Inspection Find of the Week

Each week I will attempt to identify an interesting find from a home inspection conducted the week ending on that week’s Saturday.  I am beginning the posts for the week ending January 19, 2019.  Each line below shows the week that the interesting finding is from, what the general topic is and a link to a page or two explaining what the find is and why it might be of interest. If the week’s inspections are standard and nothing of unusual note, a week (or two) may be skipped.

The weeks are generally from Sunday through Saturday so the date shown is for the Saturday ending the week.

January 19. Transite  – Transite2

January 26. Moisture hidden a wall but found with a thermal imaging camera.  Moisture

February 2. The find of the week is a severed joist in the crawl space of a house.    Severed Joist

February 9. The find of the week is Knob and Tube wiring in a 99 year old home.    Knob and Tube

February 16. The find of the week is moisture in the hardwood flood in a house with a slab foundation.  Floor moisture

For February 23. That cow don’t have any down genes. A line from an old, favorite TV show, “Hill Street Blues” A flue pipe from a water heater that expects the hot exhaust from a water heater to move down!  It doesn’t work like that. A deadly combination of problems. It was documented as a, “Material Defect” in accordance with the NJ home inspection standards of practice.   Dangerous Venting

For the week ending March 2, 2019. Dangerous venting Part 2.   Dangerous Venting    Part 2

I skipped the 9th and resume here with my find of the week for the week ending March 16.  Do you detect a theme? Dangerous Venting Part 3

For the week ending March 23, 2019.  A worn roof surface. Worn Roof

Find of the week March 30, 2019. Wrong gauge wire? Mis wired

Find of the week April 6, 2019. When the walls come tumblin’ down.   Walls

Find of the week May 11, 2019.  Carbon monoxide can kill! Heat Exchange

Find of the week May 18, 2019. Notched beam. Notched beam

Find of the week May 25, 2019. Horizontal crack in the foundation. Horizontal crack

Find of the week June 1, 2019. Multiple gas leaks. Gas leaks

Find of the week June 8, 2019. Unsupported beam splice. Unsupported beam splice

Find of the week June 15, 2019. Asbestos flooring. Asbestos Flooring

Find of the week June 22, 2019. Electricity and water don’t mix. Electricity and water don’t mix

Find of the week for June 28, 2019. Plumbing leaks can lead to microbial growths and mold.   Water and Mold Final

For the week ending July 6.  Dangerous venting part 4 Involving a water heater.   Dangerous Venting Part 4

For the week ending July 13. Let’s make life easy and do the simple (and wrong) fix. Make life easy

For the week ending July 20. More bad venting. Flue reduction

For the week ending July 27. Sagging drain pipes.   Sagging pipes

For the week ending August 3.  Name that substance. Wet wall

For the week ending August 10. Two for One!  Radon & Gas Leak. I couldn’t decide which one was more noteworthy so here are both. Two for one

For the week ending August 17. TERMITES! What is bugging you  ?

For the week ending August 31.   Oil

For the week of September 7. A potential electrical fire. Electrical

For the week of September 14. Incorrect flue configuration.   Incorrect Exhaust Flue

For the week of September 21.  A roof structure (Specifically a truss) was modified. Trusses

For the week of September 28. Again, poor venting of a water heater. Water heater

 

Howell Home Inspection | Monmouth County Home Inspectors

Gallery of Homes – 2019.

Here is a partial list, in photographic format, of the homes inspected in 2019. The list is in reverse chronological order – most recent inspections at the top of the list.

Inspected 9/29/19. Manalapan
Inspected 9/26/19. Colts Neck.
Inspected September 11. Morganville.
Inspected September 9. Holmdel
Inspected 9/3/19. Howell

 

Inspected 8/27/19. Brick

 

Inspected 8/20/19. Chadwick Beach, Lavallette

Inspected August 16. Holmdel

Waterfront property on the Navesink. Inspected 8/12.
Inspcted August 9. Morganville, Marlboro Township.
Inspected August 5. Hazlet.
Inspected July 27. Hazlet.
Inspected July 23. Middletown.
Inspected July 16. Brielle.
Inspected July 8. Ocean Township.
Inspected July 4. Old Bridge.
Inspected July 2. Eatontown.
Inspected June 28. Howell Township.
Inspected June 20. Middletown.
Inspected June 14. Manalapan.
Inspected June 7, 2019. West Long Branch
Inspected May 28. Ocean Township.
Inspected May 21. Manalapan.
Inspected May 13. Red Bank.
Inspected May 8. Middletown.
Inspected May 4. Manalapan.
Inspected April 27. South River.
Inspected April 20. Short Hills, NJ.
Inspected April 4. Bay side. Sea Bright.
Inspected April 2. East Brunswick.
Inspected March24. Short Hills.
Inspected March 18. Middletown.
Inspected March 9. Little Silver.
Inspected March 2. Jackson.
Inspected March 1. Oakhurst.
Inspected Sunday, February 24. Tinton Falls.
Inspected Sunday, February 17. Holmdel
Inspected February 15. Bayville
Inspected February 6. Shrewsbury
Inspected January 19. Holmdel
Inspected January 13. Monmouth Beach.
Inspected January 7. Colts Neck

Gallery of Homes Inspected – 2017

The following is a photographic list of some of the homes inspected by Regal Home Inspections, LLC in 2017.  My apologies but I’ve been so busy I haven’t been able to keep up. Here are a few fall additions to the ones already posted.
Inspected December. Holmdel.
Inspected November. Middletown.
Inspected October. Old Bridge.
Inspected in September. Freehold.
Inspected in June. Located in Tinton Falls.
Inspected in April. Located in Holmdel.
Inspected in April. Located in Franklin Park.
Inspected in August. Located in Colts Neck.
Inspected in July. Located in Colonia.
Inspected 6/1/17. Fair Haven.
Inspected 5/24/17. Shrewsbury.
Inspected 5/22/17. Brick.
Inspected 5/20/17. Middletown.
Inspected 5/11/17. Colts Neck.
Inspected 5/7/17. Hazlet.
Inspected 5/4/17. Jackson.
Inspected 5/1/17. Monroe.
Inspected 4/27/17. Colts Neck.
Inspected 4/23/17. Farmingdale.
Inspected 4/21/17. Fair Haven.
Inspected 4/20/17. Colts Neck.
Inspected 4/4/17. Bloomfield.
Inspected 4/1/17. Monroe.
Inspected 4/1/17. Holmdel.
Inspected 3/23/17. Harbor Club, Old Bridge.
Inspected 3/23/17. Manchester.
Inspected 3/22/17. Colts Neck.
Inspected 3/22/17. New Egypt, NJ.
Inspected 3/21/17. Jackson.
Inspected 3/21/17. Manalapan.
Inspected 3/20/17. Toms River.
Inspected 3/20/17. Middletown.
Inspected 3/14/17. Old Bridge.
Inspected 3/14/17. Middletown.
Inspected 3/17/17. Morganville.
Inspected 3/15/17. 4 family house. Asbury Park.
Inspected 3/13/17. Laurence Harbor.
Inspected 3/13/17. Fair Haven.
Inspected 3/12/17. New Providence, NJ.
Inspected 3/11/17. Toms River.
Inspected 3/11/17. Jackson.
Inspected 3/10/17. Belmar.
Inspected 3/10/17. Manalapan.
Inspected 3/9/17. Toms River.
Inspected 3/9/17. Morganville.
Inspected 3/8/17. Brick.
Inspected 3/6/17. Holmdel.
Inspected 3/6/17. Old Bridge.
Inspected 3/5/17. 8000 square feet. Colts Neck.
Inspected 3/4/17. Howell.
Inspected 3/2/17. Built 1964. Morganville.
Inspected 3/1/17. Built 1979. Oakhurst.
Inspected 3/1/17. Built 1953. Neptune.
Inspected 2/27/17. Built circa 1955. Long Branch.
Inspected 2/25/17. Built 1965. Eatontown.
Inspected 2/21/17. Built 1965. Manalapan.
Inspected 2/20/17. Built 1957. Tinton Falls.
Inspected 2/20/17. Condominium. Built 1982. Seaside Heights.
Inspected 2/18/17. Built 2006. Manalapan.
Inspected 2/18/17. Built 2002. Monroe Township.
Inspected 2/17/17. Built 1988. Toms River.
Inspected 2/16/17. Built 1966. Ocean.
Inspected 2/15/17. Built 1942. Monroe Township.
Inspected 2/13/17. Built 1972. Colts Neck.
Inspected 2/13/17. Built 1982. Aberdeen Township.
Inspected 2/12/17. Built 1956. Parlin, Old Bridge Township.
Inspected 2/11/17. Built 1978. Manchester.
Inspected 2/10/17. Built circa 1980. South Brunswick.
Inspected 2/10/17. Built 2008. Normandy Beach.
Inspected 2/9/17. Built 2000. Lakewood.
Inspected 2/6/17. Originally built 1916. Sewaren, Woodbridge Township.
Inspected 2/61/7. Built 1962. Colts Neck.
Inspected 2/5/17. Built circa 1975. Belle Mead.
Inspected 2/4/17. Built 1971. East Brunswick.
Inspected 2/4/17. Built 1958. East Brunswick.
Inspected 2/2/17. Built 1994. Manalapan.
Inspected 2/1/17. Built 1973. Belford.
Inspected 1/31/17. Built 1930. Edison.
Inspected 1/30/17. Built 1955. Belford.
Inspected 1/27/17. Condominium. Built 1980. Tinton Falls.
Inspecte 1/27/17. Built 1976. Union.
Inspected 1/26/17. Built 1953. River Plaza.
Inspected 1/25/17. Townhouse. Built circa 1990. Sayreville.
Inspected 1/25/17. Townhouse. Built 2007. Monroe.
Inspected 1/24/17. Built 1935. Keyport.
Inspected 1/23/17. Port Monmouth. Built 1943.
Inspected 1/22/17. Built 1993. Shrewsbury.
Inspected 1/22/17. Townhouse. New Brunswick. Built 1988.
Inspected 1/18/17. Matawan. Built 1995.
Inspected 1/18/17. Freehold. Built 1994.

 

Inspected 1/17/17. Neptune City. Built 1922.
Inspected 1/12/17. Townhouse. Built 1992. Morganville.
Inspected 1/11/17. Condominium. Freehold.
Second buyer inspection 1/9/17. Built circa 1975. Colts Neck.
Inspected 1/4/16. Built circa 1990. Modular home. Eatontown.
Inspected 1/4/17. Condominium. Ocean Grove.
Inspected 1/3/17. Built 2001. Freehold Borough.
Inspected 1/3/17. Built circa 1980. 2 family. Keyport.
Inspected 1/3/17. Built 1980. Manalapan.

 

 

 

Gallery of Homes Inspected – 2016

The following is a photographic list of the homes inspected by Regal Home Inspections, LLC in 2016.  They are listed in reverse chronological order.

Inspected 10/23/16. Built 2002. Colts Neck.
Inspected 10/23/16. Built 2002. Colts Neck.
Inspected 10/24/16. Built 2013. Keansburg.
Inspected 10/24/16. Built 2013. Keansburg.
Inspected 10/22/16. Built 1964. Old Bridge.
Inspected 10/22/16. Built 1964. Old Bridge.
Inspected 10/22/16. Built 1922. Orange, NJ.
Inspected 10/22/16. Built 1922. Orange, NJ.

Inspected 10/21/16. Built 2004. Holmdel.

Inspected 10/21/16. Built 2004. Holmdel.

