Why does it seem like home inspectors are comparing resale homes to a new or perfect home? Because in some ways we are. Newer homes may have important safety upgrades or other improvements that can be easily retrofitted in the home under consideration. The home inspector should also, however, be providing perspective to the homebuyer. What I mean is that the buyer needs to be made acutely aware of safety concerns and high cost repairs. Wear-and-tear items, while also important to disclose, should be explained as such. Ultimately a good home inspector will compare a home to its peers regarding wear-and-tear items and provide ample disclosure of the safety and high cost items. By the way, in the home inspection industry, high cost generally means in excess of $500.00 to repair.
Why are Phoenix home inspectors so critical about lack of GFCI protection? Because GFCI devices cost only about $10.00 each and can mean the difference between life and death. Many needless injuries and deaths have occurred because of the lack of operating GFCI protection at wet locations of the electrical system. Inspectors should be particular about the importance of safety upgrades; professional inspectors must provide a conservative view.
What makes anti-siphon protection on the plumbing system important? Safety. Let’s say that you are using a hose end garden sprayer to apply insecticide (poison) to your lawn. You do not have anti-siphon protection on the hose bib and the city main piping develops a leak somewhere. In that case the insecticide can actually be siphoned into the supply line and returned to you and your neighbor’s drinking water when the main line is repaired. Not good!
Is anybody else tired of hearing about high water pressure? We are! Many locations in the valley are plagued with high water pressure. Builders are supposed to install a pressure regulator if the water pressure is in excess of 80 psi, but they rarely do. Let me paint you a picture … The clothes washer supply tubing is often the weakest link in the system. High-pressure causes bursting at the lines. It only occurs on holidays, weekends, when out of town, etc. and lots-o-damage results. The bad news is that many other “weak links” exist in the plumbing system of an average home. Regulators must be installed by plumbers and cost around $200.00 to $250.00.
Should the home inspector be walking on a tile roof? Generally speaking a clay tile roof should never be walked but a concrete tile roof can be walked. It is best if the inspector weighs less than 200 pounds and only walks where the tiles overlap each other. It can also help to only walk in the lower portions “pans” of the tile.
If you have any other questions about why inspectors do what they do, email me through this web site. We are a team of professional Phoenix home inspection professionals.