could get their heads stuck in those.

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