Inspected 10/21/16. Built 1982. Howell.
Inspected 10/21/16. Built 1982. Howell.
Inspected 10/20/16. Built 1910. Leonardo.
Inspected 10/20/16. Built 1910. Leonardo.
Inspected 10/19/16. Built circa 1988. Jackson.
Inspected 10/19/16. Condominium. Built circa 1988. Jackson.
Inspected 10/15/16. Condominium. Built 2007. Asbury Park.
Inspected 10/15/16. Condominium. Built 2007. Asbury Park.
Inspected 10/13/16. Built 2006. Tinton Falls.
Inspected 10/13/16. Built 2006. Tinton Falls.
Inspected 10/12/16. Built 2005. Matawan.
Inspected 10/12/16. Built 2005. Matawan.
Inspected 10/11/16. Built 1962. Belmar.
Inspected 10/11/16. Built 1962. Belmar.
Inspected 10/10/16. Built 1929. Long Branch
Inspected 10/10/16. Built 1929. Long Branch
Inspected 10/8/16. Built 1962. Old Bridge.
Inspected 10/8/16. Built 1962. Old Bridge.
Inspected 10/7/16. Built 1958. Old Bridge.
Inspected 10/7/16. Built 1958. Old Bridge.
Inspected 10/6/16. Built 1998. Monroe Township.
Inspected 10/6/16. Built 1998. Monroe Township.
Inspected 10/5/16. Built 1993. Howell.
Inspected 10/6/16. Built 1993. Howell.
Inspected 10/5/16. Built 1933. Millstone.
Inspected 10/5/16. Built 1933. Millstone.
Inspected 10/3/16. Built 1967. Condo. Matawan.
Inspected 10/3/16. Built 1967. Condo. Matawan.
Inspected 10/3/16. Built 1925. Atlantic Highlands.
Inspected 10/3/16. Built 1925. Atlantic Highlands.
Inspected 10/1/16. Built 1987. Holmdel.
Inspected 10/1/16. Built 1987. Holmdel.
Inspected 9/30/16. Built 1950. Sayreville.
Inspected 9/30/16. Built 1950. Sayreville.
Inspected 9/29/16. Built 1959. Spotswood.
Inspected 9/29/16. Built 1959. Spotswood.
Inspected 9/29/16. Built 1962. Colts Neck.
Inspected 9/29/16. Built 1962. Colts Neck.
Inspected 9/27/16. Built 2004. Farmingdale.
Inspected 9/27/16. Built 2004. Farmingdale.
Inspected 9/26/16. Built 1957. Hazlet.
Inspected 9/26/16. Built 1957. Hazlet.
Inspected 9/23/16. Built circa 1900. Asbury Park. 3 apartments and a small commercial office.
Inspected 9/23/16. Built circa 1900. Asbury Park. 3 apartments and a small commercial office.
Inspected 9/21/16. Built 1989. Duplex. Manalapan.
Inspected 9/21/16. Built 1989. Duplex. Manalapan.
Inspected 9/22/16. Built 1957. Hazlet.
Inspected 9/22/16. Built 1957. Hazlet.
Inspected 9/21/16. Built 1983. Townhouse. Matawan.
Inspected 9/21/16. Built 1983. Townhouse. Matawan.
Inspected 9/21/16. Built 1968. Middletown.
Inspected 9/21/16. Built 1968. Middletown.
Inspected 9/20/16. Built 1980. Middletown.
Inspected 9/20/16. Built 1980. Middletown.
Inspected 9/19/16. Built 1956. Parlin.
Inspected 9/19/16. Built 1956. Parlin.
Inspected 9/16/16. Built 1984. Holmdel.
Inspected 9/16/16. Built 1984. Holmdel.
Inspected 9/16/16. Built 1972. Colts Neck.
Inspected 9/16/16. Built 1972. Colts Neck.
Inspected 9/14/16. Built 1966. Matawan.
Inspected 9/14/16. Built 1966. Matawan.
Inspected 9/14/16. Built circa 1900. Freehold Borough.
Inspected 9/14/16. Built circa 1900. Freehold Borough.
Inspected 9/13/16. Originally built 1949. Port Monmouth.
Inspected 9/13/16. Originally built 1949. Port Monmouth.
Inspected 9/13/16. Built 1963. Freehold Twp.
Inspected 9/13/16. Built 1963. Freehold Twp.
Inspected 9/12/16. Built 1960. Jackson.
Inspected 9/12/16. Built 1960. Jackson.
Inspected 9/12/16. Built 1930. Two family. Asbury Park.
Inspected 9/12/16. Built 1930. Two family. Asbury Park.
Inspected 9/10/16. Built 1963. Matawan.
Inspected 9/10/16. Built 1963. Matawan.
Inspected 9/9/16. Built 1980. Neptune.
Inspected 9/9/16. Built 1980. Neptune.
Inspected 9/9/16. Built 1977. Colts Neck.
Inspected 9/9/16. Built 1977. Colts Neck.
Inspected 9/8/16. Built 1992. Townhouse. Morganville/Marlboro.
Inspected 9/8/16. Built 1992. Townhouse. Morganville/Marlboro.
Inspected 9/7/16. Built 1900. Metuchen.
Inspected 9/7/16. Built 1900. Metuchen.
Inspected 9/4/16. Built 1958. Old Bridge.
Inspected 9/4/16. Built 1958. Old Bridge.
Inspected 9/2/16. Built 1954. Middletown.
Inspected 9/2/16. Built 1954. Middletown.
Inspected 9/1/16. Built 1981. Neptune.
Inspected 9/1/16. Built 1981. Neptune.
Inspected 9/1/16. Built 1920. Two family. Asbury Park.
Inspected 9/1/16. Built 1920. Two family. Asbury Park.
Inspected 8/31/16. Built 1987. Howell.
Inspected 8/31/16. Built 1987. Howell.
Inspected 8/31/16. Built 1973. Holmdel.
Inspected 8/31/16. Built 1973. Holmdel.
Inspected 8/30/16. Built 1983. Franklin Park, Somerset County.
Inspected 8/30/16. Built 1983. Franklin Park, Somerset County.
Inspected 8/29/16. Built 1964. Matawan.
Inspected 8/29/16. Built 1964. Matawan.
Inspected 8/28/16. Built 1986. Marlboro.
Inspected 8/28/16. Built 1986. Marlboro.
Inspected 8/27/16. Built 1999. Marlboro.
Inspected 8/27/16. Built 1999. Marlboro.
Inspected 8/26/16. Built 1963. Port Momouth.
Inspected 8/26/16. Built 1963. Port Momouth.
Inspected 8/26/16. Built 1982. Middletown.
Inspected 8/26/16. Built 1982. Middletown.
Inspected 8/25/16. Built 1959. Hazlet.
Inspected 8/25/16. Built 1959. Hazlet.
Inspected 8/24/16. Originally built 1940s. Significantly renovated 2007. Fair Haven.
Inspected 8/24/16. Originally built 1940s. Significantly renovated 2007. Fair Haven.
Inspected 8/24/16. Built 1969. Matawan.
Inspected 8/24/16. Built 1969. Matawan.
Inspected 8/23/16. Built 1990. Tinton Falls.
Inspected 8/23/16. Built 1990. Tinton Falls.
Inspected 8/20/16. Built 1972. Colts Neck.
Inspected 8/20/16. Built 1972. Colts Neck.
Inspected 8/19/16. Built 1959. Oceanport.
Inspected 8/19/16. Built 1959. Oceanport.
Inspected 8/18/16. Built 1961. Matawan.
Inspected 8/18/16. Built 1961. Matawan.
Inspected 8/18/16. Originally built 1915. Atlantic Highlands.
Inspected 8/18/16. Originally built 1915. Atlantic Highlands.
Inspected 8/17/16. Built 1979. Old Bridge.
Inspected 8/17/16. Built 1979. Old Bridge.
Inspected 8/16/16. Built circa 1800. Tinton Falls.
Inspected 8/16/16. Built circa 1800. Tinton Falls.
Inspected 8/15/16. Built 1979. Plainsboro.
Inspected 8/15/16. Built 1979. Plainsboro.
Inspected 8/12/16. Built 1930. Union Beach.
Inspected 8/12/16. Built 1930. Union Beach.
Inspected 8/12/16. Built 1961. Matawan.
Inspected 8/12/16. Built 1961. Matawan.
Inspected 8/11/16. Built 1978. Brick.
Inspected 8/11/16. Built 1978. Brick.
Inspected 8/11/16. Medical building. Brick. Built 2007.
Inspected 8/11/16. Medical building. Brick. Built 2007.
Inspected 8/10/16. Built 2002. Millstone.
Inspected 8/10/16. Built 2002. Millstone.
Inspected 8/9/16. Built 1988. Englishtown.
Inspected 8/9/16. Built 1988. Englishtown.
Inspected 8/8/16. Built 1940. Manalapan.
Inspected 8/8/16. Built 1940. Manalapan.
Inspected 8/5/16. Built 1978. Monroe.
Inspected 8/5/16. Built 1978. Monroe.
Inspected 8/3/16. Built 1946. Cranbury.
Inspected 8/3/16. Built 1946. Cranbury.
Inspected 8/3/16. Built 1982. Mantoloking Shores.
Inspected 8/3/16. Built 1982. Mantoloking Shores.
Inspected 8/2/16. Built 1963. Hazlet.
Inspected 8/2/16. Built 1963. Hazlet.
Inspected 8/2/16. Built 1992. Middletown.
Inspected 8/2/16. Built 1992. 5700 square feet. Middletown.
Inspected 8/1/16. Built 1978. Jackson.
Inspected 8/1/16. Built 1978. Jackson.
Inspected 8/1/16. Built 1991. Manalapan.
Inspected 8/1/16. Built 1991. Manalapan.
Inspected 7/30/16. Built 1999. Old Bridge.
Inspected 7/30/16. Built 1999. Old Bridge.
Inspected 7/29/16. Built 1985. Avenel.
Inspected 7/29/16. Built 1985. Avenel.
Inspected 7/29/16. Built 1948. Keyport.
Inspected 7/29/16. Built 1948. Keyport.
Inspected 7/28/16. Built 1994. Manalapan.
Inspected 7/28/16. Built 1994. Manalapan.
Inspected 7/27/16. Built 1960. Belford.
Inspected 7/27/16. Built 1960. Belford.
Inspected 7/26/16. Built 2002. Monroe.
Inspected 7/26/16. Built 2002. Monroe.

 

