A large part of homeowner maintenance is paying attention to little things.
Areas that are above or below the line of sight, tend to be the most neglected areas. Deterioration, rot and leaks can hide in these areas that are just out of sight. These areas are the places that keep home inspectors in business.
Plumbing supply and waste lines are always in areas that are out of sight. Special attention needs to be paid to these pipes periodically. Small leaks under the sink, or worse, in the crawlspace, can lead to big issues. For those of us that do not really want to go into the crawlspace… there is a secret little leak detector on most water meters.
The little dial on most water meters have a little red or white triangle. The triangle will spin with very little water movement. This can be a pretty handy way to check for leaks without actually going into the crawlspace!
On a recent home inspection in Salem, Oregon I noted the red triangle spinning. No water was being used in the home… The buyer and/or seller now have some more investigation to do.
As an attentive homeowner you should check this “little thing” to ensure that your supply pipes are not leaking.
The most important part of a good home inspection is the education about the home. Above and beyond the defects that good home inspectors will find, helping the new home owners understand the weird knobs and switches that are in a typical home is really where good inspectors earn their wage.
One type of knob in particular that I see often in more recently built homes is the “hose bib winterization valve.”
It seems simple enough however they usually are not anywhere near the hose bib (outside water faucet)!
In a two-story home, these valves are usually stuffed under an upstairs bathroom sink. The placement is good because if you shut the water off and open the bleed valve the water will readily drain out the outside water faucet.
If you have a recently built home and see one of these under the sink:
There are a few things to look at when inspecting this oh-so mundane of household appliances. If you have read my earlier posts or seen the MythBusters, you would understand that the pressure and temperatures contained in this vessel are nothing to be taken lightly.
Seismic Straps: In other parts of the world this may not be a very important issue but around Salem, Oregon the earth shakes from time to time. Knowing what we know now about the bomb that is our water heater we know that we shouldn’t mess around too much and expose it to rupture or other damage. The best way to protect the heater is to strap it to the structure and make sure it doesn’t tip or fall over.
The straps need to be installed with one in the upper third of the tank and one in the lower third of the tank. These straps should be tied securely to structure with lag bolts.
With these two straps installed properly, minor earth quaking should not cause damage to your water heating system.
I will discuss the other important items in the next posts…….
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