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How to vent a new water heater when gas and water lines aren't the flexible kind?  Just lean it over a bit (you'll have to strap it to the wall so it doesn't fall over) and use dryer vent with clamps.

The home inspector said it wasn't on his "red list" so he let it go with a "you should probably change that out".

Happy New Year & let the fun begin!

Kari - he actually said something was not on his "red list"?  In my experience it seems a lot of PA inspectors are just required to come by the job and enter the building to get credit for doing a Code inspection.

Are they actually doing a code insp. when they are there??  We do whole house reno's so I've seen a codes inspector go through a house a few times.  I always appreciated the education.  It's not quite the same for a home inspection.  I think it has a lot to do with how much construction experience they have before they start inspecting.  

Kari - Three different groups of inspectors: 1. Home Inspectors, 2. BPI/RESNET qualified inspector/testers, 3. CODE Inspectors (Code Office or third party).

Home Inspectors have their own trade association and registry, you get good ones and bad ones.  It seems they are usually hired in relation to purchase of existing homes to meet a mortgage requirement.  Some have extensive construction experience and provide good advise to their clients, Some have little actual experience but managed to meet the minimum requirements to become a Home Inspector.  I have no quarrel with these guys/girls, some are great, you just need to get references.

Over the past 5-6 years there has been a great expansion in the BPI/RESNET certified people, mostly due to federal and state energy efficiency programs requiring one or more of their certifications to participate in the programs.  Lots of organizations offered one week quicky entry test prep courses.  No actual construction experience required. A lot of under qualified people passed the exams and were certified. You are hiring there guys/girls to advise you on energy efficiency with health and safety testing.  Once again you are relying on your checking there references.

Building Code Officials should be held to a much higher standard.  They are there to to protect you the consumer and enforce the Building Code.  They are supposed to know and understand the Building Code. There is not a maybe, it meets code or it does not.  Some areas, like around my location, out source inspections to third party organizations. Some of these are very professional, others book lots of inspections and maybe sometimes their inspectors "hurry" to meet schedule.  

After being in engineering and construction over 35 years I entered the BPI/RESNET programs and we started up an energy auditing and energy efficiency consulting company.  Some jurisdictions in our area require third party duct testing for new homes and for significant upgrades.  We provide these services.  We are also involved in all the local, state and national energy efficiency programs and are often in new homes inspecting/testing for programs like Energy Star when Code inspectors are on site.  I have seen an inspector enter a three story home, walk up the stairs to each floor and back down and sign off the OK on the pre drywall inspection, in less than 15 minutes, where I had half a page of items to be corrected, mostly items changed from the 2006 Code to the 2009 code.  I go into homes for third party duct testing after the Code sheet has already been signed off for pre drywall and find the same kinds of problems as recently as late 2013.  Because I am working for the builder in these cases, I advise him of the problems so he can have them fixed by the sub involved.

Don't get me wrong, there are lot's of good dedicated Code people out there.  Those are probably the most under appreciated people in the building industry, they are there to protect the person buying the home.  In cases like I mention above I often remember talking to a Code official  about his decision to use Third Party duct testing.  His comment was they had received a total of a one day seminar on all the changes from the 2006 to the 2009 Code.  He did not feel comfortable with handling the duct testing or inspections required so he wanted someone qualified to provide testing reports. I have a lot more respect for him than the guy that blows off his duty to the consumer.

Well enough of my preaching today, I just tend to lash out at those who do not follow through with the job they were paid to do.


Those are good comments!   I've seen the same... and I've walked into new buildings wondering how inspections were passed.   Inspectors are human...

You really want inspectors to catch as many defects that they can find,  tag them and get the stuff fixed... but in a process that improves the trades at the same time.

One of the bad things we see happening in our area -- is inspections being used to create revenue... not for permits.   But for fines. Instead of working with trades to minimize defects -- and improve quality... the emphasis seems to be drive the lower quality trades out of business.   That's something I disagree with.   I should mention it isn't our local city inspectors that are being pushed to do that... but the state because of budget cuts.  They are expected to fund their inspection programs... when permits are down,  increase the fines to make up the revenue..   or at least it seems that way....  my opinion... of course.

I'm seriously considering tracking down the whole house home inspector in this case and telling him he could have gotten someone killed.  The dryer vent was "oxidizing" in the inside (kind  of white looking -- not shiny like the outside anymore) and coming apart at the spiral seam.  It took me less than 15 minutes to hunt down the WH installation manual which of course says it must be Sch. 40 PVC (or a few other kinds) or similar material.  He could have gone back to the office and checked if he wasn't sure before issuing his report.

Well it's all better now.  It's sitting plumb with glued PVC venting and the gas line is shorter, closer to the wall, and strapped to the floor joist above.  And I checked the gas line from the basement wall where the meter is all the way to the furnace and WH.

If the pipe was galvanized... zinc will oxide with a "white rust"  not really deadly... it just doesn't last long... but coming apart at the seam... not good.

The prior inspector should care... but he/she/they  could also become quite defensive... and then go an an offensive streak...  I'd be tempted to make copies of what you find... give owners a matter of fact report and if they paid for the inspection let them go after the prior inspector... just offer the facts.   Sometimes the battles start over whose credentials and licenses are better... the pictures and facts... plus a complaint from the current occupant tends to carry more weight.

The individual that paid for the inspection -- may be most concerned.  If it was the seller... they may have selected -- inspector for a reason.... sad.  If the inspection was paid for by the new owner.   They may be quite unhappy - because the items should have been resolved by the seller... or the price lowered.    (Unless house sold "AS IS")

Lots of pictures saved on your part to show the previous state... hopefully the other inspector will move out of the business soon.

SCH40?  So this is a gas condensing storage tank?   Just curious...  

the "white rust" was on the inside of the foil dryer "slinky" hose that is shown in the top picture.  

The "inspector" was hired by the new owner who was buying it from friends of theirs.  The bill to correct to venting was $165 so in the whole scheme of things probably not worth the trouble of adjusting the price.  The previous owners used it for at least 18 months noting the install date marked on the unit.

I was thinking of just giving the "inspector" a pic of the venting and a copy of the installation manual's page on proper vent materials but I think you're right, it may be better received coming from the person who hired them and paid their bill.

It's not a condensing storage unit -- just a regular power vented unit.  Sch 40 is what the install manual listed along with ABS -- maybe they're just erring on the side of prudence.

The white stuff -- is probably combustion by products.  And I might be expected.  You would not normally see them on the white sch40 pipe.  Sometimes a gentle push on an inspector is more useful... you may see his work again... or he may see yoiurs. Helping educate and building allies is far more useful.

"Not on his red list" was a direct quote from the new homeowner.

I have to see a picture of the straps holding it up. Please post!


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