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Burnin' Down the House..


mgbinspect
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New Construction inspection of a high dollar townhouse:

When I turned on the vent fan in the built-in microwave I immediately knew something was wrong. The fan motor labored and air whistled slightly from the gap between the cabinet bottom and the microwave.

I assumed that the installer forgot to remove a plate on the unit, but the filter held a piece of paper up against it and the exhaust louvers on the exterior of the building were indicating impressive air flow.

Then, I realized that the installer screwed the exhaust flange to the shelf bottom of the wall cabinet leaving a 2" gap for exhaust air to swirl around in the void between the cabinet bottom and the microwave. This was of course causing some wicked turbulence.

Having done disaster restoration work for several years, this is the stuff kitchen fires are made of. All it takes is a quick flash fire on the gas cook-top, for the vent fan to throw those lovely flames into that void. Then, you extinguish the fire and think all is well, but the cabinets are smoldering. Tick.. tick.. tick.. Ding! Kitchen fire!!!

The really rewarding part of this find, was that the builder's rep told me from the start, ""I have mixed emotions about home inspectors inspecting new construction. You guys tend to be so picky. Blah, blah, blah." Well, he suddenly became surprisingly friendly, when I made this find and he came to the sobering realization that this wasn't the only townhouse in the development with this dangerous setup... oops...

And, on top of that, the plug was never removed from the disposer to permit the dishwasher to discharge properly.

Umm.. is that egg on your face?

I LOVE IT when this happens. [:-monkeyd

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