Cast Iron pipe was used in the drain and waste portions of the plumbing system. This type of pipe is normally known to deteriorate from the inside outward. Cast iron pipe can can clog or fail at any time without warning. Some types of soil, including clays, are corrosive to cast iron. Either point of corrosion may lead to pitting of the cast iron piping, and can eventually lead to pipe failure and leaking. Failure of the pipe under the slab can result in settling and cracking of the foundation. Thus, cast iron pipe represents a double concern to homeowners and potential homebuyers; it results in the increased possibility of both future plumbing and foundation repair expenses. Blockages will occur in the life of any system, but blockages in drainpipes, and particularly in main drainpipes, can be expensive to repair. The client may want to have a qualified plumber familiar with cast iron pipe further evaluate pipes and also have them video-scanned.
Electrical service type: Electrical service wires to the home were run overhead.
Overhead wires: Overhead service conductors appeared to be in good condition
Electrical Meter Location: The home's electric meter was located on the exterior of the home
Service voltage (volts): Service voltage to the home was 120-240
Meter amperage (amps): The meter's amperage rating is listed at 200 amps
Electric Meter Condition: The electric meter appeared to be in good condition at the time of the inspection
Location of Main Panel: The main electrical panel was located in the basement
Panel Manufacture: The panel brand was Square D
Electric Panel Rating: The label listed the panel rating at 200 amps
Service Conductor Size: The aluminum service entrance conductors were 4/0
Service voltage (volts): 120/240
Location of main disconnect: Circuit breaker at top of main electrical panel
Main disconnect rating: The main electrical disconnect was rated at 200 amps
Breakers/ fuses: Circuit breakers in the main electrical service panel appeared to be in serviceable condition at the time of the inspection
Branch circuit wiring type: The visible branch circuit wiring was modern vinyl-insulated copper wire
Solid strand aluminum wiring: No visible aluminum branch wires were found in the electrical service panel
Electric Panel Bonding: The electrical components appeared to be properly bonded at the time of the inspection
Double tapped breakers: Yes, several breakers were double tapped
Double Lugged Neutrals: Yes, neutral wires were double tapped
Room for additional circuit breakers: Yes, main electrical service panel had room for additional circuit breakers
Missing Circuit Breaker Covers: No
Grounding observed to:: The main electrical service appeared to be grounded to the main water pipe and a ground rod
Grounding connections are: Grounding connection was Secure
If grounded to water main, is meter jumped: Yes, bonding jumper wire was used
Type of Electrical Outlets: Generally outlets were 2 and 3 prong outlets
Condition of GFCI outlets/breakers: Some GFCI outlets were not installed where needed
39) Safety Issue, Minor Defect
Electrical Service PanelBreaker Double Tapped
Overcurrent protection devices(circuit breakers or fuses) in the panel were "double tapped", where two or more wires are clamped in a terminal designed for only one wire. This is a safety hazard since the bolt or screw may tighten securely against one wire, but leave others loose. Arcing, sparking and fires may result. Recommend having an electrical contractor repair.
and/or http://chi-tn.com/blog/electrical/double-taps-or-double-lugsNeutral Wires Double Tapped
Multiple grounded (neutral) wires were connected under a single screw on the grounding or neutral bus bar at the main panel. Although this may have been an acceptable practice at the time the panel was installed, current standards require each grounded conductor(neutral/white) wire to have it's very own screw on the bus bar, no other grounded conductor or grounding conductor (bare copper wire) should be under the screw. I recommend that an electrical contractor be contracted to separate the neutrals, and terminate them in a manner consistent with the most current safety standards. And if need be, add additional terminal bars to accommodate the number of conductors.
Visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2gnMPtBDdQElectric Panel Legend
Legend for over-current protection devices (breakers or fuses) in the main service panel was missing, unreadable or incomplete. Recommend installing, updating or correcting the legend as necessary so it's accurate.
Photo 39-1 The double tapped neutral wires are shown in the photograph.
Photo 39-2 Illustration,
Photo 39-3 The double tapped breakers are shown in the photograph.