Inspected 7/25/16. Built 2003. Approximately 8500 square feet. Morganville.
Inspected 7/25/16. Built 2003. Approximately 8500 square feet. Morganville.
Inspected 7/23/16. Built 2006. Sea Bright.
Inspected 7/23/16. Built 2006. Sea Bright.
Inspected 7/22/16. Built 1969. Manalapan.
Inspected 7/22/16. Built 1969. Manalapan.
Inspected 7/20/16. Built 1997. Townhouse. Cliffwood.
Inspected 7/20/16. Built 1997. Townhouse. Cliffwood.
Inspected 7/19/16. New Construction. Union Beach.
Inspected 7/19/16. New Construction. Union Beach.
Inspected 7/19/16. Approximately 7000 square feet. Built 1995. Morganville.
Inspected 7/19/16. Approximately 7000 square feet. Built 1995. Morganville.
Inspected 7/18/16. Condo. Built circa 1985. Freehold.
Inspected 7/18/16. Condo. Built circa 1985. Freehold.
Inspected 7/18/16. Built 1976. Monroe.
Inspected 7/18/16. Built 1976. Monroe.
Inspected 7/18/16. Built 1993. Colts Neck.
Inspected 7/18/16. Built 1993. Colts Neck.
Inspected 7/16/16. Built 1954. South Amboy.
Inspected 7/16/16. Built 1954. South Amboy.
Inspected 7/16/16. Built 1957. Edison.
Inspected 7/16/16. Built 1957. Edison.
Inspected 7/15/16. Built 1994. Brick.
Inspected 7/15/16. Built 1994. Brick.
Inspected 7/14/16. Built 1966. Old Bridge.
Inspected 7/14/16. Built 1966. Old Bridge.
Inspected 7/14/16. Built 2001. Manchester.
Inspected 7/14/16. Built 2001. Manchester.
Inspected 7/13/16. Built 1955. Matawan.
Inspected 7/13/16. Built 1955. Matawan.
Inspected 7/13/16. Built 1953. Middletown.
Inspected 7/13/16. Built 1953. Middletown.
Inspected 7/12/16. Built 1963. Aberdeen.
Inspected 7/12/16. Built 1963. Aberdeen.
Inspected 7/9/16. Built 1956. Ocean Township.
Inspected 7/9/16. Built 1956. Ocean Township.
Inspected 7/8/16. Built 1926. Plainfield.
Inspected 7/8/16. Built 1926. Plainfield.
Inspected 7/7/16. Built 1956. Bayville, Ocean County.
Inspected 7/7/16. Built 1956. Bayville, Ocean County.
Inspected 7/5/16. Built 1903. Milltown.
Inspected 7/5/16. Built 1903. Milltown.
Inspected 7/4/16. Built 2000. Middletown.
Inspected 7/4/16. Built 2000. Middletown.
Inspected 6/30/16. Built 1987. Keansburg.
Inspected 6/30/16. Built 1987. Keansburg.
Inspected 6/29/16. Built 1991. Jackson.
Inspected 6/29/16. Built 1991. Jackson.
Inspected 6/28/16. Built 1955. Edison.
Inspected 6/28/16. Built 1955. Edison.
Inspected 6/28/16. Originally built 1940. Keyport.
Inspected 6/28/16. Originally built 1940. Keyport.
Inspected 6/27/16. Built 1908. Leonardo.
Inspected 6/27/16. Built 1908. Leonardo.
Inspected 6/25/16. Four buildings inspected including a 12,000+ square foot house. Built 2001.
Inspected 6/25/16. Four buildings inspected including a 12,000+ square foot house. Built 2001.
Inspected 6/24/16. Built 1999. Old Bridge.
Inspected 6/24/16. Built 1999. Old Bridge.
Inspected 6/23/16. Built 1968. Marlboro.
Inspected 6/23/16. Built 1968. Marlboro.
Inspected 6/23/16. Built 1950. Marlboro.
Inspected 6/23/16. Built 1950. Marlboro.
Inspected 6/22/16. Built 1973. Leonardo.
Inspected 6/22/16. Built 1973. Leonardo.
6/22/16. Condo. Built 1983. Tinton Falls.
6/22/16. Condo. Built 1983. Tinton Falls.
Inspected 6/20/16. Built 1966. Middletown.
Inspected 6/20/16. Built 1966. Middletown.
Inspected 6/20/16. Built 1959. Lincroft.
Inspected 6/20/16. Built 1959. Lincroft.
Inspected 6/18/16. Built 1961. Aberdeen.
Inspected 6/18/16. Built 1961. Aberdeen.
Inspected 6/17/16. Built 1850! Rahway.
Inspected 6/17/16. Built 1850! Rahway.
Inspected 6/16/16. Built 1962. Colts Neck.
Inspected 6/16/16. Built 1962. Colts Neck.
Inspected 6/16/16. Built 1983. Old Bridge.
Inspected 6/16/16. Built 1983. Old Bridge.
Inspected 6/15/16. Built 2012. Highland Park.
Inspected 6/15/16. Built 2012. Highland Park.
Inspected 6/15/16. Built 2000. Jackson.
Inspected 6/15/16. Built 2000. Jackson.
Inspected 6/14/16. Built 2003. Manalapan.
Inspected 6/14/16. Built 2003. Manalapan.
Inspected 6/13/16. Built1985. Old Bridge
Inspected 6/13/16. Built1985. Old Bridge
Inspected 6/10/16. Hamilton Township. Built 1956.
Inspected 6/10/16. Hamilton Township. Built 1956.
Inspected 6/10/16. Built 1991. Howell.
Inspected 6/10/16. Built 1991. Howell.
Inspected 6/9/16. Built 1999. Manalapan.
Inspected 6/9/16. Built 1999. Manalapan.
Inspected 6/9/16. Built 1990. Cream Ridge, Plumstead Township.
Inspected 6/9/16. Built 1990. Cream Ridge, Plumstead Township.
Inspected 6/9/16. Built 1983. Shrewsbury.
Inspected 6/9/16. Built 1983. Shrewsbury.
Inspected 6/8/16. Built 1958. Freehold.
Inspected 6/8/16. Built 1958. Freehold.
Inspected 6/8/16. Built 1955. Neptune.
Inspected 6/8/16. Built 1955. Neptune.
Inspected 6/8/16. Built 1970. Freehold.
Inspected 6/8/16. Built 1970. Freehold.
Inspected 6/7/16. Condominium. Built 1988. Franklin Park.
Inspected 6/7/16. Condominium. Built 1988. Franklin Park.
Inspected 6/4/16. Built 2011. Middletown.
Inspected 6/4/16. Built 2011. Middletown.
Inspected 6/3/16. Built 2006. West Long Branch.
Inspected 6/3/16. Built 2006. West Long Branch.
Inspected 6/2/16. Built 1966. Colts Neck.
Inspected 6/2/16. Built 1966. Colts Neck.
Inspected 6/1/16. Built 1954. Jamesburg.
Inspected 6/1/16. Built 1954. Jamesburg.
Inspected 6/1/16. Built 1920. Asbury Park.
Inspected 6/1/16. Built 1920. Asbury Park.
Inspected 5/31/16. Built 1961. Aberdeen.
Inspected 5/31/16. Built 1961. Aberdeen.
Inspected 5/28/16. Built circa 1960s. Condominium unit. Matawan.
Inspected 5/28/16. Built circa 1960s. Condominium unit. Matawan.
Inspected 5/27/16. Built 1955. Sayreville.
Inspected 5/27/16. Built 1955. Sayreville.
Inspected 5/27/16. Built 1988. Howell.
Inspected 5/27/16. Built 1988. Howell.
Inspected 5/26/16. Built 1988. Condominium. Tinton Falls.
Inspected 5/26/16. Built 1988. Condominium. Tinton Falls.
Inspected 5/26/16. Built 1999. Morganville.
Inspected 5/26/16. Built 1999. Morganville.
Inspected 5/26/16. Built 1968. Manalapan.
Inspected 5/26/16. Built 1968. Manalapan.
Inspected 5/25. Built 2003. Waretown.
Inspected 5/25. Built 2003. Waretown.
Inspected 5/24/16. Built 1979. Matawan.
Inspected 5/24/16. Built 1979. Matawan.
Inspected 5/24/16. Built 1943. Duplex. Hazlet.
Inspected 5/24/16. Built 1943. Duplex. Hazlet.
Inspected 5/23/16. Condominium. Freehold.
Inspected 5/23/16. Condominium. Freehold.
Inspected 5/23/16. Built circa 1960s. Aberdeen.
Inspected 5/23/16. Built circa 1960s. Aberdeen.
Inspected 5/21/16. Built 1972. East Brunswick.
Inspected 5/21/16. Built 1972. East Brunswick.
Inspected 5/20/16. Built 1950. Hazlet.
Inspected 5/20/16. Built 1950. Hazlet.
Inspected 5/20/16. Built 2010. Condominium. Wall.
Inspected 5/20/16. Built 2010. Condominium. Wall.
Inspected 5/19/16. Built 1965. Brick.
Inspected 5/19/16. Built 1965. Brick.
Inspected 5/18/16. Built 1946. Normandy Beach.
Inspected 5/18/16. Built 1946. Normandy Beach.
Inspected 5/17/16. Built 1990. North Middletown.
Inspected 5/17/16. Built 1990. North Middletown.
Inspected 5/16/16. Built 1963. Neptune.
Inspected 5/16/16. Built 1963. Neptune.
Inspected 5/15/16. Condominium. Hoboken. Building was built in 1901.
Inspected 5/15/16. Condominium. Hoboken. Building was built in 1901.
Inspected 5/14/16. Built 1958. Hazlet.
Inspected 5/14/16. Built 1958. Hazlet.
Inspected 5/13/16. Built 1956. Hazlet.
Inspected 5/13/16. Built 1956. Hazlet.
Inspected 5/13/16. Built 1992. Jackson.
Inspected 5/13/16. Built 1992. Jackson.
Inspected 5/12/16. Built 1982. Lincroft.
Inspected 5/12/16. Built 1982. Lincroft.
Inspected 5/11/16. Built 1906. Eatontown.
Inspected 5/11/16. Built 1906. Eatontown.
Inspected 5/9/16. Built 1967. Colts Neck.
Inspected 5/9/16. Built 1967. Colts Neck.
Inspected 5/9/16. Built 1945. Bridgewater.
Inspected 5/9/16. Built 1945. Bridgewater.
Inspected 5/7/16. Built 1942. Monroe.
Inspected 5/7/16. Built 1942. Monroe.
Inspected 5/7/16. Built 1999. Morganville.
Inspected 5/7/16. Built 1999. Morganville.
Inspected 5/4/16. Built 2007. Approximately 12,000 square feet. Franklin Twp.
Inspected 5/4/16. Built 2007. Approximately 12,000 square feet. Franklin Twp.
Inspected 5/3/16. Built 1978. Ocean Twp.
Inspected 5/3/16. Built 1978. Ocean Twp.
Inspected 5/3/16. Built 1986. Marlboro.
Inspected 5/3/16. Built 1986. Marlboro.
Inspected 5/2/16. Built 1992. Jackson.
Inspected 5/2/16. Built 1992. Jackson.
Inspection 5/2/16. Built 2006. Manalapan.
Inspection 5/2/16. Built 2006. Manalapan.
DSCF8943-400
Inspected 4/30/16. Built 1955. Belford.
DSCF8711-400
Inspected 4/30/16. Built 1958. Lincroft.
Inspected 4/28/16. Built 1930. South Amboy.
Inspected 4/28/16. Built 1930. South Amboy.
Inspected 4/27/16. Built1968. Marlboro
Inspected 4/27/16. Built1968. Marlboro
Inspected 4/25/16. Built 1975. Oceanport.
Inspected 4/26/16. Built 1975. Oceanport.
Inspected 4/25/16. Built 1994. Manalapan.
Inspected 4/25/16. Built 1994. Manalapan.
Inspected 4/24/16. Built 1958. Cliffwood Beach.
Inspected 4/24/16. Built 1958. Cliffwood Beach.
Inspected 4/23/16. Built 1991. Marlboro.
Inspected 4/23/16. Built 1991. Marlboro.
Inspected 4/23/16. Built 1996. Freehold.
Inspected 4/23/16. Built 1996. Freehold.
Inspected 4/22/16. Originally built 1938. Middletown.
Inspected 4/22/16. Originally built 1938. Middletown.
Inspected 4/21/16. Built 1950. Clark.
Inspected 4/21/16. Built 1950. Clark.
Inspected 4/20/16. Built 2006. South Amboy.
Inspected 4/20/16. Built 2006. South Amboy.
Inspected 4/19/16. Built 1967. Old Bridge.
Inspected 4/19/16. Built 1967. Old Bridge.
Inspected 4/19/16. Built 1999. Morganville.
Inspected 4/19/16. Built 1999. Morganville.
Inspected 4/18/16. Built circa 1920. Sayreville.
Inspected 4/18/16. Built circa 1920. Sayreville.
Inspected 4/16/16. Built 1956. Parlin.
Inspected 4/16/16. Built 1956. Parlin.
Inspected 4/16/16. Built 1999. Jackson.
Inspected 4/16/16. Built 1999. Jackson.
Inspected 4/15/16. Built 1958. Union Beach.
Inspected 4/15/16. Built 1958. Union Beach.
Inspected 4/14/16. Built 1900. Hightstown.
Inspected 4/14/16. Built 1900. Hightstown.
Inspected 4/13/16. Built 2004. Monroe Twp.
Inspected 4/13/16. Built 2004. Monroe Twp.
Inspected 4/12/16. Built 1963. Middletown.
Inspected 4/12/16. Built 1963. Middletown.
Inspected 4/11/16. Built 2004. Retirement community. Parlin.
Inspected 4/11/16. Built 2004. Retirement community. Parlin.
Inspected 4/11/16. Built 1986. Sayreville.
Inspected 4/11/16. Built 1986. Sayreville.
Inspected 4/9/16. Built 2013. Freehold.
Inspected 4/9/16. Built 2013. Freehold.
Inspected 4/9/16. Built 2008. Condominium. Eatontown.
Inspected 4/9/16. Built 2008. Condominium. Eatontown.
Inspected 4/7/16. Built 1969. Colts Neck.
Inspected 4/7/16. Built 1969. Colts Neck.
Inspected 4/7/16. Built 1968. Marlboro.
Inspected 4/7/16. Built 1968. Marlboro.
Inspected 4/6/16. Built 1920. Keyport. In need of TLC.
Inspected 4/6/16. Built 1920. Keyport. In need of TLC.
Inspected 4/6/16. Two family. Built 1960. South Amboy.
Inspected 4/6/16. Two family. Built 1960. South Amboy.
Inspected 4/6/16. Built 1945. Hampton, NJ.
Inspected 4/6/16. Built 1945. Hampton, NJ.
Inspected 4/5/16. Built 2007. Spring Lake.
Inspected 4/5/16. Built 2007. Spring Lake.
Inspected 4/4/16. Built 1991. Brick.
Inspected 4/4/16. Built 1991. Brick.

