What your Home Inspector will look for at the time of the electrical inspection.

What your Home Inspector will look for at the time of the electrical inspection.

A home Inspector is responsible for visually examining your electrical system while doing your home inspection. The home Inspector will certainly have a fundamental knowledge about the electrical system of a home; however they are not required to perform a code inspection at the home.
Safety is always the most important issue every home inspector will make note of while doing the inspection. There are lots of things that the home inspector investigates throughout the inspection which will be listed within the home inspection report that may result in negotiations and probably will not get fixed or repaired.
Home Inspectors are likely to recommend any kind of repairs get done before house deal closes, despite the fact that often it doesn’t happen this way. Being a home inspector we highly recommend all problems listed in the report be evaluated by a trained electrician.

List of problems that shall be red flagged
o Exposed as well as unprotected wiring anywhere; these are usually located in crawl spaces, attics or basements
o Outlets with an open or missing ground
o GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) not positioned in the correct areas; GFCI protected outlets are usually needed in the kitchens along the counters, bathroom plugs, unfinished Basements, Garage area plugs as well as outlets on the outside of the home.
o GFCI outlets that aren’t working properly will be written up in order to be replaced or repaired
o Solid aluminum branch electric wiring is going to be reported on and also cloth covered wires
o Open junction boxes or exposed wire splices
o Any unsafe condition will be flagged as being a basic safety matter
o Any unsupported electrical wires inside of crawl spaces as well as attics and basements
o Problems much like; handyman wiring, incorrect use of extension cords as well as any unsafe conditions

Issues that really needs to be reported on and therefore outlined in your property Inspection Report
o Check the amperage of the property and report on the condition of it
o Check and report on the electrical service entry wires of the property and their overall condition
o The inspector must check out a representative amount of the electric fixtures outside and inside of the home
o The electrical service panel and additionally all sub-panels needs to be looked over and reported on when it can be achieved safely
o We check to see if the box is properly grounded
o We check to see if there are any double tapped breakers
o We check to see if there is room in the panel to add more breakers
o We check to see if the wire gage is correct for the size of the breakers
o The types of wiring needs to be reported on, and in a case any kind of defects exist that a home inspector will need to report on them and recommend to get them evaluated by a qualified electrician
o If smoke detectors & Carbon Monoxide detectors are present
o The condition and kind of grounding system of the electric utility service
o The location for the primary power disconnect to your electrical system
o Any hazardous condition that restricts your home inspector with accomplishing your inspection really should be detailed within the home inspection report

Electrical items that will not be recommended to be examined and documented on
o Voltage and / or impedance or measure the amperage
o Remote control equipment inside of the home
o Low voltage wiring is not required to be examined and reported on
o Any electrically powered equipment existing that is not a part of the main electricity supply to the house
o The home inspector is not recommended to inspect something that could be unsafe

Is PEX plumbing a good idea in my new construction home?

Dear Ask The Home Inspection Man,
We are going to get started with construction on a brand-new family home this year and our home builder told me he hooked up PEX in the past four houses they built and highly recommended we choose it. Are you able to give us some information when it comes to plumbing the brand new residence with PEX?
Donna and Jim

Dear Donna and Jim,
PEX; short for cross-linked polyethylene has turned into an inexpensive item of preference for several tradesman and local plumbers. This has been available in America ever since the 1980s for many installations which include standard plumbing and hydronic floor heating systems.
PEX is not freeze proof, but is undoubtedly less likely to burst in the course of very cold conditions when compared with what most other types of plumbing. Because of its flexibility PEX might be installed with several configurations that include simply by using a manifold and plumbing a continuous home run on the cold and hot lines to every appliance. With this type of set up there won’t be any plumbing connectors present to result in leaks inside crawl spaces, in the house walls or under concrete slabs.
PEX are often installed together with couplings that can be interconnected with specialized fittings.
PEX is offered generally in most popular plumbing measurements also you will be able to get it color coded; red plumbing for all the hot lines in addition to blue for the cold water lines. It has many beneficial attributes but there are a few facts you have to know concerning installation.
You mustn’t put it in direct sunlight and you really should think about thermal expansion which will be visible as drooping anywhere between plumbing hangers requiring installing more hangers.
There are not many build-it-yourself home-owners using PEX considering that it needs some particular devices when it comes to installation, however it is growing to be very well liked in remodels along with upgrades of existing houses.
As a professional home inspector we don’t discover many problems involving this product. We are finding a lot of home owners are having excellent results and would recommend it to anyone else building a brand new home.

Is installing a programmable thermostat right for you?

Is installing a programmable thermostat right for you?

A programmable thermostat is one of the few things available that you can install that will create a more comfortable atmosphere in your home while saving money. They will usually save you between $5 and $15 a month depending on the size of your home and the size and efficiency of your HVAC unit.

A programmable thermostat can be difficult to install for an inexperienced person, but don’t let this keep you from calling a Heat and Air contractor to have one installed. It will conserve energy, save money and create a more comfortable home. The temperature will usually not vary more than 2 degrees of your desired temperature, and you will start seeing a return on investment as soon as you start using the settings on your new thermostat.

