Sunday, May 29, 2011

Is your Home Inspector Killing your deals? OR

         Is the condition of the home killing your deals?

To comply with the Arizona Home Inspection Standards of Professional Practice, Arizona Licensed Home Inspectors are required to report on, and identify the condition of over 80 items/components in the inspection report.

Common Items/defects that I find on 90% of the homes I inspect, and that I am required to report, that can often be corrected or repaired prior to the inspection, at little to no cost.

*** Dirty AC/Heating fitlers

*** Burnt out light bulbs

*** Tub and sink stoppers missing

*** Slow draining sinks and tubs

*** Interior doors that need adjustment to latch

*** Dishwasher Hi –Loop missing

*** Anti-tip devices missing on free standing ranges

*** Loose toilets

*** Moldy caulking in the showers

*** Noisy exhaust fans

*** Missing outlet and switch covers

*** Windows that need adjustment to slide or lock properly

*** Anti-siphon devices missing on the exterior faucets

*** Bushes or trees that need trimming to prevent contact with the homes exterior walls

*** Minor adjustments of the grading to provide proper water drainage away from the foundation

About me…

I have over 30 years building construction experience, been a full time Arizona licensed Inspector for the past 12 years, and have personally completed over 5,000 full home inspections in Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Queen Creek, Sun Lakes, Gilbert AZ
   ASHI Certified  Inspector  #206929
 Central District chairman for the local Arizona ASHI chapter 2006-2012 .
 Arizona Board of Technical Registration Enforcement and Advisory Committee Member.

For additional information about me, my services, my inspection fees, and to view my sample report. Visit my website ….

If you have any questions about a questionable item on a property that you have listed, or if your client has a question on a home they are considering purchasing, your call or email is always welcome for a no obligatiion, same day, free phone or email consult.

Email      Phone 480-756-9064
Angies List Super Service Award   2010-2011- 2012
Mesa / Phoenix  AZ Certified Home Inspector # 38440

Sunday, May 8, 2011

. Water Softener Drain Line Cross- Connections

The water softener drain pipe is connected directly
 into a sewer drain pipe in the attic.
Per The Arizona Standards of Professional Practice for Arizona Home Inspectors,  Arizona Home Inspectors are required to identify any/all cross connections between drinking water and waste water.
CROSS CONNECTION: As identified in the standards of professional practice glossary..  Any physical connection or arrangement between potable water and any source of contamination.

In this photo the  water  softener drain line is draining directly  in the washing machine sewer stand  pipe.

There are several ways a cross connection can exist in your plumbing system. 
 One common source of cross contamination is in your water softener drain line installation.                                                                                                 
When water softeners recharge, they often discharge the waste water through a ¾-inch diameter tube that is supposed to empty through a 1-½-inch air gap into a receptor such as a sink, a floor drain or a standpipe.

Water softener drain lines connected directly into a sewer line in the attic, and in the washer drain line, with out an air-gap,  is a very common problem with water softener installations in the Phoenix area.  Most of these water softeners were installed by a sub-contractor hired by the water softener sales company.

Why is this a serious problem?? #1-   If this improper installation is not corrected, sewer water can enter/mix with your drinking water. 
#2- On the first photo,  In two to three years the tape used to hold the drain line will deteriorate and the water softener drain water, and sewer water, if there is a sewer back- up will drain into the attic.

The Fix..***On newer homes there is often a stand pipe/ drain pipe, behind the washer hook-up,  next to the washing machine drain hose, designed to allow proper water softener drainage.

*** A proper air gap, or an air gap device can be installed on the pipe, where the water line connects to the sewer pipe...

Additional information on  this serious heath concern,  and information about a proper air gap device can be found at

TIP.. If your water softener installer did not install your drain line properlym, call the company  immediately and ask them to install it properly. 
 If they state this installation is OK, and refuse to correct it,   inform them you are going to call your local water company to confirm your installation meets current building code requirements.

.Why contact your water company for assistance?  This is a serious heath concern, if not corrected this can contaminate your, and your neighbors drinking water over-nite.  Over the past 10 years I've recommended this to several customers, after they either called the water company, or informed the water softener contractor/ installer they were going to call the water company, every one of them were properly corrected,   at no charge,  by the contractor with-in  1-2  days

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Restricted AC Condensate Drain Lines

The way your air conditioner dries your house is by removing moisture from the home. That moisture must go some where. The moisture is removed by condensing it on the cold refrigeration coils and letting it run to the exterior thru a condensate drain line.

As an Inspector I see a lot of  homes with water leaking from the upper AC condensate drain line.. This is a very common problem on homes that are 5-10 plus years old.
On a vacant home, where the AC unit has not been run,  this can be identified by observing rust stains on the upper drain line, and often on the exterior wall.  In the attic there will be excessive rust or standing water in the drain pan under the air handler.

Homes that have the AC unit /air handler in the attic have two condensate drain lines extended to the exterior. The upper line is commonly installed on the upper side of the home and often above a window.
     The lower line [primary line] will be installed apx. 2-3 ft. off the ground, usually on one of the ends on the home.  If you home has two or more AC units there will be two drain lines for every unit.

The role of your AC drain lines
. Primary Drain Line. This line is connected to the unit in the attic.
In the humid part of the summer several gallons of water will drain through this line every day.. To help prevent standing water, and a breeding ground for termites and bugs at your foundation,  installing a splash block to drain water away from the foundation is often recommended.
     A splash block, [a piece of tapered plastic apx. 8"wide and 12-16" long]  can be purchased at your local hardware store or at one the the big box buildiing supply stores. 

Upper Line. The upper drain line [ I consider this line a back up line]  is connected to a drain pan installed under your AC unit/air hander. This line is only used if the lower / primary drain line becomes plugged or restricted.  When this back up drain  line plugs up,  all of the water will drain in the home and cause water damage to the insulation, wood framing and ceilings.

Good rule of thumb.... Check your drain lines every couple weeks in the summer, if the water is leaking from the upper drain line, or if you don't see water leaking from the lower or upper lines,  call an AZ  Lic. AC contractor to service your unit and clean the drain  lines.
          *** Correcting restricted drain lines is not very costly if corrected as soon as you see it.
.             ***   Correcting water damage and possible mold damage can be very expensive.