Photo 39-4 Electrical panel legend
40) Safety Issue, Minor Defect
Cover plate(s) were missing from one or more electric boxes, such as for receptacles, switches and/or junction boxes. They are intended to contain fire and prevent electric shock from exposed wires. This is a safety issue due to the risk of fire and shock. Cover plates should be installed/replaced where necessary.
Photo 40-1 Dinning room switch,no cover
Photo 40-2 No cover plate
Photo 40-3 Master Bedroom,no cover plate
Photo 40-4 No cover plate, Family room
Photo 40-5 Missing plate, between joists
Photo 40-6 Missing plate, bottom of stairs
41) Safety Issue, Minor Defect
Inadequate Working Space
Inadequate working space existed for the main service panel. Washer and dryer were in front of the service panel making it difficult to reach the breakers in the panel. Standard building practices require the following clearances:
- An area 30 inches wide by 3 feet deep exists in front of the panel
- The panel is at least 5 1/2 feet above the floor
- There is at least 6 feet 6 inches of headroom in front of the panel
- The wall below the panel is clear to the floor
A qualified contractor and/or electrician should make modifications as necessary.
Photo 41-1 The washer & dryer are in front of electrical service panel
Photo 41-2 Illustration, working space for panel
42) Safety Issue, Improve / Upgrade
Exterior electrical outlets were operable at the time of the inspection but had no Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protection.
Although GFCI protection of exterior circuits may not have been required at the time in which this home was built, as general knowledge of safe building practices has improved with the passage of time, building standards have changed to reflect current understanding.
Although it was not required at the time of build it is highly recommended that you upgrade to current standards.
Photo 42-1 Non GFCI exterior outlet
Photo 42-2 Washer drain line(red), washer outlet(green), electric panel(blue)
Photo 42-3 Outlet in screen room, non GFCI
Photo 42-4 Illustration, GFCI outlet and breaker
43) Improve / Upgrade
Two Prong Receptacles
The house was wired with 2-prong ungrounded receptacles. While common years ago and still acceptable today, the lack of a grounding conductor will limit the use of certain appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, computers, etc. that require a ground. Dedicated circuits may have to be run to properly and safely use such appliances. You should consult with an electrical contractor about the limitations of this older wiring system.
Photo 43-1 2 prong outlet, kitchen
Photo 43-2 Illustration, replacing non grounded outlets
44) Improve / Upgrade -
3 Prong Dryer Plug
A three prong receptacle for a clothes dryer was installed. Most modern clothes dryers use both 120 and 240 volts (120 for timers and motors, and 240 for heating elements) and either require, or are more safely installed with, a four wire receptacle. With three conductor wiring, the ground wire rather than a neutral wire is used to carry the return current back for the 120 volt leg. The clothes dryer's metal frame may become energized if the neutral wire becomes loose at the receptacle or panel. While three wire clothes dryer circuits were allowed prior to 1996 and are commonly found, they are considered unsafe due the risk of shock. Recommend having a qualified electrician convert this to a four wire circuit. Note that this may require installing a new circuit wire from the panel to the clothes dryer location.
45) Not or Limited Inspection, Informational Comment -
Type of Wiring
The determination of the type of branch circuit wiring used in this home was made by inspection of the electric panels only. Inspection of the wiring in or at the receptacles, switches, fixtures, junction boxes, walls, ceiling, floors, etc., is beyond the scope of a home inspection and were not inspected.
Basement: The basement was readily accessible for inspection
Basement: Full basement, part of which was finished as living space
Foundation walls: Most of the foundation walls were hidden behind interior wall coverings in the finished basement
Interior Foundation Wall Material: The visible portions of the foundations walls consisted of block
Observed on interior wall: The interior foundation walls appeared in good condition at time of inspection
Ceiling framing: The ceiling framing in the basement was hidden from view by a suspended ceiling
Sub Floor Material: Sub floor material was plywood
Floor Framing: The visible floor framing rested on top of and was supported by poured concrete masonry unit (CMU) foundation walls bearing on footings.
