What I'm Seeing Now

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You Gotta Think Ahead

Sometimes in new construction we see things that are properly done, but still might have a problem down the road.

This is the service to a rear hose bib.  It passes through a brick wall, which extends to the top of the joists in this photo.

My problem is this:  the hose bib is one of the "frost-free valve" bibs.  So the builder has provided no interior shut-off valve.

I don't entirely trust those valves.  But that is a story for another post.

My problem with this installation is that if, one day, the buyer has to get to the interior plumbing for this valve, this configuration will make that very difficult.

Often a little trap door is provided to gain convenient access to the indoor shut-off valve.  But in this case, being frost free and located in the ceiling of an attractive basement room, no trap door will be present.  So I thought I'd take a picture of it for my clients, just in case.

My recommendation:  Will this hose bib freeze in the future?  We don't know.  And because of that, sometimes you gotta think ahead!  If there is a problem, my clients now have a photo.

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 21 commentsJay Markanich • March 11 2010 05:54AM

Comments

Wow, interior shutouff for all hose bibs. Mechanicals do fail, even when they are called failproof. I'm sure the owners were glad to see the picture.

Thank you

Posted by Scott Baker, Realtor Homes for Sale Cincinnati/Dayton Ohio (www.eHomeReports.com Coldwell Banker West Shell) over 10 years ago

Jay:

That is an awesome idea.  When we build our home, we video taped the various steps of construction so that we should know which walls hadwiring and plumbing in them.  It was very helpful down the road.  This would be a nice touch for any builder to offer to their customer for future reference.

Posted by Cherry Wings Realty, Your Traverse City Michigan Realtor (Cherry Wings Realty) over 10 years ago

Scott - things fail and you have to think in advance!  They had not considered it until they saw my photo.  This builder, oddly, will not allow buyers on site at the same time as the inspector.  We had to talk in the street!

Christine - a CD would be a nice service provided by a builder.  Imagine the good will they could accumulate!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

Good point about the interior shut off. Did you mention this to the builder?

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 10 years ago

Of course Jim.  They ignored me and dismissed my comment to the buyer by saying it was frost free and a really, really good brand.  When I said I have seen them freeze before they said it is very unlikely.  Again, dismissive.  If it was that supervisor's house, I bet he would put a shut off somewhere.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

Jay, are you saying you "normally" see an interior shut-off for a "Frost-free" type hose bib?  I have never seen one unless it was already there for a previous faucet that was not frost-free type.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 10 years ago

I have never before seen a builder put in a frost free Charlie.  It is ok I guess, but I would still prefer to see the interior valve.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

Jay, now you really have me confused----happens easily thought:)  In your picture didn't you say the valve was a frost-free type?  In our area all outside faucets have to be frost-free type and there is not expected to be an interior shut-off for the valve.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 10 years ago

Sorry Charlie (and sorry to use a copyrighted phrase...) - frost free are not the typical around here, usually seen on retro-fits and that because of life experience!  I have never seen one on new construction before, but even still, I don't trust them because I have seen them fail before and without an interior shut off they are hard to handle.  Around here all exterior hose bibs have shut offs...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

By the way, you will love tomorrow's Billy Jays product!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

Yes, here too.  If they are not frost-free (older housing stock) you will usually find an interior shut-off----or at least one should :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 10 years ago

You have a full time job keeping track of ole Billy Jay :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 10 years ago

Lots of opportunity for new product Charlie.  The hallmark of the innovation springing from free entreprise!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.

Posted by Vince Santos, Southeast Michigan Home Inspector (StepByStep Home Services LC) over 10 years ago

Alliteration always attracts attention Vince!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

Hello Jay - Taking the picture is a great service for your client.  Have a great weekend.

Posted by Andy Chaudoir, Your Home Inspection Connection in Central Texas (Professional Inspection Services - Georgetown, Texas) over 10 years ago

It's the little things, isn't is Andy?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

Let me blog it forward....frost free...no shut off...just say no...ask our insurance company...

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 10 years ago

S&D - we don't get your temperatures here, but I still don't trust the frost frees!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

Jay- I had the very same situation in a basement renovation I am overseeing, only the hose bib is not frost free it has a shut off valve but the contractor wanted to enclose it in the wall.

Posted by Eric Middleton, Professional Property Inspector (Closer Look Property Inspections Inc.) over 10 years ago

Eric - often people don't leave the little trap door access panels, and I don't like them nearby the bib.  It's so much easier to put each one in a convenient and visible space, like over the water heater.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

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