Knoxville Home Inspection Reveals HVAC Deficiency

April 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

On a recent Knoxville home inspection, I came across a package heat pump unit that did not have a condensate drain or trap installed.  This omission allows condensate to accumulate inside the unit, and prevents proper drainage.  If the air handler is installed inside the house or in an attic space, moisture can fill the primary catch pan and spill over into the secondary pan under the HVAC unit.  Standing water can present a health hazard and corrosion issues.  To ensure proper operation, the condensate drain should be complete with a manufacturer-recommended drain trap.

To discuss your Knoxville home inspection, please call Dan Endsley at (865) 591-1121, or schedule on this website 24/7.

Knoxville Home Inspector Reveals Dangerous Condition

February 12, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

This is a video of an electrical hazard I discovered while doing a west Knoxville home inspection.   A large tree branch had fallen, and was being supported by the home’s electrical service drop.  The weight of this branch could pull the service drop conductors off the house, and present an immediate life safety issue.  Having your new home thoroughly checked by a professional Knoxville home inspector before closing will give you the peace of mind you deserve.

Knoxville Home Inspector Discovers Crazy Drain

July 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

I did a home inspection in a neighboring county last week for a young couple who was planning to buy a home from their landlord. They showed maturity beyond their years when they decided to decided do internet research on Knoxville home inspectors, and have the home professionally inspected before they closed the deal.

Here’s what I found under the kitchen sink:

It always amazes me how much effort a person will put into doing a job incorrectly.  These young buyers knew the drain wasn’t done the right way, but I don’t think they realized just how ridiculous this drain configuration really was!  You can trust The House Scout with your Knoxville home inspection.

Knoxville Home Inspection Reveals Troubled Crawlspace

June 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

A few weeks ago, I was called by a Knoxville area realtor to do a home inspection for one of her clients, a first-time homebuyer.  The house was a small one, less than 800 square feet.  The buyer was getting “a deal” on the place and felt he had looked it over pretty closely, and fortunately he decided to take his real estate agent’s recommendation and hire a professional Knoxville home inspector before closing.

The home had many of the problems commonly found in foreclosed properties:  damaged floorcoverings and drywall, minor electrical wiring concerns, and questionable plumbing system condition due to no water service at time of inspection.  These were all items the buyer considered acceptable in light of the attractive purchase price.  However, when I emerged from the tiny crawlspace access hatch, I knew his purchase decision would require more thought and consideration.

The crawlspace under this house was moisture-laden, the ground was saturated, there was evidence of past standing water, floor framing was significantly moisture-damaged, and I was a muddy mess.  Because of the difficult access to this area, I assume the previous owners may not have realized what the conditions were beneath them, or how they might have deteriorated over the years.

Knoxville home inspectors come across surprises like this every week.  For me, it’s very satisfying to know I have protected my client from making an uninformed purchase.  Don’t take a chance on your next home purchase!  You can trust The House Scout with your Knoxville home inspection.

Maryville TN Home Inspection Reveals Electrical Hazard

May 30, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Last week I was called to do a Maryville TN home inspection for a couple buying a house from an estate.  In these situations, hiring a professional Maryville home inspector is especially important because the sellers are no longer around to answer important questions for buyers.  And family members often live in other parts of the country, and may have limited information about the house anyway.

After removing the cover from the electrical breaker panel in the garage, I noticed some discoloration and bubbled insulation on the neutral service entrance cable.  I expected to see evidence of a loose connection between the neutral lug and the stranded cable.  Then I noticed a drywall screw wedged behind the neutral lug, with evidence of overheating in the immediate area.  I advised my client about this hazard when he arrived, and recommended evaluation and repair by a licensed electrician.  He said he had some experience with household wiring and felt he might be able to take care of the problem himself.  What he didn’t realize is that to make this repair, the electric meter would have to be pulled.  In most jurisdictions, this requires a licensed electrician to pull an electrical work permit with the local codes department before making the repair.

By having this house professionally inspected before closing, my client was able to determine which repairs he could safely do himself and which ones would require a licensed tradesman.  And if he negotiated these repairs with the sellers before closing, he very likely got back the home inspection fee many times over.  Get the peace of mind you deserve!  You can trust your Maryville TN home inspection to The House Scout. 

Farragut TN Home Inspection Reveals HVAC Discrepancy

February 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Last week, I was contacted by a potential home buyer from out of state to conduct an inspection on a Farragut home.  She stated that the sellers disclosed it had a newer dimensional shingle roof and a recently replaced Trane heat and air system.  I expected to find both of these high ticket items in excellent condition.  Here’s what I found:

The roof indeed appeared to be newer, definitely in its first half of life.  The HVAC system installed was a split system (A/C condenser unit outside, A/C coils & furnace inside).  The condenser unit had been replaced in 2000, making it about 11 years old.  I would hesitate to refer to this as a “newer unit”.  And to make matters worse, the A/C coils and furnace both were apparently installed in 1988 … 22 years ago! Not newer, but nearly worn out!