Beam material: The main support beam was constructed of a steel I beam or W beam
Pier or support post material: Support posts were constructed of steel
Support columns condition: Support posts appear in good condition
Basement Windows Condition: The metal basement windows were in good condition
Insulation material underneath floor above: Insulation was installed covering rim boards only
General area dampness: Dehumidifier noted
Water stains observed on: None noted
Basement floor: Concrete, Carpeting
Floor drainage: None noted
Floor Condition: Small cracks
46) Safety Issue, Minor Defect
Gaps between balusters larger than 4 3/8 inches were found in the basement stair guardrails. This is a safety issue for small children. A qualified contractor should make modifications as necessary so gaps in guardrails do not exceed four inches. For example, installing additional balusters or railing components. Visit: http://www.nadra.org/consumers/deck_safety_month.html
for more information.
Photo 46-1 Basement stairs
47) Safety Issue, Improve / Upgrade
This basement had no means of egress required by generally-accepted current standards in homes with basements larger than 200 square feet or basements with sleeping rooms. Although means of egress may not have been required at the time the home was originally constructed, as general knowledge of safe building practices has improved with the passage of time, building standards have changed to reflect current understanding. Consider updating the existing condition to meet generally-accepted current standards.
For more information visit:http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/improvement/1275596
48) Not or Limited Inspection
Some basement sections were not evaluated due to lack of access from the following conditions: finished walls and/or ceilings and couldn't be fully evaluated.
Attic access: The attic was accessed through a ceiling hatch.
How evaluated: Traversed and evaluated the attic from inside the attic space.
Roof system: The roof structure was built using conventional framing methods.
Inches apart: The rafters were spaced 16 inches apart.
Roof sheathing: The roof structure sheathing was plywood.
Moisture penetration: Rust on nails noted in the attic.
Attic floor system: No walkway was provided in the attic.
Attic Ventilation: Attic ventilation was provided by gable and soffit vents
Attic Ventilation: Some soffit vents were blocked by thermal insulation.
Bathroom vent: Bathroom exhaust vent(s) terminated in atttic
Insulation material: The attic insulation appeared to be blown-in fiberglass
Insulation condition: Fair, attic insulation thickness was approximately 10 to 12 inches.
Insulation estimated R value: R-30
49) Repair/Replace, Conducive conditions
Exhaust Fan Ducts
Exhaust fan had no duct and terminated in the attic. This is a conducive condition for mold and wood destroying insects and organisms due to increased moisture levels in the attic from the hot steamy exhaust air. They should be vented through the gable end or out through the roof. We commonly see these vents stuffed out near the soffit area, occasionally this works, but more then likely the hot steamy air never makes it to the outdoors.A qualified contractor should install ducts and vent caps as necessary and as per standard building practices so exhaust air is vented outside. Better building practices call for R8 rated insulation on these ducts.
For more information visit: http://www.nachi.org/bathroom-ventilation-ducts-fans.htm
Photo 49-1 The bath exhaust fan is shown in the photograph.
50) Repair/Replace, Conducive conditions -
Some soffit vents were blocked by insulation. This can reduce air flow through the roof structure or attic and result in reduced service life for the roof surface materials because of high temperatures. Moisture from condensation is also likely to accumulate in the roof structure and/or attic and can be a conducive condition for wood-destroying organisms. Recommend that a qualified person repair as necessary so air flows freely through all vents. For example, by moving or removing insulation and installing cardboard baffles.
52) Not or Limited Inspection
Attic Areas Inaccessible
Some attic areas were inaccessible due to lack of permanently installed walkways, the possibility of damage to insulation, low height and/or stored items. These areas are excluded from this inspection.
Photo 52-1 The attic insulation is shown in the photograph.
Health & Safety Concerns and Recommendations
Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI): Limited areas of GFCI protection was provided in the home at the time of the inspection.
Location of GFCIs: GFCI protection was provided in the bathroom (s) only.
GFCI tested: GFCI outlets were tested using both the testing plug and plug in light tester.
AFCI protection: No Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) protection was installed to protect electrical circuits in bedrooms
Smoke detectors: Were located in the hallway only.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Carbon Monoxide detector locations appeared to be satisfactory at the time of the inspection.