 

Inspected 3/29/16. Built 1954. Red Bank.
Inspected 3/29/16. Built 1954. Red Bank.
Inspected 3/28/16. Built 2010. 13,000 square feet. Ten bathrooms! Colonia.
Inspected 3/28/16. Built 2010. 13,000 square feet. Ten bathrooms! Colonia.
Inspected 3/26/16. Built 1901. South River.
Inspected 3/26/16. Built 1901. South River.
Inspected 3/26/16. Built 1950. New Providence.
Inspected 3/26/16. Built 1950. New Providence.
Inspected 3/25/16. Built 1961. Aberdeen.
Inspected 3/25/16. Built 1961. Aberdeen.
Inspected 3/25/16. Built 1958. South Amboy.
Inspected 3/25/16. Built 1958. South Amboy.
Inspected 3/23/16. Built 2006. Long Branch.
Inspected 3/23/16. Built 2006. Long Branch.
Inspected 3/23/16. Built 1928. Middletown.
Inspected 3/23/16. Built 1928. Middletown.
Inspected 3/22/16. Built 1999. Toms River.
Inspected 3/22/16. Built 1999. Toms River.
Inspected 3/22/16. Built 1990. Townhouse. Toms River.
Inspected 3/22/16. Built 1990. Townhouse. Toms River.
Inspected 3/21/16. Built 1983. Condo. Aberdeen.
Inspected 3/21/16. Built 1983. Condo. Aberdeen.
Inspected 3/21/16. Built 1976. Middletown.
Inspected 3/21/16. Built 1976. Middletown.
Inspected 3/17/16. An old church. Originally built in the 1800s. Marlboro.
Inspected 3/17/16. An old church. Originally built in the 1800s. Marlboro.
Inspected 3/16/16. Built 1951. Belford/Middletown.
Inspected 3/16/16. Built 1951. Belford/Middletown.
Inspected 3/15/16. Built 1960. Marlboro.
Inspected 3/15/16. Built 1960. Marlboro.
Inspected 3/14/16. Built 1995. Brick.
Inspected 3/14/16. Built 1995. Brick.
Inspected 3/12/16. Built 1991. Hillsborough.
Inspected 3/12/16. Built 1991. Hillsborough.
Inspected 3/11/16. Built 1955. Parlin.
Inspected 3/11/16. Built 1955. Parlin.
Inspected 3/11/16. Seller's Inspection. Built early 1900s. Englishtown.
Inspected 3/11/16. Seller’s Inspection. Built early 1900s. Englishtown.
Inspected 3/11/16. Built 1983. Shrewsbury.
Inspected 3/11/16. Built 1983. Shrewsbury.
Inspected 3/10/16. Townhouse. Built 1982. Middletown.
Inspected 3/10/16. Townhouse. Built 1982. Middletown.
Inspected 3/10/16. Built 2001. Approximately 6000 square feet. Holmdel.
Inspected 3/10/16. Built 2001. Approximately 6000 square feet. Holmdel.
Inspected 3/8/16. Built 1989. Manalapan.
Inspected 3/8/16. Built 1989. Manalapan.
Inspected 3/7/16. Built 1962. Woodcliff Lake.
Inspected 3/7/16. Built 1962. Woodcliff Lake.
Inspected 3/7/16. Original section built 1948. Lincroft.
Inspected 3/7/16. Original section built 1948. Lincroft.
Inspected 3/6/16. Built 1930. Fair Haven.
Inspected 3/6/16. Built 1930. Fair Haven.
Inspected 3/5/16. Built 2000. Holmdel.
Inspected 3/5/16. Built 2000. Holmdel.
Inspected 3/5/16. Built 1973. Holmdel.
Inspected 3/5/16. Built 1973. Holmdel.
Inspected 3/4/16. Built 1972. Colts Neck.
Inspected 3/4/16. Built 1972. Colts Neck.
Inspected 3/3/16. New construction. Chesterfield, NJ.
Inspected 3/3/16. New construction. Chesterfield, NJ.
Inspected 3/2/16. Built 1989. Toms River.
Inspected 3/2/16. Built 1989. Toms River.
Inspected 2/29/16. Built 1958. Old Bridge.
Inspected 2/29/16. Built 1958. Old Bridge.

 

Inspected 2/28/16. Built 1985. Bayville.
Inspected 2/28/16. Built 1985. Bayville.

 

Inspected 2/28/16. Built 1966. Hazlet.
Inspected 2/28/16. Built 1966. Hazlet.

 

Inspected 2/27/16. Built 1988. Approximately 3000 square feet. Jackson.
Inspected 2/27/16. Built 1988. Approximately 3000 square feet. Jackson.

 

Inspected 2/27/16. Built 1958. Parlin.
Inspected 2/27/16. Built 1955. Parlin.

 

Inspected 2/26/16. Approximately 4500 square feet. Built 2000. Howell.
Inspected 2/26/16. Approximately 4500 square feet. Built 2000. Howell.
Inspected 2/23/16. Built 1984. Condominium. Freehold.
Inspected 2/23/16. Built 1984. Condominium. Freehold.
Inspected 2/23/16. Built 1988. Condominium. Parlin.
Inspected 2/23/16. Built 1988. Condominium. Parlin.
Inspected 2/22/16. Old Baptist Church. Built 1903. Imlaystown/Cream Ridge.
Inspected 2/22/16. Old Baptist Church. Built 1903. Imlaystown/Cream Ridge.
Inspected 2/22/16. Built 1997. East Windsor. Mercer County.
Inspected 2/22/16. Built 1997. East Windsor. Mercer County.
Inspected 2/20/16. Built 1978. Hazlet.
Inspected 2/20/16. Built 1978. Hazlet.
Inspected 2/20/16. Built 1960. Old Bridge. Needs some TLC.
Inspected 2/20/16. Built 1960. Old Bridge. Needs some TLC.
Inspected 2/19/16. Built 1996. Holmdel.
Inspected 2/19/16. Built 1996. Holmdel.
Inspected 2/18/16. Built 1960. Raritan Borough, Somerset County.
Inspected 2/18/16. Built 1960. Raritan Borough, Somerset County.
Inspected 2/17/16. Built 2004. Old Bridge.
Inspected 2/17/16. Built 2004. Old Bridge.
Inspected 2/13/16. Built 1947. Linden.
Inspected 2/13/16. Built 1947. Linden.
Inspected 2/12/16. Condominium built 1975. Highlands.
Inspected 2/12/16. Condominium built 1975. Highlands.
Inspected 2/11/16. Built 1976. Hazlet.
Inspected 2/11/16. Built 1976. Hazlet.
Inspected 2/9/16. Built 1968. Morganville.
Inspected 2/9/16. Built 1968. Morganville.
Inspected 2/8/16. Built 1968. Morganville.
Inspected 2/8/16. Built 1968. Morganville.
Inspected 2/8/16. Foreclosure in need of serious TLC. Built 1964. Howell.
Inspected 2/8/16. Foreclosure in need of serious TLC. Built 1964. Howell.
Inspected 2/5/16. Townhome built in 1987. Marlboro.
Inspected 2/5/16. Townhome built in 1987. Marlboro.
Inspected 2/3/16. Built 1967. Parlin.
Inspected 2/4/16. Built 1967. Parlin.
Inspected 1/29/16. Built 1948. Freehold Borough.
Inspected 1/29/16. Built 1948. Freehold Borough.
Inspected 1/28/16. Built 2007. Approximately 5500 square feet. Lincroft.
Inspected 1/28/16. Built 2007. Approximately 5500 square feet. Lincroft.
Inspected 1/26/16. Built 1967. Tinton Falls.
Inspected 1/26/16. Built 1967. Tinton Falls.
Inspected 1/22/16. Built 1913. Leonardo.
Inspected 1/22/16. Built 1913. Leonardo.
Inspected 1/21/16. Built 1979. Middletown.
Inspected 1/21/16. Built 1979. Middletown.
Inspected 1/19/16. Built mid 1960s. Aberdeen.
Inspected 1/19/16. Built mid 1960s. Aberdeen.
Inspected 1/15/16. Originally built 1920. Additions made since then. Millstone.
Inspected 1/15/16. Originally built 1920. Additions made since then. Millstone.
Inspected 1/15/16. Condominium. Marlboro.
Inspected 1/15/16. Condominium. Marlboro.
Inspected 1/14/16. Built 1993. Modular home. Middletown.
Inspected 1/14/16. Built 1993. Modular home. Middletown.
Inspected 1/10/16. Built 1937. Little Silver.
Inspected 1/10/16. Built 1937. Little Silver.
Inspected 1/9/16. Built 1966. Hazlet.
Inspected 1/9/16. Built 1966. Hazlet.

Is Your New Home Going Solar?

Solar Panels and the Home Inspection

By Frank J. Delle Donne, Licensed Home Inspector

January 1, 2016

For most people, purchasing a house is the largest purchase they have thus far made.  Help ensure that you, “Buy with confidence.  Sell with pride” ® by using Regal Home Inspections, LLC.

Introduction

Solar panels have been on houses for 20+ years and are becoming more and more common today due to technology.  They may be an important element of the home to an owner as they relate to energy conservation, renewable energy, a person’s desire to live a, “Green” lifestyle, etc.  However, the functional value of different types of solar panels can be subjective just like the value of a swimming pool.  Some people prefer a home with a pool and some people will not consider purchasing a home with a pool. To each his own as the saying goes.  This article will discuss solar panels. I will attempt to identify a couple of different types of solar panel systems that I have seen.  I will share the wording of the New Jersey Administrative Code, Chapter 40, Subchapter 15 Rules of the Home Inspector Licensing Act to the degree that it mentions solar equipment.  I will also share my opinion on how the rules for home inspections applies (or doesn’t) with regard to solar panels and solar systems.

Like other aspects of the home inspection, the inspector may recommend that you have a system or component evaluated by a qualified professional.  For example, a licensed plumber should address plumbing problems or concerns.  If the electrical panel (circuit breaker panel) seems too small for your plans for the new house, the inspector may suggest having a licensed electrician evaluate your electrical needs and the capacity of the existing system and make recommendations as that electrical professional deems necessary.  If there’s an issue with a deck’s structure the inspector may recommend evaluation by an architect or structural engineer.  If you are considering purchasing a home with solar panels and you have concerns, it is appropriate to have the solar system inspected by a solar panel expert.  Home inspectors are residential house generalists. We may appear to be expert and some inspectors may come from a background of plumbing or general construction but very few are experts in any one field and hardly anyone is even generally knowledgeable when it comes to solar panels.  On a side note, I built my first (and only) solar panel back in the late 1970s when I was a teenager.  The family pool water was too cold.  The solar panel was a wood box that was built to fit a piece of glass that I had.  I put a piece of tin, painted black on the bottom.  It had a series of plastic pipes (first mistake as the heat wasn’t conducted well in plastic piping) that was coiled inside the box under the glass on top of the tin.  I also lacked a pump so I connected a garden hose to one end.  The water warmed but didn’t get hot.  Oh well.

The New Jersey Administrative Code that governs the home inspector is very specific with regard to what is required.  As defined by the NJAC, a, “ ‘Home inspection’ means a visual, functional, non-invasive inspection conducted without moving personal property, furniture, equipment, plants, soil, snow, ice or debris, using the mandatory equipment and including the preparation of a home inspection report of the readily-accessible elements of the following components of a residential building; structural components, exterior components, insulation components and ventilation system, fireplaces and solid fuel burning appliances, or any other related residential housing component as determined by the Board, in consultation with the Committee, by rule, but excluding recreational facilities and outbuildings other than garages or carports.”

Solar panels are mentioned a couple of times but relating to heating systems and the roof.  The photovoltaic solar panels of today weren’t common when the NJAC was written and I am not aware of any updates to the solar technology.

So there isn’t any confusion, I have emphasized (all CAPS, underline and bold) important words in the following passages.

The NJAC as it relates to roofs – The inspector shall inspect, “i. Roofing surface, EXCLUDING antennae and other installed accessories such as solar heating systems, lightning arresters, and satellite dishes;”

The NJAC as it relates to heating systems – The inspector shall inspect, “i. Installed heating equipment and energy sources, ….. and EXCLUDING humidifiers, electronic air cleaners and solar heating systems.”

Unless the inspector has specific, specialized training in the area of solar panels, they should not present themselves as an expert in that field.  However, the home buyer may appreciate a general overview or explanation of the solar system’s various elements.

Types of Solar Panels

I am aware, and have inspected houses with two different types of solar panels.  While there are some differences, there are also common elements that the home inspector should be looking for.  The general types are solar panels that help heat water and solar panels that generate electricity.  Solar thermal panels that help heat water are the original solar panel system.  There are panels on the roof that have a set of pipes.  A liquid like anti-freeze (not water) flows through the pipes that are inside the panel and exposed to the sun’s rays and heat.  There is a small circulating pump that circulates the anti-freeze liquid.  Inside the house there is a heat exchanger.  A heat exchanger is a device that allows the heat from the sun-warmed anti-freeze liquid to transfer to water either in a water heater or perhaps a radiant floor heating system.  In this fashion, heat from the sun can be captured and used to heat the home’s drinking water or to heat the house itself.  I would estimate that this type of solar system was used from the late 1970s until the early 2000s.

More recently, as the technology evolved, more efficient and less expensive, photovoltaic solar systems have become more popular.  These systems use the sun’s rays to generate small amounts of electricity.  String enough small photovoltaic cells together and you start to generate some useful amounts of electricity.  According to Wikipedia, “A photovoltaic system, also solar PV power system, or PV system, is a power system designed to supply usable solar power by means of photovoltaics.”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photovoltaic_system

What SHOULD the Inspector Look for?

Let’s not forget that the purpose of the inspection is to inspect the house. To prepare a report that describes various systems and components and identifies Material Defects in accordance with the NJAC.  The systems and components that might be directly impacted by a solar system include 1) The roof surface material (shingles). 2) The roof structure. 3) The plumbing system and 4) The electrical system.

When inspecting the roof the inspector should visually inspect the connection points between the solar panel posts and the roof.   Do the connection points appear to compromise the water repellent nature of the roof? Are shingles missing or damaged?  Are there screw/bolt holes that will allow water to penetrate inside?  The inspector is not inspecting the panels per-se but noting and documenting how the panels impact the roof which is definitely part of the inspection. These photos are from a house in Barnegat, NJ.

