Sink Supports

These photos show what happens when you hire an auto mechanic instead of a plumber to install a kitchen sink. The adhesive used to secure the sink to the counter top failed to hold up the sink, however, it’s nothing a couple of car jacks can’t fix!

[sink failure]

[sink supports]

Photos by Dennis Robitaille of Able Home Inspection

Destructive Fungus

When basement moisture is not controlled, the results can be ugly and dangerous. This photo of a floor joist covered with wood destroying fungus was taken in an older basement that has had a long term water infiltration problem. The water on the floor becomes water vapor and saturates the basement air. The wood members absorb the moisture and in this case the percentage of water in the wood exceeded 28%. The result in this case was widespread damage and failure of the wood structure.

destructive fungus

Photo by Dennis Robitaille of Able Home Inspection

Cut Floor Joist

Having seen the issue in the photo above many times, I wonder if it might be a good idea to include some basic structural framing lessons in plumbing school.

cut floor joist problem

Coffee Can Flue Pipe

The owner of this home really believes in recycling, although using a coffee can as part of a gas fired water heater flue pipe is not recommended.

coffee can flue pipe

Disconnected Plumbing Vent Pipe

This is a disconnected plumbing vent pipe in the attic of a ten year old home. The purpose of the plumbing vent pipe is to equalize the air pressure in the drainage system so that water will drain properly and to vent sewage gas to the exterior of the home. In this case sewage gas is entering into the attic and the portion of the pipe above the roof is allowing rain water to run down into the attic (the owner couldn’t understand why he had a water stain on his kitchen ceiling.)

Floating Steps

floating steps

Shouldn’t those stair stringers reach the ground?

Photo by Dennis Robitaille of Able Home Inspection, Inc.

Heat Recovery System

heat recovery system hazard

Builders often wonder why you would want a good independent Home Inspection. After all, the house is looked at many times, so what could be wrong they ask? Fact is, many things are wrong, code violations abound, missing house parts are common, and many things are not installed or done properly. The photo below is of a HRV Tandem Vent at the back of a new three story home in Canada. This tandem type vent is different from the separate IN/OUT HRV vents that many detached homes have. This dual vent is a single unit that sucks air in from the bottom to the HRV, and the exhaust air from the house goes out the top front of the vent. Note that it’s directly above a gutter and right beside the exhaust vent from the homes gas fired water heater (Carbon Monoxide is one of the exhaust gas components). The unit is too close to the gutter which is considered a “permanent horizontal surface”. An 18 inch clearance is the Ontario Building Code minimum requirement for this height rule and the water heater gas exhaust vent is too close to the HRV intake. The required clearance between the HVR Intake vent and the gas exhaust pipe is 6 feet.

New Construction Drain Line

new construction drain line

Often times prospective buyers of new house construction ask home inspectors “do I really need an inspection for a new house”? The photo below shows one of many examples of problem issues found in newly constructed houses. An improperly installed drain line / trap could allow sewage gas to seep into the room.

Relief Valve Shut Off

relief valve shut off hazard

The purpose of a pressure/temperature relief valve on a water heater tank is to open up and release water if the pressure exceeds 150 PSI or the water temperature exceeds 210 F degrees. Apparently the PT valve at this water heater was leaky and the homeowner fixed the leak by installing a shut off valve on the relief valve. This water heater tank is now a potential rocket ready to take off. Click here to view video of exploding water heater tank.

Exhaust Caused Ice Dam

exhaust caused ice dam

This photo shows why it’s not a good idea to locate a heating system exhaust vent under a roof soffit. The heat from the exhaust pipe melts the snow at the bottom area of the roof. When the heating system cycles off, ice forms. Subsequent cycling of the heating system allows the ice to build up. When snow higher up on the roof melts, the water flow is blocked by the ice at the bottom of the roof. This water is then forced back up under the roof shingles and finds its way down into the exterior wall of the house. Photo by Dennis Robitaille of Able Home Inspection.