53) Safety Issue, Improve / Upgrade
Too Few Smoke Detectors
An insufficient number of smoke alarms were installed. Smoke Detectors are noted when present but are NOT
tested or inspected. Pushing the built-in test button does not ensure that the smoke sensor is functional. It only establishes that the electrical circuit and audible alarm are functional. It is recommended that all smoke detectors be replaced when new owners move in. Ionization technology responds first to fast, flaming fires while photoelectric technology responds faster to slow smoldering fires. Having both types would be ideal. When installing detectors it is recommended that they be placed at each level including the basement and in each bedroom and laundry room of the house. Placement should be in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations. Smoke detectors should be replaced at 10 year intervals or per manufacturer's suggestion. Batteries should be changed twice a year.
For more information on smoke detectors visit:http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/smokealarms.pdf Smoke alarm safety tips
54) Improve / Upgrade
Recommend placing fire extinguishers in the kitchen and laundry areas. The kitchen area extinguisher should be specially rated for kitchen fires.Fire Extinguishers
55) Maintain / Service, Informational Comment
Natural gas service was present at the house. Before spending the first night, ensure that proper carbon monoxide detectors are present. The detector should be mounted low toward the floor as carbon monoxide is heavier than air. Several C/O detectors are best. One near the heating system and hot water supply and one on each floor of the home.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors are widely available in stores and you should buy one as a back-up -- BUT NOT AS A REPLACEMENT for proper use and maintenance of your fuel-burning appliances. It is important for you to know that the technology of CO detectors is still developing, that there are several types on the market, and that they are not generally considered to be as reliable as the smoke detectors found in homes today. Some CO detectors have been laboratory-tested, and their performance varied. Some performed well, others failed to alarm even at very high CO levels, and still others alarmed even at very low levels that don?t pose any immediate health risk. And unlike a smoke detector, where you can easily confirm the cause of the alarm, CO is invisible and odorless, so it?s harder to tell if an alarm is false or a real emergency.
For more information visit:Carbon Momoxide-The Silent Killer
56) Maintain / Service
Recommend cleaning dryer vents annually. Clogged dryer vents will reduce the efficiency of the dryer and are known to cause house fires. Remove vent from rear of the dryer and vacuum the internal dryer duct. Next, vacuum the inside of the vent, disassemble joints on longer vent pipes and clean as much as possible.
Dryer exhaust ducts should be independent of all other systems, should convey the moisture to the outdoors, should terminate on the outside of the building in accordance with the manufacturer?s installation instructions and should be equipped with a back-draft damper.
Exhaust ducts should be constructed of rigid metal ducts, having smooth interior surfaces with joints running in the direction of air flow. Screens should not be installed at the duct termination. Exhaust ducts should not be connected with sheet-metal screws or any means which extend into the duct. (Screens and screws can trap lint.)
Exhaust duct terminations should be in accordance with the dryer manufacturer?s instructions. For more information on dryer safety issues, see Over Heated Dryer VentsDryerVents
Virtually all real estate has problems, regardless of age or usage. It is not my purpose to compile a complete, definitive, or exhaustive list of items that need repair, but to document the general condition of the residence and to note any visible major defects. This is not a comprehensive document about the structure and should not be relied upon as such. Cosmetic considerations (paint, wall covering, carpeting, window coverings, etc.) and minor flaws are not within the scope of the inspection. Although some minor and cosmetic flaws might be noted in this report as a courtesy to you, a list of the minor and cosmetic flaws noted here should not be considered a complete, definitive, or exhaustive list and should not be relied upon as such. Routine maintenance and safety items are not within the scope of this inspection unless they otherwise constitute visible major defects as defined in the Home Inspection Agreement. This report does not include all maintenance items and should not be relied upon for such items.All conditions are reported as they existed at the time of the inspection. The information contained in this report may be unreliable beyond the date of the inspection due to changing conditions
Home Inspectors, Licensed Specialists, and Experts;
Inspectors are generalists, are not acting as experts in any craft or trade, and are conducting what is essentially a visual inspection. Home inspectors generally know something about everything and everything about nothing. Some state and local laws, therefore, require that inspectors defer to qualified and licensed experts (e.g., plumber, electrician, et al.) in certain instances. If inspectors recommend consulting specialists or experts, it is possible that they will discover additional problems that a home inspector generalist cannot. Any listed items in this report concerning areas reserved by New York law to such licensed experts should not be construed as a detailed, comprehensive, and/or exhaustive list of problems or areas of concern.