DSCF0275-400   DSCF0276-400

Another area that the inspector may want to look is inside the attic.  Most roofs in this area are designed for a snow load.  Different areas of the country have different requirements based upon the potential snow fall.  Most roofs are not designed to carry a static or dynamic load other than snow.  Roofs aren’t designed to hold heavy, static load so often the roof rafters will be bolstered to handle the additional weight of the solar panels.  In the photos below one can see that every original (darker colored) roof rafter has been, “Sistered” with a new piece of lumber.  The additional roof rafter lumber is specifically installed to help carry the additional weight of the solar panels (plus any snow).  According to http://www.civicsolar.com/resource/roof-load-considerations-pv-arrays PV panels can weigh up to 50 pounds each and there are numerous panels on a roof.  The photos below are from the attic in a house in Eatontown, NJ that had PV panels outside.

DSCF7428-400   DSCF7429-400

In neither of these houses were the operation or efficiency of the solar panel systems inspected.  I explained the components of the thermal system; Circulating pump, heat exchanger, etc. and pointed out that a replacement water heater that has the heat exchanger coil built in may be considerably more expensive than a common water heater.  For the photovoltaic system, the seller had the paperwork from the installer along with the nature of the business deal with the electric company or solar provider.

Some PV systems are leased by the homeowner and some are owned.  I highly recommend that you understand, 100% the nature of the business arrangement that you are buying into when you purchase a home with a PV system.  You should ask the seller for any and all paperwork you have from the PV solar provider.  This is something that you may want to have your attorney review.  There are numerous business models that the PV supplier and your new, electricity business partner (yes, you may be in a business relationship with the PV contractor to some degree) may have.  It’s important to know what your obligations and opportunities are.

Most PV systems capture/generate electricity and likely send the generated energy back into the electric grid.  I have seen houses with a second meter associated with the PV solar system.  Your regular electric meter keeps track of the electricity you use.  The second meter, part of the PV system, likely keeps track of the electricity that your PV system generates and sends back into the grid.  If you use 10kw of electricity and your PV system generates 4kw, your contract with the energy company may (based on your contract) then require you to only for the net 6kw that you use.

Some PV systems may be more sophisticated and also have batteries.  If your PV system generates and stores the electricity for your use, there is likely to be a large set of batteries (imagine heavy-duty shelves with dozens of car batteries – we’re not talking D-cell batteries here).  Since the batteries are DC electricity and the house uses AC electricity, there will also be an inverter in this sophisticated system. The inverter converts DC to AC.  Please note that this is a very specialized application of PV solar panels and definitely requires a specialist to inspect as well as the knowledge that there may be regular maintenance of the batteries.

Conclusion

If you’re purchasing a house with, “Solar panels” make sure you understand what type of solar system you have. Thermal? PV? If it’s an older thermal system, you may want to assess its value as there may not be many companies skilled in the thermal systems and the replacement components may be either hard to find or expensive, or both.  If it’s a PV system, make sure you understand the nature of the ownership and financial arrangement with whomever installed it and who will be buying the excess energy that you may be returning to the power grid.  PLEASE CONSULT AN EXPERT.

I would appreciate your comments about this article.  Please email your comments to frank07722@gmail.com

About the author.  I am a NJ Licensed Home Inspector and have performed over 500 inspections.  I am the owner and Inspector at Regal Home Inspections, LLC.  In addition to being a New Jersey Licensed Home Inspector I am also a NJ-DEP certified Radon Measurement Technician and Regal Home Inspections, LLC has also collected samples for lead paint, allergens and mold.  We are affiliated with the best labs that perform the sample evaluation and testing.  We can also help facilitate the testing of septic system and numerous aspects of oil tank evaluations. This includes oil tank integrity testing, tank locate services and soil samples.  We work to ensure that the house you’re buying is sound or that you know of any issues.

 

Gallery of Homes Inspected – 2015

These houses were inspected by Regal Home Inspections, LLC in 2015. They are listed in reverse chronological order to the first inspection of the year on January 3, 2015 to the final inspection of the year on New Years Eve.

Inspected 12/31/15. Condominium. Union City. Built 2000.
Inspected 12/31/15. Condominium. Union City. Built 2000.
Inspected 12/22/15. Built 1988. Tinton Falls.
Inspected 12/22/15. Built 1988. Tinton Falls.
Inspected 12/21/15. Built 1990. Old Bridge.
Inspected 12/21/15. Built 1990. Old Bridge.
Inspected 12/21/15. Approximately 4000 square feet. Built 1999. Marlboro.
Inspected 12/21/15. Approximately 4000 square feet. Built 1999. Marlboro.
Inspected 12/19/15. Built 1986. Gated community, Freehold.
Inspected 12/19/15. Built 1986. Gated community, Freehold.
Inspected 12/14/15. Built 1955. Morganville.
Inspected 12/14/15. Built 1955. Morganville.
Inspected 12/11/15. Built 1958. Neptune City.
Inspected 12/11/15. Built 1958. Neptune City.
Inspected 12/11/15. Built 1940. South Amboy.
Inspected 12/11/15. Built 1940. South Amboy.
Inspected 12/6/15. Condo. Aberdeen.
Inspected 12/6/15. Condo. Aberdeen.
Inspected 12/4/15. Retirement community. Jackson.
Inspected 12/4/15. Retirement community. Jackson.
Inspected 12/2/15. Morganville. Townhouse built 1985.
Inspected 12/2/15. Morganville. Townhouse built 1985.
Inspected 11/30/15. South Amboy. 2 family house. Built 1962.
Inspected 11/30/15. South Amboy. 2 family house. Built 1962.
Inspected 11/23/15. Original section built 1953. Extensive expansion since then. Middletown.
Inspected 11/23/15. Original section built 1953. Extensive expansion since then. Middletown.
Inspected 11/23/15. Built 1970. Bayville.
Inspected 11/23/15. Built 1970. Bayville.
Inspected 11/21/15. Built 1909. Keyport.
Inspected 11/21/15. Built 1909. Keyport.
Inspected 11/20/15. Built 1966. Old Bridge.
Inspected 11/20/15. Built 1966. Old Bridge.
Inspected 11/18/15. Built 1972. Beachwood.
Inspected 11/18/15. Built 1972. Beachwood.
Inspected 11/17/15. Built 1956. Middletown.
Inspected 11/17/15. Built 1956. Middletown.
Inspected 11/16/15. Built 1984. Lincroft. Approximately 4000 square feet.
Inspected 11/16/15. Built 1984. Lincroft. Approximately 4000 square feet.
Inspected 11/13 & 14/2015. 10,000 square feet. Built 1904. Monmouth County.
Inspected 11/13 & 14/2015. 10,000 square feet. Six heating systems – 4 furnaces and 2 boilers. 21 rooms, 7 fireplaces. Built 1904. Monmouth County.
Inspected 11/11/15. Built 1965. Old Bridge.
Inspected 11/11/15. Built 1965. Old Bridge.
Inspected 11/6/15. Built 1956. Parlin.
Inspected 11/6/15. Built 1956. Parlin.
Inspected 11/5/15. Built 1996. Approximately 5600 square feet. Holmdel.
Inspected 11/5/15. Built 1996. Approximately 5600 square feet. Holmdel.
Inspected 10/31/15. Built 1973. Holmdel.
Inspected 10/31/15. Built 1973. Holmdel.
Inspected 10/30/15. Built 1989. Manalapan.
Inspected 10/30/15. Built 1989. Manalapan.
Inspected 10/27/15. Built 2004. Jackson.
Inspected 10/27/15. Built 2004. Jackson.
Inspected 10/24/15. Condominium. Long Branch.
Inspected 10/24/15. Condominium. Long Branch.
Inspected 10/23/15. Built 1994. Modular built home. Toms River.
Inspected 10/23/15. Built 1994. Modular built home. Toms River.
Inspected 10/22/15. Built 1971. Middletown.
Inspected 10/22/15. Built 1971. Middletown.
Inspected 10/19/15. Ocean Twp. Built 1973.
Inspected 10/19/15. Ocean Twp. Built 1973.
Inspected 10/11/15. Built 2013. Aberdeen.
Inspected 10/11/15. Built 2013. Aberdeen.
Inspected 10/11/15. Condo. Monmouth Beach.
Inspected 10/11/15. Condo. Monmouth Beach.
Inspected 10/8/15. Condo. Built 1982. Middletown.
Inspected 10/8/15. Condo. Built 1982. Middletown.
Inspected 10/8/15. Built 1998. Marlboro.
Inspected 10/8/15. Built 1998. Marlboro.
Inspected 10/7/15. Built 1983. Marlboro.
Inspected 10/7/15. Built 1983. Marlboro.
Inspected 10/7/15. Built 1973. Barnegat.
Inspected 10/7/15. Built 1973. Barnegat.
Inspected 10/5/15. Built 1929. Little Silver.
Inspected 10/5/15. Built 1929. Little Silver.
DSCF9714-400
Inspected 10/2/15. Built circa 1910. Englishtown.
Inspected 10/1/15. Condo. Secaucus.
Inspected 10/1/15. Condo. Secaucus.
Inspected 9/30/15. New construction. Highlands.
Inspected 9/30/15. New construction. Highlands.
Inspected 9/29/15. Built 1968. Edison.
Inspected 9/29/15. Built 1968. Edison.
Inspected 9/28/15. Built 1988. Approximately 6000 square feet. Holmdel.
Inspected 9/28/15. Built 1988. Approximately 6000 square feet. Holmdel.
Inspected 9/23/15. Built 1940. Farmingdale.
Inspected 9/23/15. Built 1940. Farmingdale.
DSCF7989-400
Inspected 9/21/15. Built 1933. Keansburg.
Inspected 9/17/15. Howell. Built 1958.
Inspected 9/17/15. Howell. Built 1958.
Inspected 9/16/15. Built 1950. Monmouth County.
Inspected 9/16/15. Built 1950. Little Silver.
Inspected 9/15/15. Built 1999. Mother/Daughter. Jackson.
Inspected 9/15/15. Built 1999. Mother/Daughter. Jackson.
Inspected 9/11/15. Condo. Asbury Park. Building built 1930. Renovations circa 2006.
Inspected 9/11/15. Condo. Asbury Park. Building built 1930. Renovations circa 2006.
DSCF6311-400
Inspected 9/10/15. Marlboro. Built 1989. Approximately 6000 square feet.
DSCF6089-400
Inspected 9/9/15. Built 1958. Parlin.
Inspected 9/6/15. Built 1993. Manalapan. Approximately 4500 square feet.
Inspected 9/6/15. Built 1993. Manalapan. Approximately 4500 square feet.
Inspected 9/4/15. Built 1992. Retirement community. Toms River.
Inspected 9/4/15. Built 1992. Retirement community. Toms River.
Inspected 9/3/15. Built 1963. Hazlet.
Inspected 9/3/15. Built 1963. Hazlet.
Inspected 9/3/15. Built 1999. Robbinsville.
Inspected 9/3/15. Built 1999. Robbinsville.
Inspected 9/3/15. Townhouse. Jackson. Built 2006.
Inspected 9/3/15. Townhouse. Jackson. Built 2006.
DSCF4683-400
Inspected 9/1/15. Middletown. Mother/daughter. Build circa 1983.
Inspected 9/1/15. Retirement community. Jackson. Built 2006.
Inspected 9/1/15. Retirement community. Jackson. Built 2006.
DSCF4258-400
Inspected 8/31/15. Brick. Built 1990.
Inspected 8/24/15. Built 1970. Morganville.
Inspected 8/24/15. Built 1970. Morganville.
Inspected 8/22/15. Built 2005. Manahawkin.
Inspected 8/22/15. Built 2005. Manahawkin.
Inspected 8/21/15. Millstone. Built 1970. Approximately 4500 square feet.
Inspected 8/21/15. Millstone. Built 1997. Approximately 4500 square feet.
Inspected 8/20/15. Built 1910. Keyport.
Inspected 8/20/15. Built 1910. Keyport.
Inspected 8/20/15. Built 1998. Tinton Falls.
Inspected 8/20/15. Built 1998. Tinton Falls.
Inspected 8/19/15. Approximately 5000 square foot home. Morganville.
Inspected 8/19/15. Approximately 5000 square foot home. Built 1985.  Morganville.
Inspected house and pool. 8/15/15. Built 1965. Howell.
Inspected house and pool. 8/15/15. Built 1965. Howell.
Inspected 8/14/15. Built 1936. Spotswood.
Inspected 8/14/15. Built 1936. New Egypt.

 

Inspected 8/14/15. Condo. Spotswood.
Inspected 8/14/15. Condo. Spotswood.
Inspected 8/13/15. Built 2013. Manalapan.
Inspected 8/13/15. Built 2013. Manalapan. Retirement community.
Inspected 8/11/15. Colts Neck. Built 1997. Approximately 5500 square feet.
Inspected 8/11/15. Colts Neck. Built 1997. Approximately 5500 square feet.
Inspected 8/10/15. Middletown. Built 1976.
Inspected 8/10/15. Middletown. Built 1976.
Inspected 8/7/15. Built 2004. Jackson
Inspected 8/7/15. Built 2004. Jackson. Retirement community.

 

Inspected 8/7/15. Built 1978. Howell.
Inspected 8/7/15. Built 1978. Howell.
Inspected 8/6/15. Union Beach. Built 2014.
Inspected 8/6/15. Union Beach. Built 2014.
Inspected 8/5/15. Approximately 4500 square feet. Built 2006. Middletown.
Inspected 8/5/15. Approximately 4500 square feet. Built 2006. Middletown.
Inspected 8/5/15. Townhouse built 2014. Tinton Falls
Inspected 8/5/15. Townhouse built 2014. Tinton Falls
Inspected 8/4/15. Parlin. Built 1972.
Inspected 8/4/15. Parlin. Built 1972.
Inspected 8/3/15. Built 2005. Lavallette.
Inspected 8/3/15. Built 2005. Lavallette.
Inspected 7/31/15. Keyport.
Inspected 7/31/15. Keyport.
Inspected 7/31/15. Monmouth County. Originally built 1948. Rebuilt 2013.
Inspected 7/31/15. Monmouth County. Originally built 1948. Rebuilt 2013.
Inspected 7/30/15. Condo. Matawan.
Inspected 7/30/15. Condo. Matawan.
Inspected 7/29/15. Parlin. Built 1970.
Inspected 7/29/15. Parlin. Built 1970.

Toms_River_NJ_Home_Inspection_rhinj

Inspected 7/23/15. Aberdeen. Condo. Built 1984.
Inspected 7/23/15. Aberdeen. Condo. Built 1984.
Inspected 7/22/15. Parlin. Built 2004.
Inspected 7/22/15. Parlin. Built 2004. Retirement community.
Inspected 7/21/15. Townhouse. Old Bridge. Built 1980.
Inspected 7/21/15. Townhouse. Old Bridge. Built 1980.
Inspected 7/20/15. New construction. Toms River.
Inspected 7/20/15. New construction. Toms River. Approximately 3000 square feet.
Inspected Sunday, 7/19/15. Built 2009. Berkeley Township, Ocean County.
Inspected Sunday, 7/19/15. Built 2009. Berkeley Township, Ocean County.
Inspected 7/14/15. Built 2009. Ocean County.
Inspected 7/14/15. Built 2009. Ocean County.
Inspected 7/11/15. Built 1965. Approximately 4000 square feet. Holmdel, NJ.
Inspected 7/11/15. Built 1965. Approximately 4000 square feet. Holmdel, NJ.
Inspected 7/10/15. Built 1973. Gated, retirement community in Monroe.
Inspected 7/10/15. Built 1973. Gated, retirement community in Monroe.
Inspected 7/8/15. Built 1952. Monmouth County.
Inspected 7/8/15. Built 1952. Monmouth County.
Inspected 7/8/15. Old Bridge. Built 1984.
Inspected 7/8/15. Old Bridge. Built 1984.
Inspected 7/7/15. Built 1942. Keyport.
Inspected 7/7/15. Built 1942. Keyport.
Inspected 7/6/15. Built 2002. Approx. 4000 square feet.
Inspected 7/6/15. Built 2002. Approx. 4000 square feet.
Inspected 7/3/15. Built 1984. Marlboro.
Inspected 7/3/15. Built 1984. Marlboro.
Inspected 7/2/15. Built 1978.
Inspected 7/2/15. Built 1978. Franklin Twp., Somerset County.
Inspected 6/27/15. 5000+ square foot house. 3&1/2 bathrooms. Built 2007.
Inspected 6/27/15. 5000+ square foot house. 3&1/2 bathrooms. Built 2007.
Inspected 6/24/15. Three apartment building. Recently elevated for flood compliance. Union Beach.
Inspected 6/24/15. Three apartment building. Recently elevated for flood compliance. Union Beach.
Inspected 6/19/15. Built 1967. Monroe Twp.
Inspected 6/19/15. Built 1967. Monroe Twp.
Inspected 6/16/15. Sayreville. Built 1960s.
Inspected 6/16/15. Sayreville. Built 1960s.
Inspected 6/16/15. Townhouse. Tinton Falls. Built 1988.
Inspected 6/16/15. Townhouse. Tinton Falls. Built 1988.
Inspected 6/13/15. Built 1971. Old Bridge
Inspected 6/13/15. Built 1971. Old Bridge
Inspected 6/12/15. Built 2006. Brick
Inspected 6/12/15. Built 2006. Brick
Inspected 6/11/15. Approximately 6000 square feet. 4.5 Bathrooms. Holmdel
Inspected 6/11/15. Approximately 6000 square feet. 4.5 Bathrooms. Holmdel
Inspected 6/10/15. 3rd floor condo with 2 car garage. Built 2012.
Inspected 6/10/15. 3rd floor condo with 2 car garage. Built 2012. Retirement community.
Inspected 6/8/15. Built 1963. Jackson, NJ.
Inspected 6/8/15. Built 1963. Jackson, NJ.
Inspected 6/8/15. Townhouse. Monmouth County. Built 2012.
Inspected 6/8/15. Townhouse. Monmouth County. Built 2012.
Inspected 6/7/15. Rumson, NJ. Original house built circa 1920.
Inspected 6/7/15. Rumson, NJ. Original house built circa 1920.
Inspected 6/5/15. Built 1931. Solid brick with clay siding! Middlesex County.
Inspected 6/5/15. Built 1931. Solid brick with clay siding! Middlesex County.
Inspected 6/4/15. Built 1985. Jackson. Two family.
Inspected 6/4/15. Built 1985. Jackson. Two family.
Inspected 6/3/15. Rumson. Built circa 1900 with significant upgrades in 1988.
Inspected 6/3/15. Rumson. Built circa 1900 with significant upgrades in 1988.
Inspected 6/3/15. Manchester. Built 1974.
Inspected 6/3/15. Manchester. Built 1974. Retirement community.

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Inspected 5/31/15. Approximately 3250 square feet. Built 2004. Monmouth County.
Inspected 5/31/15. Approximately 3250 square feet. Built 2004. Monmouth County.
Inspected 5/30/15. Approximately 3500 square foot home. Built 1977. Monmouth County.
Inspected 5/30/15. Approximately 3500 square foot home. Built 1977. Monmouth County.
Inspected 5/26/15. Built 1991. Approximately 3000 square feet. Monmouth County, NJ.
Inspected 5/26/15. Built 1991. Approximately 3000 square feet. Monmouth County, NJ.
Inspected 5/26/15. Cape Cod style home. Built 1950. Monmouth County, NJ.
Inspected 5/26/15. Cape Cod style home. Built 1950. Monmouth County, NJ.
Inspected house and pool 5/22/15. Built 1963,
Inspected house and pool 5/22/15. Built 1963. Mercer County
Inspected 5/20/15. Approximately 3000 square feet. 3 & 1/2 bathrooms. Morganville, NJ.
Inspected 5/20/15. Approximately 3000 square feet. 3 & 1/2 bathrooms. Morganville, NJ.
Inspected 5/19/15. Approximately 3500 square feet. 4 & 1/2 baths. Marlboro, NJ.
Inspected 5/19/15. Approximately 3500 square feet. 4 & 1/2 baths. Marlboro, NJ.
Inspected 5/13/15. Built 1972. Monmouth County.
Inspected 5/13/15. Built 1972. Monmouth County.
Inspected 5/8/15. Built 1998. Monmouth County, NJ. Approximately 3500 square feet.
Inspected 5/8/15. Built 1998. Monmouth County, NJ. Approximately 3500 square feet.
Inspected 5/5/15. Edison, NJ. Middlesex County. Built 1947.
Inspected 5/5/15. Edison, NJ. Middlesex County. Built 1947.
Inspected 5/5/15. Two bedroom condo. River Vale, Bergen County, NJ. Built 1970.
Inspected 5/5/15. Two bedroom condo. River Vale, Bergen County, NJ. Built 1970.
Inspected 5/2/15. Aberdeen, NJ. Built 1961.
Inspected 5/2/15. Aberdeen, NJ. Built 1961.
Inspected 5/1/15. New Providence, NJ. Built 1962.
Inspected 5/1/15. New Providence, NJ. Built 1962.
Inspected 5/1/15. Townhouse. Holmdel, NJ. Built 1984.
Inspected 5/1/15. Townhouse. Holmdel, NJ. Built 1984.
Inspected 4/27/15. 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo. Aberdeen, NJ. Built 1979.
Inspected 4/27/15. 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo. Aberdeen, NJ. Built 1979.
Inspected 4/25/15. Built 1984. Brick, NJ.
Inspected 4/25/15. Built 1984. Brick, NJ.
Inspected 4/24/15. Three apartments. Union Beach. Built 1945.
Inspected 4/24/15. Three apartments. Union Beach. Built 1945.
Inspected 4/2/15. Built 1965. Parlin, NJ.
Inspected 4/22/15. Built 1965. Parlin, NJ.
Inspected 4/22/15. Built 1969. Freehold, NJ.
Inspected 4/22/15. Built 1969. Freehold, NJ.
Inspected 4/19/15. Built 1968. Marlboro, NJ
Inspected 4/19/15. Built 1968. Marlboro, NJ
New_Egypt_NJ_Home_Inspection_rhinj
Inspected 4/18/15. Built 1972. New Egypt, NJ
Inspected 4/17/15. Built 1893. Aberdeen, NJ
Inspected 4/17/15. Built 1893. Aberdeen, NJ
Inspected 4/14/15. Built 1973. Holmdel, NJ.
Inspected 4/14/15. Built 1973. Holmdel, NJ.
Inspected 4/14/15. East Brunswick, NJ. Built 1956.
Inspected 4/14/15. East Brunswick, NJ. Built 1956.
Inspected 4/13/15. Built 1956. Parlin, NJ
Inspected 4/13/15. Built 1956. Parlin, NJ
Inspected 4/10/15. Built 1926. Monmouth County.
Inspected 4/10/15. Built 1926. Monmouth County.
Inspected 4/9/15. Townhouse. Freehold, NJ. Built 1975.
Inspected 4/9/15. Townhouse. Freehold, NJ. Built 1975.
Inspected 4/6/15. Built 1936. Woodbridge, NJ
Inspected 4/6/15. Built 1936. Woodbridge, NJ
Inspected 4/6/15. 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo, Monmouth Beach, NJ
Inspected 4/6/15. 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo, Monmouth Beach, NJ
Inspected 4/4/15. Built 1963. Colts Neck
Inspected 4/4/15. Built 1963. Colts Neck
Inspected 4/4/15. 5000+ square feet. Monmouth County.
Inspected 4/4/15. 5000+ square feet. Built 1998. Monmouth County.
Inspected 4/3/15. Built 1938. Keansburg
Inspected 4/3/15. Built 1938. Keansburg
Inspected 4/2/15. Built 1969. Colts Neck.
Inspected 4/2/15. Built 1969. Colts Neck.
Inspected 3/26/15. 3 apartments. Jersey City. Built 1895.
Inspected 3/26/15. 3 apartments. Jersey City. Built 1895.
Inspected 3/25/15. Townhouse. Monmouth County.
Inspected 3/25/15. Townhouse. Monmouth County.
Brick_NJ_Inspection_rhinj
Inspected 3/24/15. Condo. Brick, NJ. Built 1984.

 

Inspected 3/23/2015. Single family attached. Built 1998. Monroe, NJ. Approximately 1300 square feet. 2 bed, 2 bath.
Inspected 3/23/2015. Single family attached. Built 1998. Monroe. Retirement community.
Inspected 3/18/15. Eatontown, NJ. Approximately 3000 square feet with addition. Originally built 1951.
Inspected 3/18/15. Eatontown, NJ. Approximately 3000 square feet with addition. Originally built 1951.
Inspected 3/16/15. Monmouth County. 4900 square feet. Mother/Daughter. Built 1986.
Inspected 3/16/15. Monmouth County. 4900 square feet. Mother/Daughter. Built 1986.
Inspected 3/14/15. Condo. Red Bank, NJ
Inspected 3/14/15. Condo. Red Bank, NJ
Inspected 3/13/15. Glen Rock, NJ. Approximately 3500 square feet. Built 1930.
Inspected 3/13/15. Glen Rock, NJ. Approximately 3500 square feet. Built 1930.
Inspected 3/2/15. Approximately 4000 square ft. Built 2003. Monmouth County.
Inspected 3/2/15. Approximately 4000 square ft. Built 2003. Monmouth County.
Old_Bridge_NJ_Inspection_rhinj.jpg
Inspected 2/28/15. 2000 square foot colonial built 1985. Old Bridge, NJ.

