AC Condensate Drains

One of the most common items written up in a home inspection in the Phoenix area is AC condensate drain lines. Air conditioning removes moisture from the air, making the air more comfortable. That is why it is called “conditioning” and not “cooling”. This moisture must be able to drain to an acceptable location.                                 Drain lines installed wrong It is a simple concept of a primary drain that should have a trap, followed by a vent, and a pipe to the ground outside. Over time, these may clog up, so the next part of the system is the overflow. The overflow can drain into a pan with a secondary pipe to the outside, or can be piped directly to the outside.

Example of the right way

Example of the right way

Many times, we find the factory plugs still in place at the overflow, causing the internal tray to overflow inside the unit, rusting the housing and possibly the coil.

plugged up and rusting out

plugged up and rusting out

bottom rusting out

bottom rusting out

 

 

 

 

Many installers are poorly trained and confused and think the overflow is a vent and install a pipe up 6″ or more, but then go one step further and cap it.  Why would you cap a vent? piped wrong and capped   IMGP7458Sometimes I find both primary and overflow Tee’d into the same pipe. What is the point of that? if it    clogs up towards the bottom, both are clogged and it will make a mess in the attic.       Moisture leaking into the attic can be disastrous, ruining insulation and causing mold.

Mold in the attic   mold

As an inspector, I get into homes that have been tested by time and I see what works and what fails. The same AC guys that did thousands of improper installs over the years now do service and still don’t see the problems. I get calls from home sellers “My AC guy said there’s nothing wrong”. Then why is it full of rust and a big water stain underneath!!! There is one company in the phoenix area that gets it and goes one step further by installing a great product called EZ Trap. It is a clear plastic trap with multiple clean out caps and even comes with a brush for cleaning.  Cost less than $10 and no more cutting pipes to clear a clog. This should be standard equipment. I installed it on my own unit in less than 5 minutes. Next time you pay someone to service your system, insist on installing EZ trap. EZ Trap

www.WrightInspectionsAZ.com

Funny Pic of the Day April 2

What came first, the plumber or the AC? home inspector

I found this while in a 1940’s crawlspace.  The gas pipe is run perfect dead center through the air duct. Or is the air duct run around the gas pipe? Is natural gas more efficient if heated or chilled???

Inspection Pic of the Day April 1st

I got dizzy looking at this one. Instead of paying a plumber to hook up the water softener the right way, he spent all his money on enough  valves and fittings to make your head spin! home inspector

Reminds me of the old mousetrap game!

Inspection Pic of the day March 31

I can come across some really interesting things in the older buildings I inspect, especially in old commercial buildings.home inspector

I came across this old furnace from the 50’s that has so many things wrong and someone took the time to give it a nice coat of paint rather than fix the safety hazards.  Luckily it was no longer in use, just left behind in the attic.

Daren Wright

www.Wrightinspectionsaz.com

Inspection Pic of the Day march 2

Carpeting on a patio is never a good thing. It may conceal insect activity, cracks or other cosmetic defects, retail moisture causing damage to posts and siding. It also looks kind of tacky. But it does make patio gardening easier!!!!    www.WrightInspectionsAZ.comIMGP9810

 

Inspection Picture of the Day!! March 1

 

Tile shower in upstairs condo leaks. Guy in downstairs condo has wet ceiling. Guy downstairs opens ceiling and sees leak. Consults with Rube Goldberg and proceeds to cut the corner off a milk jug, tie it up into place with wire, caulk completely around to seal, glue a funnel to the to of the upside down jug, and run a drain hose to who knows where! Very nice work, even painted everything with Kilz to seal off the mold, until the funnel started to leak.
phoenix home inspector

Link

Being a home inspector in Arizona brings many hazards. On a daily basis, we stick our hands and heads in places homeowners often don’t go, and deal with many common issues and an occasional uncommon suprise.

dusty home inspection

layers of dust

 

Most common and almost daily is having to open 15 or more windows that are buried in dust, and often we have to open the blinds first and get the DUST SHOWER!

 

 

black widow

black widow

 

 

Always look before you reach in with a plug! Very often I find the outlet covers are home to a Black Widow spider!

 

I always check the electric panel for open holes or gaps. Sometimes I open the panel to find a wasp nest, and this one was not happy to be disturbed!

home inspector wasp attack

this guy bit me on the ear! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Less dramatic, but still a health hazard, is being exposed to unknowns such as hidden mold. Sometimes an area looks suspicious and upon closer examination I find mold under the carpet. No wonder I was sneezing the whole time there!

home inspector mold

new carpet over old mold

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is always the hazards of crawling around in the attic. There is a reason we are not required to crawl through trusses, but sometimes we do it anyway to get a better look.  This looks like evidence of a truss web breaking and someone falling through the ceiling.  Never trust a 30 yr old attic baked 2×4!

home inspector in attic

Did someone fall through?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So those are just a few of the things that make a good day go bad for a home inspector.

Daren Wright

www.WrightinspectionsAZ.com

 

 

Was your home built energy efficient?

Was your home built energy efficient?

With the rising energy costs and threat of global warming, shouldn’t all homes be built to the highest possible standards? Should builders be allowed to keep churning out cheaper, inefficient homes just because people will buy them? What is more important, saving $100 on your mortgage or $100 on your energy bill? Energy efficient building involves both the materials that are used in a home and the equipment installed in the home to heat, cool, and light our families. The important aspect is the materials used within the home, such as insulation and solar reflective barriers. Upgrading these items later is not a feasible option unless you want to tear your home apart.

residentialStatusOf the 50 states, 9 have not adopted any type of code to mandate efficient home building and two of them, Alaska and Arizona, have the harshest climates and the most to gain. Colorado and Arkansas are still using the 2003 IECC, and only 5 states have adopted the 2012 code. How can a California home be built to the highest standards yet in Arizona there are none? California utilizes the “Cool Roof” standards http://coolroofs.org/ to govern required solar reflectivity of a roof covering and will even rebate up to $.30 /sq.ft  for replacing your roof with a new one that meets standards. Florida also understands the importance of keeping your attic cool  http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/publications/html/FSEC-EN-15/

You can also receive federal tax credits for improving the efficiency of your home. http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=tax_credits.tx_index

So here in Arizona, most builders are finally offering radiant barrier sheathing on the roof, but only to be competitive in a tough market where if you can’t build a cheaper house they are now trying to build a better one (at the expense of cheaper cabinets or flooring). If you are buying a new home, make sure your builder is energy star rated or similar and uses radiant barriers, air sealing, blown or spray in insulation and other features that will save energy and money.

 

Daren Wright

Wright Inspections LLC

http://www.WrightInspectionsAZ.com

www.Facebook.com/WrightInspections