I suspect the reason this had not been mentioned before is that the furnace was installed in a rather difficult crawlspace, and access was limited.  And perhaps the sellers were under the impression that at least the entire A/C system had been replaced, as many homeowners are not aware that there’s more to the system than the compressor.  In any case, my clients and their agent were surprised by this finding, and planned on doing some re-negotiation before closing in light of it.

As is so often the case, I’m quite certain that my clients will save thousands of dollars at the closing table because they hired The House Scout, a certified, state licensed Farragut home inspector.  They paid my home inspection fee $325 on this house, and will likely get that back many times over at closing.  You can trust The House Scout with your Farragut home inspection!

Call Today (865) 591-1121 or Click Above to Schedule Now!

Home Inspector Knoxville TN Finds Federal Pacific Panel

February 20, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

On a recent home inspection in north Knoxville, I came across a Federal Pacific (FPE) electrical breaker panel installed on the outside of a home.  These panels were popular from the mid-1950′s through the early 80′s.  There are several issues associated with these panels, and I’ll mention a few of them here.

The first problem obvious to a home inspector or electrician is the difficulty encountered in removing the panel cover (deadfront cover).  The FPE breakers are designed so that their handles extend out over the cover opening, making removal of the cover precarious at best.  It’s very likely that an unsuspecting inspector will trip some breakers while removing this cover, and FPE breakers will also tend to “jump off” the bus bar with a little encouragement! 

Secondly, the FPE breaker design often lacks good contact with the bus bars.  The FPE breaker “stab” only touches the bus bar with its edge, at right angles.  This minimal contact area and pressure allows for loose connections between the two pieces of metal, and commonly leads to arcing and overheating in the panel. 

Additionally, FPE breakers have a dismal history of failing to trip when overcurrent conditions exist.  And a breaker is, after all, generically referred to as an overcurrent protection device!  This failure allows conductors inside the home to overheat, and has been the cause of numerous house fires across the country.

In short, Federal Pacific electrical breaker panels may very well be a potential hazard to you and your family.  I’ve found several of these panels while conducting Knoxville home inspections, and they are usually replaced at the seller’s expense before closing. 

Interestingly, this house had a previous inspection conducted by another Knoxville home inspector prior to listing.  The seller showed me the previous report, which mentioned nothing about this dangerous electrical condition.  With a House Scout home inspection report in hand, you’ll be fully aware of dangerous conditions such as this.  You’ll also be in a better position to renegotiate your purchase contract before closing, if necessary.  There are plenty of Knoxville home inspectors around, but none work harder for their clients than The House Scout!

Make sure you don’t get stuck owning a money pit, and end up with a bunch of unexpected expenses after closing!  Send Out the Scout Today!  (865) 591-1121.

 

Home Inspectors Knoxville TN Discovers Unsafe Chimney

February 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Recently, I conducted a home inspection on a 50 year old brick rancher.  This home was in generally good condition, and well-constructed throughout.  A fireplace insert was installed in the fireplace, and my clients advised me that they were looking forward to burning a lot of wood before spring.  The insert looked to be in good condition and lightly used.  I went up on the roof to inspect the masonry chimney, and was shocked to see the chimney pictured at left.  It appeared to be only a shell of a proper chimney!  I removed the pieces of slate that had been placed on top of the chimney to keep some of the rain out, and discovered that the chimney was totally empty!  No flue tile liner, no built-up masonry, no chimney crown!  Check out the picture at right.  You can see at the bottom of the chimney is the fireplace damper.  There was literally nothing between the damper and the great outdoors!   And only a single course of brick separated the hot flue gases from living spaces and combustible attic framing!  Obviously, the only reason this house was still standing is that the former owners used this fireplace very little.  I have responded with a local municipal fire department to many incidents involving chimney fires over the last 20 years.  This chimney could never withstand the extreme temperatures commonly found in a chimney fire.  I advised my clients that this chimney was unsafe to use in its present condition.  They may use this information to renegotiate their purchase contract, or even opt for another house altogether.  In any event, this is a good example of the importance of hiring a professional home inspector before closing on your next home.  You can trust The House Scout with your Knoxville home inspection.

Knoxville Home Inspector Finds Dangerous Water Heater Installation

February 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

On a recent home inspection, I found a direct vent water heater installed in the basement of a well-maintained home.  This type of water heater has special venting and installation requirements, which were not met in this case.  Usually, direct vent water heaters are installed against an exterior wall and vented directly (“direct vent”) to the exterior, using manufacturer’s recommended or supplied vent components.  This one was vented using single-wall metal vent, and was approximately 8 feet from the exterior wall.  Additionally, the single-wall vent pipe was in contact with combustible wall paneling as it passed through a nearby wall.  I recommended that my client have this installation evaluated and corrected by a licensed plumber before closing.  This could be an expensive correction!  Don’t get stuck with unexpected expenses after closing!  You can trust The House Scout with your Knoxville home inspection!

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