If you choose to install it yourself be aware the wiring to a thermostat is low voltage, but make sure the power is off to the unit. It is important to talk with someone where you purchase your new thermostat to be sure it is compatible with your brand and type of heating and cooling system. The instructions and diagrams will be very specific and must be followed. If you remove a mercury switch thermostat, be aware the mercury is a toxic material and should be disposed of properly.

There are several types to choose from, but to get the best results choose one that is programmable to match your lifestyle. All brands and types of thermostats will allow you override the settings temporally, for vacations or you can have permanent settings.

Other things you should know; if you have more than one thermostat to control you home you should replace all of the thermostats, and you will need to replace the batteries annually. If you really want to save money, you will need to set the thermostat settings as conservatively as possible without compromising your comfort.

Any questions, Ask The Home Inspection Man

Questions to ask your Home Inspector

Important questions a First Time Residential home Buyer should really discuss with his / her Home Inspector
As a first time home buyer there are several important things you will want to know about your new home. Buying your very first house often is the biggest purchase you have ever made and you will probably need just as much important information as you can get about your purchase.
You’ll want knowledge about any kind of inadequacies your home inspector finds as well as details about any kind of repairs which are required to be performed. Using a quality home inspector that gives you a good simple to read report together with pictures which identify what he / she finds through the home inspection.
Your Home Inspector will provide you with the information you want to move forward with your purchase. Home inspections have been fashioned to help discover flaws not to mention deficiencies throughout your home.
Your home inspector isn’t actually attempting to find cosmetic insufficiencies such as rooms that need paint. Your home inspector will provide you with a good unbiased thoughts and opinions and give you some specialized information and facts on the house and property you are actually serious in obtaining.
Most home inspectors aren’t going to spend a good deal of time or even report on cosmetic problems, they just don’t fall into the actual scope of the certified home inspection. Upon having an agreement on your own new house, choose your home inspector you will want to have it scheduled.
You will have a time limit written in your current agreement by which you need to get your home inspection finished within, so schedule your home inspection as soon as possible in order to have plenty of time to search for the home inspector to suit your needs.
I suggest you ask the inspector his practical experience in addition to the kind of report you will receive, and when you’ll receive your real estate inspection report.
There aren’t any stupid questions, so do not hesitate to ask questions.

1. Is the roof in good condition?
2. Is the heating and air conditioning in good condition?
3. Was the home structure in good condition at the time of the inspection?
4. What is the condition of the electrical system?
5. What type windows are in the house
6. Is there sufficient insulation in the attic?
7. Should I be worried about any water problems?
8. Should I expect to have any problems with the plumbing?
9. During the home inspection was there any safety concerns discovered?
An effective home inspector is going to be a person who will answer question to help you with your first family home.
You’ll want to get yourself a report that is certainly simple to go through and comprehend, but yet to receive the most knowledge together with the very best value for your actual expense, ask lots of questions.

Why winterizing your fence is an important part of home maintenance

(ARA) – Winter rain and storms take a toll on metal gate hardware. Inexpensive gravity latches function fine when new. However, as soon as rust sets in or

gates fall out of alignment, these latches no longer close without manual assistance.

A well-maintained fence can protect your home and possessions, prevent young children and pets from venturing out of your yard without your knowledge, and

keep unwelcome intruders out.

A fence that has been allowed to deteriorate, particularly if the gate no longer closes and latches securely, is a liability. It won’t provide constant

reminders that repairs are needed, like a leaking roof, but it still needs to be fixed. You could be subjected to a lawsuit if someone enters your

property, even without your permission, and is injured. A well-maintained fence surrounding your property can reduce that liability.

Professional fencing contractors can be consulted for minor repairs, as well as new or replacement fencing, but there are many “do-it-yourself” steps

homeowners can take to preserve the appearance as well as extend the useful life of their fences.

For wood fencing:
* Protect against dry rot. If it’s already invaded the wood, pry or cut the damaged section out, scrub the remaining fence with mild detergent or diluted

bleach and replace the section you removed with the same type of wood that was used in the original fence. Then, prime and paint or stain the entire fence.

For metal fencing:
* Powder-coated aluminum needs little maintenance, but if the coating has worn off in areas, it will need to be sealed and repainted before winter weather

causes the metal to rust.

* Steel or wrought iron fencing needs to be repainted when it rusts. Use a stiff metal brush to remove rust, wash thoroughly, then prime and paint with a

rust-proof paint.

Gates and gate hardware are the only moveable parts on a fence system, so they’re subject to the most wear and tear. Rust and gate misalignment are the

most common problems that prevent latches from engaging properly. If the gate does not latch each time it’s closed, the entire fence is ineffective.

Selecting the right gate hardware can prevent most of these problems. An investment in quality when buying new, or when replacing defective or old

hardware, can mean that little or no maintenance needs to be done to the gate. Gate hinges and latches by D&D Technologies, made of strong engineering

polymers and stainless steel that will not rust, are adjustable during and after installation to easily correct for gate alignment issues in seconds.