 

Inspected 2/27/15. Approximately 4000 square feet. Built 2000. Monmouth County.
Inspected 2/27/15. Approximately 4000 square feet. Built 2000. Monmouth County.

 

Inspected 2/24/15. Approximately 3000 sq. ft. Built 1969. Monmouth County.
Inspected 2/24/15. Built 1969. Monmouth County.

 

Inspected 2/21/15. 2 bedroom 1 bath condo. Monmouth County.
Inspected 2/21/15. 2 bedroom 1 bath condo. Monmouth County. Built 1982.

 

Inspected 2/19/15. Built 1987. Approx 3000 sq. ft. Norristown, PA.
Inspected 2/19/15. Built 1987. Approx. 3000 sq. ft. Norristown, PA.

 

Inspected 2-16-15. Built 1910. Remodeled 2006. Monmouth County.
Inspected 2/16/15. Built 1910. 3500 square feet. Remodeled 2006. Monmouth County.

 

Inspected 2/13/15. Townhouse. Built 1989. Manalapan, NJ.
Inspected 2/13/15. Townhouse. Built 1989. Manalapan, NJ.

 

Inspected 2/13/15. Manchester, NJ. Built 2009.
Inspected 2/13/15. Manchester, NJ. Built 2009. Retirement community.

 

Inspected 2/12/15. Bayville, NJ. Built 2000.
Inspected 2/12/15. Bayville, NJ. Built 2000.

 

South River, NJ. Inspected 2/12/15. Built 1951.
South River, NJ. Inspected 2/12/15. Built 1951.
Inspected 2/4/15. Edison, NJ. 2800 Sq. ft. home. Built 2002.
Inspected 2/4/15. Edison, NJ. 2800 Sq. ft. home. Built 2002.

 

 

Inspected 1/22/15. Built 1967. Monmouth County.
Inspected 1/22/15. Built 1967. Colts Neck, NJ.

 

Inspected 1/16/15. Built 1962. Lavallette, NJ.
Inspected 1/16/15. Built 1962. Lavallette, NJ.

 

Inspected 1/11/2015. Ocean County, NJ.
Inspected 1/11/2015. Ocean County. Built 1979.

 

Inspected 1/9/2015. Built 1979. Ocean County, NJ.
Inspected 1/9/2015. Built 1963. Ocean County.

 

2 family house. Built 1910. Kearny, NJ.
Inspected 1/8/2015. Two family house. Built 1910. Kearny, NJ.

 

Inspected 1/6/2015. Approx. 3000 sq ft.
Inspected 1/6/2015. Approx. 3000 sq. ft. Built 1994. Ocean County.

 

Inspected 1/5/2015. Original house (stone structure) built in 1740. The left side was built in the 1800s.
Inspected 1/5/2015. Original house (stone structure) built in 1740. The left side was built in the 1800s. Hunterdon County.

 

Inspected 1/3/15 - 5000+ sq. ft. house. 6.5 baths.
Inspected 1/3/15 – 5000+ sq. ft. house. 6.5 baths. Built 1988. Monmouth County.

A Superior Effort and Inspection – Part 2

A Superior Effort Part 2

By Frank J. Delle Donne, Licensed Home Inspector

January 10, 2015

For most people, purchasing a house is the largest purchase they have thus far made. Help ensure that you, “Buy with confidence. Sell with pride” ® by using Regal Home Inspections, LLC.

Introduction

On Friday, January 9, 2015 I was hired to conduct an inspection on a nicely renovated 52 year old house. It had been remodeled with updated bathrooms, new siding and despite its age, looked very nice and it absolutely was for the most part. Like the Superior Effort article I wrote in December 2014, I was informed that the house had also been recently inspected. The seller told me that the house had been inspected in the summer of 2014 by another potential buyer. That deal, I was told, fell through because of septic issues but the seller had the septic system replaced following that deal’s demise. I was also told by the seller that the, “only other thing” the other inspector found was an issue with the chimney flashing which they had fixed.

Just like I said in the December 20 edition of the Superior Effort article, perhaps another inspector would have cruised the rest of the way home on this second inspection but I did not. Following are some examples as to why, in my humble opinion, you should hire Regal Home Inspections, LLC to perform your new home inspection.

Examples

Here are some of the items that I found during the inspection that the, “other” inspector should have found.

1) The New Jersey law that oversees home inspectors requires that home inspectors test the, “Entrapment Protection Mechanism” for garage doors. This includes the photo-eye beams mounted close to the floor on the garage door tracks and the auto reverse in the event something gets caught under the door as it’s closing. One garage door had the photo-eye but the other did not. Additionally the doors required adjusting on the down-force-tension because they did not reverse when tested. Starting in 1993, garage door openers had to come with these safety features. It should be reported if they aren’t installed or operating in a home inspection report.

2) New Jersey Home Inspection laws follow the Standards of Practice of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). ASHI is actually mentioned in the NJ Administrative Code that oversees home inspectors and how they should perform their job. The Standard of Practice allows inspectors to inspect a sampling of regular electric outlets but the inspector must inspect all Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt (GFCI) outlets. GFCI outlets help protect people by disconnecting the electricity if the GFCI outlet detects that the electricity is going-to-ground in a manner that is abnormal. This might occur if stray voltage and current went through a person because of faulty wiring. That’s why GFCI outlets are required outside, in garages and near all water appliances; sinks, etc. to name a few. GFCI outlets are basics in 2015 construction just like a foundation and roof.  GFCI outlets in specific areas are mandatory. So when a house is being inspected for a sale, the inspector HAS TO CHECK EVERY GFCI outlet and every outlet that should be GFCI. Without getting too technical, suffice it to say that one GFCI outlet can protect the others that it serves in a multi-outlet circuit. In this photo, the GFCI outlet on the right (the one with the buttons), operates as it should.

DSCF3587
Outlet on right is GFCI. Outlet on left is NOT GFCI protected PLUS it has reverse polarity.

However, not only is the outlet next to it NOT GFCI, it is wired backward! The polarity is reversed. Again, without getting too technical, this is very dangerous. An outlet that is wired with reversed polarity has the potential to electrocute someone very easily because the “Hot” line is in the wrong place.

3) Another blatant error on the part of the inspector that was here 6 months back is the duct for the bathroom exhaust fan. Inspectors are trained to be aware of bathroom exhaust fans that are not installed with the duct work to the outside. They sometimes vent to inside the attic (see the @regalhomeinspec Inspection find of the week from late December with the vent fan with no ductwork). While they are often very hard to find because the fans and ducts are often under insulation or in hard to reach places, in the house yesterday, it was very easy to see and right in front of you, if you looked and cared to know what you were looking at.

DSCF3637
Silver duct from bathroom fan is blowing moist exhaust air into the attic. This can promote mold growth.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that I will do the best inspection possible. Combine that with my competitive pricing and I believe I offer the best professional home inspection value in New Jersey. For a house that was “inspected” by another licensed home inspector within the past 6 or 7 months, I found items that should have been found previously.

I would appreciate your comments about this article. Please email your comments to frank07722@gmail.com

About the author. I am a NJ Licensed Home Inspector. I am the owner and Inspector at Regal Home Inspections, LLC. In addition to being a New Jersey Licensed Home Inspector I am also a NJ-DEP certified Radon Measurement Technician and Regal Home Inspections, LLC has also collected samples for lead paint, allergens and mold. We are affiliated with the best labs that perform the sample evaluation and testing. We can also help facilitate the testing of septic system and numerous aspects of oil tank evaluations. This includes oil tank integrity testing, tank locate services and soil samples. We work to ensure that the house you’re buying is sound or that you know of any issues.

 

A Superior Effort and Inspection

A Superior Effort and Inspection

By Frank J. Delle Donne, Licensed Home Inspector

December 23, 2014

For most people, purchasing a house is the largest purchase they have thus far made. Help ensure that you, “Buy with confidence. Sell with pride” ® by using Regal Home Inspections, LLC.

Introduction

On Saturday, December 20, 2014 I was hired to conduct an inspection on a 9 year old house. It was a large house with over 5000 square feet of living space, 6 bathrooms and 5 bedrooms. I arrived early, which I usually do, and introduced myself to the seller and asked for their permission to start the exterior portion of my inspection before the real estate agents and clients arrived. I was about 30 minutes into the exterior inspection (remember it’s a very large house) when the listing agent arrives and shares with me that this was the third time the house was under contract in recent months and for the previous two times, each potential buyer also had the house inspected. He pointed out that a few, small items were found but were fixed and that I should have a fairly smooth inspection. In case you’re wondering, I don’t know why the previous deals fell through and to tell you the truth, it doesn’t matter to me in a professional, home inspector capacity.

Perhaps another inspector would have cruised the rest of the way home on this third inspection but I did not. Following are some examples as to why, in my humble opinion, you should hire Regal Home Inspections, LLC to perform your new home inspection.

Highlights of a Superior Inspection

  1. I climbed the roof! Even though the roof was only 9 years old, I still climbed on the roof. Here’s a view of the house from the side so you can see it’s a large home. Now the New Jersey Administrative Code that governs the home inspection process, NJAC Chapter 40, Subchapter 15 (13:40-15.17 Mandatory tools and equipment) states that the minimum required length ladder is 11 feet. I believe most inspectors meet this minimal requirement and lean on the law to avoid climbing on roofs. Technically an inspector can inspect a roof from the ground with binoculars. I carry a 22 foot ladder and when it’s safe to do so I climb on the roof. I have walked roofs by climbing a ladder. I have walked roofs by climbing out a window to access the roof. I have found issues with roofs and other components, like the chimney or flashing because I climb the roof! The easy way out here would have been to use the binoculars. Now there weren’t any issues on this house but for the client, I didn’t take the easy way out.                                                                  DSCF1424
  2. Also according to the NJAC and the Standards of Practice that the NJAC includes, a representative number of electrical outlets (such as one per room) can be tested but all, GFCI outlets must be tested. The Standards of Practice, (as well as the National Electric Safety Code) require that all outside electrical outlets be GFCI protected. This has been the standard since 1973.   So not only did the local building inspector miss this in 2005 when the house was built but two, licensed, (apparently) professional home inspectors missed the fact that the outside outlet on the balcony was not GFCI protected. I found out it wasn’t because I tested it because as a professional home inspector, following the NJAC, the inspector must test GFCI outlets. I don’t know who they were but there are two inspectors out there that didn’t, otherwise they would have found it.  Once on the deck it took about 30 seconds to test the outlet with a GFCI tester.  The outside outlet that was not GFCI is on the covered deck on the second floor which can be seen in the photo above.
  3. This house had over 65 windows. Now it’s possible that the one that I found that was cracked, wasn’t cracked when the other two inspections occurred. I’ll give them that. I did check the glazing and also found that one window had the thermal seal broken. The other inspectors should have found this however.  The seller wasn’t even aware of that and it is a master bedroom window.
  4. Finally, while inspecting a bathroom I noticed some staining near the exhaust vent. This bathroom, apparently hadn’t been used in a while and I would bet dollars to donuts that the stains are not new. The stains looked like it might be mold but of course, without laboratory analysis, it can’t be determined conclusively in the field by naked eye. For an inspector, the staining should indicate the need for some additional investigation. When it was time to inspect the attic I made note of the direction and distance of the bathroom and the vent from the attic stairs. As I approached the area my curiosity was elevated because I didn’t see any exhaust duct work. That didn’t mean that it wasn’t there because it could have been installed between the joists. When I checked, I found out that the duct wasn’t installed at all. Ever since this house was built, the exhaust vent fan blew the air from the bathroom directly into the insulation in the attic. Luckily this was a spare bathroom that was rarely used (remember, this house had 6 bathrooms).
DSCF1761
Bath exhaust vent without any duct work.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that I will do the best inspection possible. Combine that with my competitive pricing and I believe I offer the best professional home inspection value in New Jersey. For a house that was relatively new and that had been, “inspected” by two other licensed home inspectors within the past few months, this wasn’t the easy inspection I was told to expect. I would not have lowered my standards regardless. I have inspected $150,000 houses and I have inspected houses well in excess of $1,000,000. I bring the same professional skills and attitude to every inspection. Am I perfect? No I am not perfect. Will I do everything in my power to make every inspection the best inspection possible? Absolutely I will.

I would appreciate your comments about this article. Please email your comments to frank07722@gmail.com

About the author. I am a NJ Licensed Home Inspector. I am the owner and Inspector at Regal Home Inspections, LLC. In addition to being a New Jersey Licensed Home Inspector I am also a NJ-DEP certified Radon Measurement Technician. I can also help facilitate the testing of septic system, chimney inspections and numerous aspects of oil tank evaluations. This includes oil tank integrity testing, tank locate services and soil samples. We work to ensure that the house you’re buying is sound or that you know of any issues.

