Author Archives: Tim Hance

DANGEROUSLY LOW Electrical Wires!

Tim Hance, owner of All Islands Home Inspections, recently discovered dangerously low overhead electrical service entrance conductors that were a clear safety issue at a recent home inspection in Friday Harbor, WA. Additionally, these older wires were unconventionally run alongside the home’s exterior and vulnerable to mechanical damage. A qualified electrician was recommended to further evaluate and make necessary repairs for safety reasons.

Active water intrusion

Pictured here is active water intrusion (wet spot) and historic water intrusion (water stains) discovered within a side attic at a recent home inspection in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island.  Obviously, a roofing contractor will need to further evaluate and make necessary repairs.  The issue at this home, unfortunately, is that the ceilings were vaulted (e.g., no attic access) so without invasive inspection, one really doesn’t know what’s going on behind ceiling finishes.  With water intrusion, water related issues like mold, deterioration and insect activity should be suspected.  Ultimately, I’m not sure if this client heeded my advice to invasive inspect, but I’m hopeful he did.

Proper wiring for hot tubs

So, you’ve decided it’s time to finally get a hot tub!  It’s important to install wiring serving the hot tub properly for obvious safety reasons.  Pictured here is wiring simply run in the grass to the hot tub appliance. Hopefully it doesn’t get hit by a lawn mower or someone doesn’t trip over it!  Wiring should be sleeved in conduit, run underground to the hot tub and have a GFCI-protected subpanel installed within sight of the hot tub and readily accessible.  Also, any and all wiring modifications or additions at a home require a permit and inspection through the Department of Labor & Industries.  This was discovered at a recent home inspection in Mount Vernon.

Dealing with rusting metal flashing

Rusting metal flashing details can often be painted with a high quality, exterior-rated metal paint to extend serviceable life and prevent further deterioration.  If you see rusting flashing details atop your roof or around your chimney, I highly recommend painting to prevent further damage; replacement of deteriorated flashing details- especially around masonry fireplaces- can be costly.  These pictures show rust presenting at one flashing detail, corrosion- and due for replacement- at another.  This was discovered at a recent home inspection on Camano Island.

Fun Fact Friday

  • Alaska law says that you can’t look at a moose from an airplane.
  • Ketchup was sold in the 1830s as medicine.
  • Approximately 40,000 Americans are injured by toilets each year.
  • You’ll eat more than 35,000 cookies in your lifetime (probably).

Temperature pressure relief (TPR) valves

Pictured here is a typical TPR (temperature-pressure-relief) valve, installed on all water heaters.  Code requires the installation of a ¾-inch solid pipe, discharging to the exterior or extending to within six (6) inches of the floor for safety reasons.  The TPR valve is designed to discharge high temperature and/or high pressure water if the water heater overheats or develops too much internal pressure.  Without a TPR valve, the water heater could literally blow up in the event of overheating or excessive pressure build-up.  The reason we extend the pipe is because, in the event that it discharges, we don’t want it discharging high pressure, high temperature water towards a person which would be a definite safety issue.   This was discovered at a recent home inspection on Shaw Island in the San Juan Islands.

Serious Grime in Jacuzzi Tub!

Recently testing a Jacuzzi tub in the MBA at a recent Oak Harbor Home Inspection, a substantial amount of debris and grime came our of the jets. Can you imagine moving into your new home, filling up the tub after a long day’s work, and being surrounded with historic grime? Yuck! Luckily, there’s a solution and it’s quite simple to clean. Here’s a great link discussing how to properly clean Jacuzzi jetted tubs in homes!

https://www.wikihow.com/Clean-a-Jetted-Tub

Vinyl dryer ducting

While you can still purchase vinyl dryer ducting at most hardware stores, one of my personal “peeves” is to have it replaced with metal ducting, ideally smooth metal ducting.  Dryer lint is highly flammable and vinyl burns, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense- at least to me- to use vinyl dryer ducting.  Smooth metal is best because it doesn’t have corrugated folds that can catch lint and cause it to build up, but flexible metal is good if smooth metal isn’t practical.  I always recommend replacing vinyl dryer ducting when I see it.  This was noted at a recent home inspection in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.

Damage to roofing due to pressure washing

Colored granules on your roof coverings are what protect the roof coverings themselves from the elements.  This is why it’s important to NOT pressure wash your roof as doing so can lead to granular loss and reduce the roof’s life expectancy. In fact, I’ve seen newer roofs completely destroyed by pressure washing (treatment with zinc granules is the most common way to keep moss off your roof).  Pictured here is substantial granular loss and exposed underlying fiberglass underlayment.  These roof coverings were in poor condition, clearly due for replacement.  This was discovered at a recent home inspection on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands.