Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Home Inspection Details and Repairs

The "minor leak" under the bathtub drain turned out to be a bit  more than the inspector found. Our plumber friend from across the street went under the house today, and found that the drain wasn't just leaking from the threaded connections, but had a hole corroded through it! He'd brought all the bits and pieces to replace the entire assembly, so it wasn't any big deal, but he said if the inspector had noticed the dirt in the crawlspace was wet, or even damp, they would have called for a "professional" cleanup crew to remove the dirt, and "sanitize" the area in addition to the repair of the corroded away parts.

And in Kommiefornia, "Remediation" means HAZMAT teams coming in, and a HUGE bill when they're done. They've shut down entire freeways for hours to clean up a couple of gallons of spilled fuel after an accident.

That's insane! It's drain water from a bathtub, for cryin' out loud, and unless we were washing off radiation contamination, or giving baths to Ebola victims, it's just used, soapy water from taking a bath or shower.

He also replaced the entire vent assembly for the water heater, using double walled tubing made for the task, and added a discharge line to the safety blow-off valve at the top of the water heater, so now the water heater issues are not only repaired, but fully "up to code".

I replaced the outlet in the bathroom with a GFCI unit, and also the one near the kitchen sink. The one near the kitchen sink was just a regular duplex outlet and two switches, one for the disposal and one for some recessed lighting, BUT, in order to make it look nice, I not only had to replace the outlet, but also the switches, as NOBODY makes a wall plate that has the rectangular cutout for a GFCI and the two oval cutouts for the switches. So add the cost of a new switch ($20) and new wall plate ($8 for a new wood one) to the $18 for the GFCI outlet.

And I still have to recaulk the tub to the tile on the wall. I dug out all the old caulk last year and laid in some good stuff, but ran out before I had a really nice "above grade" bead. Well, the caulk shrank a bit, and left a couple of gaps that the inspector squawked about because water could get back there and "Promote MOLD and BACTERIAL CONTAMINATION!!!"


Geez, after reading Old_NFO's post this morning, I really do wonder how so many of us managed to survive those unenlightened and barbaric days of old, before the nanny state insisted on so many "safety" regulations.....

As far as upgrading all the power to the garage, all I can say is "'Aint Gonna Happen"!

The inspector noted that none of the outlets were grounded, and well, DUH! There's only a hot and neutral running to the garage, so what do you expect? And considering when the house and garage were built, it wasn't required, and we're grandfathered in from requiring it to be brought up to code.

Again, I really have to wonder how many people were injured from two-wire, non-grounded (three pin) outlets over the years....


  1. One finds a hint of irritation in this post.

  2. Millions not only survived, they thrived with leaded plumbing joints, knob and tube wiring, no air conditioning, and years of having mosquitoes killed with DDT.

    Unfortunately, the newer generation is plagued with guilt, ignorance, and a unwarranted perception that inferiority is acceptable. They are basically targets for those willing to destroy those in their way.

    1. "I Remember When..." the mosquito abatement trucks would roll through the neighborhood fogging the area. My Dad, who served all through the South Pacific in WWII told us that the DDT they were spraying was a lifesaver, and had saved many, many lives when they sprayed it in the South Pacific.

      It didn't stop Dad from contracting malaria, but he was sure it saved the others who came after him through the islands.

  3. Jim ... IF you're concerned about the power in the garage, just replace the breaker on that circuit with a GFCI breaker. Problem solved. Don't have to change any outlets at all.

    1. Our realtor called us today to let us know what was going on. We had talked to him a day after we got the "official" inspection report, and he guided us through it, after we had squawked about a couple of things the buyers were asking for, like upgrading all the power to the garage.

      He'd agreed with us that it wasn't required to make the house salable, but today told us their realtor had talked to him yesterday.

      He told her that item was off the table, and she responded with words to the effect that if you don't ask, you can't get.

      We scratched ALL the items off the first three pages of the report today, and those were the items that were critical.

      All outlets (bathroom and kitchen) close to water are now GFI protected, the water heater venting has been fully brought up to code, the leak in the bathtub has been repaired, another smoke detector and a CO detector were installed, and the tub and tile were recaulked.

      IF they complain about the garage power, then we'll arrange to have those breakers replaced with a GFI breaker; thanks for that tip, I'd forgotten they were available.

  4. I also read Old NFO's post and had to laugh at all the horrible things we got away with and survived. Glad to hear that the squawks are getting fixed with minor impact.

    1. Yeah, a couple of the items, like the GFI outlets and water heater venting, were things I just never got around to doing.

      The leak under the bathtub was quite a surprise to us, and the garage power is a "No Way Jose" item.

  5. You're lucky they didn't make you bring it up to code! Obama was trying to shove that through...

    1. Even Liberal Long Beach lets us slide on it.

      The building codes here are actually more sane than in Torrance.

  6. You are making headway.
    It is unbelievable the code requirements here. Do people have no commonsense any more. I am thankful that all the requirements were met when this house was built.

    1. Some code requirements make sense, and others are just nanny state overreach.


Keep it civil, please....

A Bit Of Rearranging In The Electronics Shop

 Since I've been cranking away on projects, I decided to rearrange things on the bench a bit to make it easier to use my test equipment....