It takes just a few minutes to update your gates so they close automatically after opening (self-closing) and the gate latch engages without manual effort

(self-latching), improving the security and overall look of your fence. Most D&D latches feature built-in key locks, which eliminate the hassle and extra

cost of a separate padlock or pull-string. The company’s hinges have a built-in self-closing spring that is tension adjustable for different gate weights

with a twist of a screwdriver.

Rust-free gate hardware by D&D Technologies is now available under the Stanley or National Hardware brand through select Lowe’s stores or online at

www.lowes.com, and through other hardware retailers. See www.ddtechglobal.com, e-mail info@ddtechusa.com or call (800) 716-0888, ext. 292 for details.

The gate is the only part of the fence that is used daily. Ensuring that your fences and gates are functioning properly and are protected from rust is an essential part of maintaining your property. www.HomeInspectionMan.com 888 690-6903

How to Clean your Dryer Vent

How to Clean your Dryer Vent
Unlike your washing machine, your dryer will need some ongoing regular maintenance to keep it working properly and safely. Let’s talk about how a dryer works first. You put wet clothes in and it spins them around with hot air and the exhaust vent sends the damp air outside. The hot moist air should end up outside, not in the crawl space or garage.
When your clothes are being tumbled around they tend to lose bits of fabric or tiny fibers, this is usually caught in the lint trap. Always keep the dryer lint trap clean, it will be located inside the dryer door or on top of the dryer for ease of access. The best way I have discovered is as simple as using the dryer sheet to clean the filter trap. The dryer sheet picks up all the lint, keeps your hands clean and lint free and then you just toss them out.
If you allow lint to build up inside the exhaust pipe it can overheat creating a potential fire hazard especially if you have a gas dryer, and your new energy star dryer can lose its energy efficiency.
Here are some tips to clean out the exhaust pipe.
• First unplug the dryer (we don’t want anyone to get electrocuted).
• Pull the dryer out away from the wall so you can get behind it to work.
• Take a screw driver to loosen the screw on clamp (this is what holds the pipe on the dryer)
• Reach into the hole where you took the pipe loose from and pull out any lint or debris (a vacuum works well)
• Now reach into the pipe as far as you can and pull out any lint (again the vacuum works well for this). Most build up will be within the first twelve to sixteen inches
• After all the lint has been removed put the pipe back on the dryer and replace the clamp. Tighten the screw back down snug. We don’t want it to blow off when the dryer is put back in use.
• Now go to the outside and remove the vent cover and clean this end out.
• Look inside to see if you missed anything.
• Plug the dryer in and run on fluff for ten minutes. This will blow out any loose particles left in the pipe so don’t stand in front of it.
• Check the outside for good clean air flow; you are ready to put the vent cover back on.
Good luck and remember to be safe.

Energy Inefficient Windows

Are you throwing money out the (energy inefficient) window?

(ARA) – They frame your favorite view and are key to making your home comfortable in summer and winter, yet most people don’t think about them until they stop working properly. But, if your windows aren’t performing as well as they should, now is a great time to consider replacing them.

Until the end of 2010, the U.S. government’s Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit can credit you with 30 percent of window material costs, up to $1,500, for making qualifying efficiency upgrades to your home.

Poorly performing windows can account for 35 to 40 percent of your home’s heat loss in the winter and are often even less effective at keeping your home cool in summer. That’s literally throwing your money out the window. Today’s double and triple-pane windows are worlds apart from the windows sold just 10 years ago.

Replacement window frames offer improved protection from air and water infiltration over older windows, and the energy-efficient innovations in glass options can really make a difference in your home’s comfort. To meet the qualifications for the Energy Efficiency Tax Credit, Milgard Windows & Doors incorporates advanced technologies to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Its SunCoat Low-E glass and EdgeGard thermal spacers provide the insulating power needed to keep your home comfortable all year round. But the hundreds of combinations and choices can be overwhelming. To avoid dealing with an overly-confusing list of window choices, the company offers energy packages that configure the window’s individual components for you, based on your desired energy performance level and geographic location.

When looking for energy efficient windows, most manufacturers recommend starting with the ENERGY STAR sticker. A good window will have a label from the National Fenestration Ratings Council (NFRC) and have ENERGY STAR ratings as well. On the NFRC label you’ll see the manufacturer’s name, a description of the window, plus a U-value and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) numbers. Lower U-values and SHGC numbers mean better insulation, but look closely. To qualify for the Energy Efficiency Tax Credit, each of your windows must have a U-value of .30 or less and SHGC of .30 as well.

You also should consider the manufacturer’s warranty when shopping for windows. Just as some windows work harder than others to keep your home comfortable, some manufacturers are more willing than others to stand behind their products with the service and support you expect from a major home purchase. Look for a full lifetime warranty, and check to see if labor costs and glass breakage is included.

Fall is here, winter is right around the corner and, if you act soon, you can take advantage of the soon-to-expire tax credit for making valuable improvements to your own home with replacement windows. To get started, you can find a qualified replacement window dealer by visiting www.milgard.com or by calling (800) 645-4273.