 

Minimizing Basement Water Problems

Minimizing and Managing Potential Basement Water Problems

Rain Water Management – Part 2

By Frank J. Delle Donne, Licensed Home Inspector

December 15, 2014

For most people, purchasing a house is the largest purchase they have thus far made. Help ensure that you, “Buy with confidence. Sell with pride” ® by using Regal Home Inspections, LLC.

Introduction

Back in September I was inspired to write Part 1 because of what I had observed in my inspections and a call that I received from a client. I am now inspired to write Part 2 for almost the same reasons.

On October 18th and November 8th I performed two inspections that I was reminded of last week. Both sales closed last week coincidentally, December 9th and December 11th to be exact. One was a town house and one was a single family home. The townhome was built in 1996 and the single family home was built in 1935.

From a home inspection and maintenance recommendations point of view both houses had damaged or substandard rain water management (piping) systems. Specifically there were issues with one or more of the following; Gutters, downspouts or the downspout extensions. Properly installed and maintained gutters, downspouts and downspout extensions are fundamental to keeping basements dry. Of course a chronically wet basement can decrease the value of a house, damage property and belongings as it becomes flooded and potentially be a health hazard if the chronic moisture feeds the growth of mold.

So with the title of this article, the introduction thus far and the following detail one can probably guess where this is headed. If you recall, the New Jersey area had a nor’easter storm on 12/9/14. According to the National Weather Service Philadelphia/Mount Holly Bureau, Southern NJ received approximately 2.5 inches of rain as of 7pm on Tuesday, December 9, 2014. What I’d like to do is translate that amount of rainfall into water volume and then demonstrate how potentially destructive that water can be if the gutters, downspouts and downspout extensions are not designed, built and MAINTATINED properly.

The Inspections and Findings

During the inspections for both of these houses, and of course in the written report, the topic of rain water management was discussed and documented because there was damage or substandard conditions to the gutters, downspouts or the downspout extensions. For one house, there wasn’t any downspout extension and therefore all the rain water coming off the roof was being deposited right up against the basement wall. For the other house it was a little more interesting. First, the 1935 house apparently was built without any gutters. I specifically asked the seller and he stated that when he bought the house it didn’t have gutters and the open soffit design of the roof/eave area would support the idea that gutters were not part of the original house design. On the 1935 house there was also a flat section of roof and that area drained to one downspout connection that was about 10 inches long (Photo 3) and in need of repair and redesign. In the report for the 1935 house it was even pointed out how the cascading water from the 10 inch, insufficient downspout was, “eroding” the ground directly below (Photo 2). Both clients were closing last week. The clients buying the 1935 house were having their pre-closing final walk through during the rain event on December 9th. The other was having their pre-closing walk through on Thursday, December 11th. Both clients called (on the 9th and 11th respectively) because they noticed wet basements in their final walk through. We reviewed the inspection’s findings and the report’s recommendations, photos, conditions found during the inspections and the recommendations to repair or add gutters, downspouts or downspout extensions as each situation required.  Noting too that poor gutter, downspout and downspout extension maintenance could lead to water in the basement.

I’d like to show you each finding individually and in the next section of this article, put the findings into different terms so that the potential water volume accumulation of a damaged or substandard rain water management system on a home can be better understood.

One situation (Photo 1) was simply in need of a downspout extension (and maybe some soil grading). As noted in Part 1 of this article series, it would be great to extend the rain water drainage (downspout extension) to a minimum of 6 feet away from the foundation wall. The further the better.

DSCF9303
Photo 1 – Downspout extension and proper soil grading required.

The other situation not only requires gutters but looking at the flat roof section of the house only, a proper downspout and downspout extension are required.  The PVC pipe that fell off is significantly heavier than regular downspout material and over time gravity will cause the heavy PVC pipe to fall off. The lower part of the PVC pipe that was used as a downspout is seen in the photo below.  The drain connection is in the next photo, Photo 3.

DSCF7822
Photo 2 – Eroded soil and inappropriate downspout and no extension.
DSCF7815
Photo 3 – Only pipe draining from flat roof section.

 

Setting up the Formulas

How much water might actually be dumped next to the foundation in each situation knowing that some of it will work its way back into the basement?

1935 House – The flat roof section of this house is approximately 12’ by 20’. Additionally the pitched roof section of the house, with no gutters or rain water management at all is approximately 30’ by 40’. The pitched roof section is a gable design so one half is sloped to the front and the other half is sloped to the back. Overall, this 1935 house covers approximately 1400 square feet of property.

1996 house – This is a center unit townhome and this particular house is approximately 18’ wide by approximately 30’ deep. This house covers 540 square feet of property. There were two downspouts in the front so in my calculations I will apply the theory that half the water flows to the front and half of that goes to the left downspout and half to the right downspout that is seen in Photo 1. So each one of the 2 downspouts in the front of this house manages the rain water from approximately 135 square feet of area. 270 square feet in total for the front half of the house.

Let’s do the Math Using the 12/9/14 Rainfall Statistics

1935 house. The flat roof is approximately 240 square feet. I actually convert everything to square and cubic inches to do the math but the bottom line is that in a 2.5 inch rain event, that would equate to 50 cubic feet of water landing on the flat roof. That is equivalent to 374 gallons of water that was collected on the flat roof and then deposited in one day at the corner of the basement in the 1935 house where the damaged downspout is located.

DSCF7822
Approximately 374 gallons of water were dumped in this spot on 12/9/14.

On December 9th, with the 2.5 inch rain event, the 1935 house’s pitched or sloped roof shed a total of 1870 gallons of water. Half was shed to the front next to the foundation wall and half was dumped in the back next to the foundation wall. That’s over 2200 gallons of water that was dumped immediately next to the foundation wall of that 80 year old house because of damaged and/or substandard rain water management. Is it any wonder why some water made its way into the basement? The solution here (as stated in the report) is to A) Fix the downspout and add a properly sized extension and B) Add gutters, downspouts and extensions to the rest of the house. Proper soil grading is also a good option.

For the 1996 house it’s not as dramatic but it helps demonstrate the need for properly functioning gutters, downspouts and downspout extensions. When we convert 135 square feet of roof surface area into gallons for a 2.5 inch rainfall event this equals slightly over 210 gallons of water deposited at the spot in this photo. And yes, if you pour that much water so close to the basement wall, some water will make its way back into the basement.

DSCF9303
Approximately 210+ gallons of water was deposited on the dirt in this photo from 2.5 inches of rain on 12/9/14.

Soil grading is also important. If the soil is flat immediately next to the house, as it appears in the photo here, in a 2.5 inch rain event, each square foot of soil will have 1.7 gallons of rain fall in that 1 square foot area. Let’s apply these facts to the 1935 house. The 1935 house has approximately 164 linear feet of foundation at the perimeter. Roughly, if you consider a 3 foot wide apron of soil around the perimeter, that’s a 492 square foot apron of soil. Of course, any rain fall will land on this apron of soil. In the 2.5 inch rainfall event and my calculation that each square foot of soil will have 1.7 gallons land on it during this event, we’re looking at another 836 gallons of water that lands within 3 feet of the foundation wall! And other than proper soil grading, to pitch the dirt so the water runs away from the foundation, there’s not too much we can do about this.

If we add it all together, this 1935 house had over 3000 gallons of water dumped within 3 feet of the foundation wall in one rain event on 12/9/14. YES, some of that water will make its way back into the basement.

Conclusion (Same as those in Part 1 of this series)

To reduce the potential for water to enter your basement, please remember these suggestions:

  1. Make sure your gutters and downspouts are properly maintained and are clear of debris.
  2. Make sure your downspout extensions are sloped properly and at least SIX feet long.
  3. Make sure the overall grading of the land around the entire house is graded so that any surface water is likely to flow away from the house, not toward the house.

Doing these things will help promote a drier basement.

I would appreciate your comments about this article. Please email your comments to frank07722@gmail.com

About the author. I am a NJ Licensed Home Inspector. I am the owner and Inspector at Regal Home Inspections, LLC. In addition to being a New Jersey Licensed Home Inspector I am also a NJ-DEP certified Radon Measurement Technician and Regal Home Inspections, LLC has also collected samples for lead paint, allergens and mold. We are affiliated with the best labs that perform the sample evaluation and testing. We can also help facilitate the testing of septic system and numerous aspects of oil tank evaluations. This includes oil tank integrity testing, tank locate services and soil samples. We work to ensure that the house you’re buying is sound or that you know of any issues.

 

P Traps and S Traps. What Letter is Your Sink’s Trap?

Plumbing – What Letter is Your Sink’s Trap?

By Frank J. Delle Donne, Licensed Home Inspector

October 24, 2014

For most people, purchasing a house is the largest purchase they have thus far made. Help ensure that you, “Buy with confidence. Sell with pride” ® by using Regal Home Inspections, LLC.

Introduction

Inspectors are required to look high and low. At the obvious and the subtle. In NJ we are required to follow the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) Standard of Practice. Within the plumbing section we are required to describe the systems and components that are part of the house’s plumbing. This includes the supply pipe material, drain and waste pipe material, location of the main shut off and more. This article will look specifically at the drainage pipes and more to the point, the trap, under the sink.

Drain Pipe System and the Trap

When water exists any sink, kitchen, bathroom, laundry, bar, etc. it makes its way toward the sewer or septic system. The obvious purpose of the drain pipe system is to route the water, without leaking, out of the house. Within the drain pipe system is the TRAP. This is the little loop directly below the sink usually seen from inside the cabinet below.   While a secondary benefit of the trap may be to trap your wedding ring when it falls off when you are doing the dishes but in fact, the primary purpose of the trap is a safety device.

The Trap as a Safety Device

Sewage gasses are created as the waste matter decomposes. Just like a garbage dump generates methane gas that has to be vented, the sewer or septic system creates methane gas and unless it is kept from rising through the drain and waste plumbing, it will enter the house. Methane gas is flammable so therefore it is dangerous.

The trap facilitates the creation and maintains a water-plug that prevents these unwanted gasses from entering the house. That is the absolute primary purpose of the trap, to hold the water plug. If it also saves your marriage, that’s a side benefit.

The trap works because there is usually a vent pipe next to it. The vent pipes are part of the piping systems that you can often see penetrating the roof of a house. The open vent above the roof helps water drain properly and helps create the water trap.

What Type of Trap Do I Have?

Most sinks have a “P” trap below it and then, in most applications, behind the wall is a vertical vent pipe that goes up through the roof as well as the pipe that goes down that carries the water.   The typical P trap looks like a P if you envision the flat section of the letter P horizontally. Take the letter P and turn it 90 degrees clockwise. The P trap in conjunction with the vent ensures that enough water will remain behind to ensure the water plug does its job.

Occasionally the plumbing under a sink is an “S” trap.   This is when the drain from the sink comes down a few inches, loops back up then loops back down. See the accompanying photos. P traps are good. S traps are bad.

DSCF7440
Example of a P trap.
DSCF7921
Example of an S trap

 

 

Why are S Traps Bad and how can it be fixed?

S traps are bad because they present the potential for water from the sink creating a siphon and as the water empties, once the water starts flowing, without a vent, the last few inches of water don’t know that they have to be the water plug and gravity and the force of the emptying water carries all of the water out of the S trap. There is no water plug and gasses can enter the house. If you’re merely running the faucet a water plug will probably be maintained. However if you ever fill the sink and pull the stopper, there’s a lot of force and a siphon can be created so that the last bit of water follows the water molecules in front and nature’s course is for every drop of water to follow the one before it and the last ones never get the message to stop and become the water plug.

Plumbers can now use Air Admittance Valves (AAV) where an S trap exists. This can be an inexpensive fix to a potentially harmful condition. The AAV is a mechanical, one way valve that can let air in behind the water to ensure that the water plug remains and when there isn’t water draining, it closes to prevent gasses from entering the house.

Plumbing AAV
Diagram of a drain and trap with an Air Admittance Valve (AAV).

 

Conclusion

Regular P traps are most common and provide a valuable function. S traps are an issue on a home inspection but rest assured that there is a fix that shouldn’t deter you from buying the home you are considering.

I would appreciate your comments about this article. Please email your comments to frank07722@gmail.com

About the author. I am a NJ Licensed Home Inspector. I am the owner and Inspector at Regal Home Inspections, LLC. In addition to being a New Jersey Licensed Home Inspector I am also a NJ-DEP certified Radon Measurement Technician and Regal Home Inspections, LLC has also collected samples for lead paint, allergens and mold. We are affiliated with the state’s best labs that perform the sample evaluation and testing. We can also help facilitate the testing of septic system and numerous aspects of oil tank evaluations. This includes oil tank integrity testing, tank locate services and soil samples. We work to ensure that the house you’re buying is sound or that you know of any issues.