What I'm Seeing Now

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The Main Problem With The Water

Sometimes at first glance something appears to be professionally done.  But be sure to look carefully!

The previous main valve must not have worked and has been replaced in favor of this lever valve.

It is easier to operate.

The assembly was done correctly. 

The soldering is a little messy, but there are no leaks.

A new pressure-reduction valve was put just over the assembly.

On is parallel and off is perpendicular.

Right now the water is on.

And now the water is off.

Wait a minute... 

Someone put that wall in the way!

How can the water be turned off?

To turn the water off the lever has to be perpendicular.

How long has it been like this anyway?  That wall has been there a lot longer than the valve, so the valve was installed this way!

What if the water needs to be turned off?  Who's going to move that wall?

I'm sure somebody tested it.  Once anyway.  I guess...

My recommendation:  while a job might look professional, no true professional would leave something in place that does not work.  A plumber would have tested this installation.  I expect this to be another DIY job.  Well, I hope.  GET A HOME INSPECTOR, BEFORE YOU'RE FLOODED WITH PHONE CALLS WHEN THE WATER MAIN IN YOUR CLIENT'S NEW HOME DOESN'T TURN THE WATER OFF IN AN EMERGENCY.

 

 

 

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 38 commentsJay Markanich • May 07 2011 04:47AM

Comments

What a great post, Jay - that's why you should always have someone who knows what they are doing tackle the job!  (And highlights why an inspector is so beneficial - i probably wouldn't have noticed the big problem here!)

Posted by Karen Hawkins, MBA - Langley & Surrey, BC (Royal Pro Real Estate Network) almost 9 years ago

Karen - some things aren't immediately apparent!  But look around!  And get an inspector who's there to do just that!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay:  I suggested this as it's a great post on what is overlooked by the DIY.  Inspections really should be REQUIRED and not an option when purchasing a home....

Posted by Gwynn Carpenter, : Broker, Home & Hearth Realty (512)467-6191 (Gwynn Teal Carpenter-Broker: Home and Hearth Realty (Austin)) almost 9 years ago

I don't know that you can make people hire an inspector Gwynn, but it would be great!  Thanks for stopping by!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

your post is very helpful in pointing out things to look for and reinforces the need for a good home inspector.

Posted by Retired Notworking almost 9 years ago

Good morning, Jay. Looks to me like you got 4 options. Get a sledge hammer and pound on a few boards; kink the pipes with the same; bend the handle; or get the idjet who installed it to fix it. We report, you decide... 

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Thanks Colleen.  Hopefully it is instructive!

Michael - I doubt the idjit would be very good at the repair.  But he might be with the sledge hammer.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Excellent observation Jay, there is so much work completed by home owners without any thought put into it.

Posted by Dan Edward Phillips, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA (Dan Edward Phillips, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA) almost 9 years ago

Dan - I have to wonder how long this guy lived with this without realizing it does not work!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Keen eyes but in your job I guess you need to have those

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) almost 9 years ago

Hi Jay, Been there done that. We see it all. Well most of it anyway.

Clint

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) almost 9 years ago

The keener the better James.  And in my job I need a few dozen...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Clint - the beat goes on, and on, and on, and...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Good catch and good morning Jay.  My, my, aren't we up early today.

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com -) almost 9 years ago

At least this one has an alternative or two :)  Reinstall valve, or in a crunch, suppose you could remove the handle and just turn the valve stem.  Awkward though and defeats the purpose of having a handle :)

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) almost 9 years ago

Up at 3 or 4 most mornings Ken.  I have a lot to do before work!  Long day ahead as well.

And mawnin' to you too!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

It can be twisted to another position, Bliz, but must be turned off at the street first!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Good catch.  Yes, let's hope that it was done by a do-it yourselfer.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 9 years ago

Just curious, Jay, how long does it take your head to stop shaking back and forth once your day is done?

Posted by Tish Lloyd, Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) almost 9 years ago

Nice find.  At least it wasn't a TPR valve:)

Posted by Joshua Frederick, Home Inspector in Defiance & all of Northwest Ohio (Home Inspector for ASPEC Residential Services, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay, another great example of the types of things you notice if you look carefully and think things through.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

Simply amazing!  You are right...no professional would install this with no way to turn off the water in an emergency.

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) almost 9 years ago

Morning Jay.  It is simply amazing how many silly things we see evidencing a total lack of common sense!  As Tish said above, I imagine that at the end of the day - probably every day - you must just shake your head and wonder what planet a lot of these folks came from.

Posted by Vance Booher (Re/Max Select, SRES) almost 9 years ago

All you habve to do is a cut a big hole in the wall and, wah lah! all fixed.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay - While there are lots of "handy men" out there, with varying degrees of knowledge, they sometimes overlook what may be obvious to a professional.  (Looks good doesn't always mean it will work.)

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) almost 9 years ago

Jay that's just a pre-planned renovation. Next time there is a water problem and the valve can't be shut off they'll have to renovate. In part to do the repairs and in part to shut off the water.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) almost 9 years ago

Debbie - I hope so too, but there's no guarantee!

Tish - ha!  Good one!  Some days I am so tired I can hardly wait to get home at 8pm to begin working on my reports, which are sometimes voluminous!  It can be so fun!

Actually, Joshua, the TPR pointed to the wall but there was no discharge tubing attached.  No problem though - it's pointing at the wall!     ;>)

Chris - I like to demonstrate the valve action to the clients so they understand, and in this case the demonstration was really, really instructive!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Kathryn - every time I have had a plumber do something in my house they have tested the repair when done!

Vance - I admit I do, as do the other inspectors who are commenting on my post!  It is a cruel world out there, and life experience can be a cruel taskmaster.

Jim - ha!  There were a lot of wah-lahs on this house!  And a few abracadabras!

John - they see something on TV and see how easy it is to do and think they are qualified to do it!

Robert - can you imagine them running out to the street to find the shut off and then not have the long, square tool to turn off the water!?  Then the water company answering service says, "But sir, you don't need us to come out.  You already have a shut off inside."  Meanwhile, back in the house...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Yikes...another good cath Michael. Seems like someone would have noticed this unless maybe it is on and they have never had to shut it off.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) almost 9 years ago

Randy - apparently nobody has had to turn it off since installation!  And my client's name was Pat!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

When something like this is viewed, it just leaves one speechless.

I've always said that the key to a well constructed new home is the standard set by the building superintendent.

Quality control is paramount.  Sadly, it's lacking with many builders today. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

And it takes a home inspector to find it Lenn.  That part isn't surprising, but having to find it is a bit!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay, I had one like that but they just bend the handle out straight---worked fine---with a wrench on it :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Isn't this a riot Charlie?  What's surprising is that they never had to use the main!  What if?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Had one like that (only it hit the water heater), the owners comment (why I don't like the owners to be present on a buyers inspection) was just take the handle off. 

Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) almost 9 years ago

Excellent advice!  Then use your teeth to turn the thing off.  Or get a channel lock and put it on the other side!  What are people thinking Jack?  Why make it harder than it needs to be?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Sawzall.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) almost 9 years ago

Reubs - I have a Fein vibrating cutting tool that would cut out that wall in seconds.  But, um, should you have to?  I just can't believe they never had to turn the water off!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

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