What I'm Seeing Now

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Sometimes Late Is Better Than On Time

When things are done quickly to meet a deadline, or simply to get something done quickly, it lacks quality.  And often it can lack safety!  And its unprofessionalism can stick out like a sore, well, thumb would be too small...

This water heater replaced the one that was still sitting in another part of this basement!

The other heater was much taller than this one is.  And you can tell from the wiring, maybe 8" or so.

That blue plastic thing is a connector clamp.  It should be secured into a hole on top of the unit into which the wiring is intended to go.  The clamp holds that wiring in place.

All those electrical connections should be inside a box provided in the water heater, which comes with its own metal cover, in addition to the cover on the heater.

I'm impressed he used wire nuts!  Often those aren't used at all!

Also, do you see the brass pipe sticking out, with the yellow tag hanging from it.  That is the Temperature Pressure Reduction valve (called the TPR).  It releases any steam from inside should the water get too hot for some reason.

If that discharges its steam onto someone, the temps can be as high as 275F!  And quite dangerous.

For that reason, a tube should be connected to the TPR valve which extends to within a 2" or so of the floor.  That way, should steam discharge, it does so harmlessly.

 

My recommendation:  it is easy to spot unprofessional work.  But if you are going to do something, it is quicker to hire a professional!

 

 

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 47 commentsJay Markanich • October 01 2010 06:55AM

Comments

Sometimes quality does take extra time.

Posted by Pam Crawford, Owner-RE/MAX Prof. Assoc.,MBA, CDPE, CRS, ABR (RE/MAX Professional Associates) over 10 years ago

Good morning Jay looks like someone needs to go back to the drawing board

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) over 10 years ago

yicks...looks like I installed it...of course then...it would be purple !

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

Pam - in the long run, doing it right the first time saves a lot of time later!

James - or even BEFORE the drawing board! 

S&D - this can always be painted now.  That might hide some of the flaws?

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

The only thing that water heater is missing is duct tape.   After that it would be perfect.  

Posted by Glen Fisher (National Property Inspections of Southern New Jersey, LLC) over 10 years ago

They coulda/shoulda/woulda put it around that wiring to make it safe, right Glen?!   ;)

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

THAT'S why we recommend home inspections!

Posted by Brin Realty Associates Team At Bean Group, Amherst NH homes and Southern NH real estate (Bean Group | Brin Realty Associates) over 10 years ago

Solid recommendation Rene.  Even if the wiring was good, some would know nothing about the TPR.

Greg - is does!  It's the wiring and TPR that have me bothered!

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

They probably thought "it's good enough".  Unbelievable how people will risk their health and safety just to "save" a few dollars.

Posted by Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES, Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living (Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!) over 10 years ago

I just had plumbing work done in one of my rental properties yesterday.  The work was done by a licensed plumber not a "handyman".  The plumber guarentees his work for a year and sure he costs a bit more.  I'm fairly confident the job was done correctly and if I called you for a inspection you won't use photos of my place on your blog :-)

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 10 years ago

I almost hate to ask. Were you able to determine is this was "professionally" installed, or "Harry Homeowner" installed? Doesn't really matter as wrong is wrong.   

Posted by Jeffrey Jonas- Minnesota Home Inspector (Critical Eye Property Inspections / JRJ Consultants) over 10 years ago

Jay; In defense of the homeowner, I have seen "professionals" do this kind of work and there is simply no excuse for either. With the miriad of "How To' fix it books at virtually every outlet or supply house or hardware store out there today it boggles my mind to put yourself, your family and your wallet at risk. This guy must have great insurance or really likes his lawyer.

Dave

Posted by Dave Minder (Wellspring Investments LLC) over 10 years ago

My kid is watching too many Handy Manny cartoons and possible that the culprit is also sharing the same viewing habits

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) over 10 years ago

Jay,

Around here a permit has to be pulled if a plumber installs a HWH. With the copper pipe extensions soldered, it doesn't look like a homeowner job. In any case, wrong is wrong.

Rich

Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 10 years ago

Good point Jay. He saved a few bucks up front to lose more when selling his house.

Posted by Derek Wood over 10 years ago

Just plain scary!

Posted by Eddie Brown (Eddie Brown ~ FM Realty a Long & Foster Company/ Raleigh NC) over 10 years ago

Hi Jay,

I've always said, "If you don't have time to do it once, how you going to have the time to do it over again?"

Posted by Not In Real Estate Any Longer over 10 years ago

Jay:

If something goes wrong with a water heater you can end up with a flooded basement.  That is something I don't think the home owner was thinking about. This needs to be professionally done or there could be a problem.

 

Posted by Claudette Millette, Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass (The Buyers' Counsel) over 10 years ago

Jay - Something tells me this wasn't done by an electrician, but at least the wires weren't just twisted together with electrical tape.

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) over 10 years ago

Quality trumps speed every time. Especially when there is wiring involved.

 

Posted by Bruce Swedal, Denver Real Estate over 10 years ago

Good post Jay.  A repair takes time and money.  If you short change either of these two elements you run the risk of sloppy work that is dangerous.  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Allen Shipman (Shipman Partners) over 10 years ago

Jay, this looks like a do it yourself project. An accident waiting to happen.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 10 years ago

Wow, that is an example of how you do not know what you do not know when you tackle something better left to prpfessionals.

Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com) over 10 years ago

Now that's just downright scary!

Posted by Tish Lloyd, Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) over 10 years ago

Jay, it seems that water heaters can have more things wrong with them than almost any other single component in the house.

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

Nice post. It also makes me wonder what other "short cuts" have been taken with the property and home maintenance is cases like this. As a home inspector, when I find items like this in one place, there are normally others just as bad.

Posted by David Selman, Certified Master Home Inspector (Selman Home Inspections, Inc.) over 10 years ago

In this business you have to be able to be responsive but you cannot forget the details.  This goes for everything.  Quick and dirty many sometimes just that.

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 10 years ago

Silvia - and/or the safety of those who are yet to move in!

Valerie - nervous to say the least!  I didn't touch anything with my tongue to test it though.

Cindy - how about a smart homeowner blog?  Or a "This is how it should be done," blog?  I'll be right over.

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

Jeff - I'm going with the Harry Homeowner, or, as I say, Uncle Bob installation.

Dave - good point!  Testing that insurance policy or lawyer's ability!  Good one!  And professional work like that would kick a "pro's" company out of this area.

Fernando - I am betting Handy Manny would do a better job than this!

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

Rich - I don't think a permit is needed here, even with a gas water heater, but you are right, it is wrong.

Derek - this is a big money loser for that guy!

Eddie - plain scary is a good way to put it.  But nothing plain about the installation - it really stands out!

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

Pam - that's a good phrase!  Mine is similar - don't have time to do it right the first time, but plenty of time to come back later to fix it.

Got a logo yet for Canadian Bacon?  Did you post an entry?  Or ten?

Claudette - and it's always fun when that happens!  How far can the basement fill up before it is noticed!

John - you have a point there!  Maybe the installer had that old favorite tune playing, "Wire Nuts Roasting On An Open Fire, TPR Steaming On My Toes..."

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

Wow, frightening......

Posted by Gina Nugent, Real Estate Agent - Palm Beach, FL (Donohue RE) over 10 years ago

This is a perfect example to showcase the importance of spending a little extra time to get the job done right!

Posted by Andrew Stutz (Rock Solid Real Estate Co.) over 10 years ago

Bruce - I would go with that as a personal motto if I was a plumber/contractor!

Allen - dangerous is the operative word here!

Michael - an accident or a serious injury!

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

Cheryl - I know HOW to do this and I wouldn't do it.  If something goes wrong I have no one to turn to to fix it!  When you have the receipt of a company, there is a number to call!

'Tis, Tish, 'tis.  Safety is number one in my book.

Not only what you see, Charlie, but the temperature was way, way high!  Go figure...

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

David - this house was a find after a find after a find!  I am still writing the report, days later.   ;)

Tni - I don't think a company was responsible for this, but the homeowner!

Gina - not the only thing in this house!  Just to the left was the leaking water main, with mold all over that little room.

Great username by the way!

Andrew - big dividends when that is done!  I like dividends...!

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

Wow.  When it comes to safety, always hire a professional.  This is flat out dangerous.  Doesn't matter how much time or money was "saved."

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 10 years ago

Debbie - and that is said by a contractor who does it right!  I am betting you guys don't cut corners and, because of that, don't get many call backs!

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

Jay, you have good stuff in your posts!  And you are so right about having the work done by a professional - a licensed one at that! 

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Poorly protected wiring over a vessel that is holding many gallons of water with copper piping in close proximity, what could be the problem? ;)

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

My own tragic flaw is, Getting it Done Right always comes ahead of Getting It Done On Time.. if that is the required tradeoff.  I'm reminded about the story "there's never enough time to do it right the first time, but then there's always time to do it over..." 

Posted by George Fanucci, Internet - Technology - Business - Solutions (CoreFact.com) over 10 years ago

Thank you Pat!  I am happy you think so!  I try to be instructive and at times silly, and sometimes at the same time!

Jim - I'll bet it looks the same from your Uncle Bob's perspective as it does from my Uncle Bob's.  Hey, wait!  It's the same Uncle Bob!

George - thanks!  One of my mottoes!  Those two things never make a good trade off.

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

This is why it's so important to have a home inspection done, so we can understand what's been done and what needs to be done.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 10 years ago

True true true. I've taken clients thru a house that had the pressure valve blowing water straight out into the basement for who knows how long. It's not a pretty sight.

Posted by Eric Michael, Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519 (Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI) over 10 years ago

Christine - some people would look at that and instinctively known that something is wrong, but maybe not the extent or degree.

Eric - that is a broken valve!  And they can get stuck when tested, which is why your home inspector will probably not test it!

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

Hi Jay,

Regarding my previous comment, I forgot to add that the copper pipes to the water heater need improvement.  The installer should replace those with garden hose to make it look complete. 

 

Posted by Glen Fisher (National Property Inspections of Southern New Jersey, LLC) over 10 years ago

I'd go with that myself Glen.  Think symmetry!

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

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