What I'm Seeing Now

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To Knot Or Not To Knot, That Is The Question

Affiliated with the Boy Scouts, one way or another, for about 50 years, I can tell you definitively that there is no such thing as a Boy Scout knot.  There's no Boy Scout knife either, but I digress.

Don't get me wrong.  Knots are very important to Scouts.  They use anything from the simple square not and sheet bend, to the more complex taut lines and lashings.  Know which knots to use and when is very important.

Anytime something is supported or hung, you want to use the proper materials and set it in place for the long run.

For something as important as a gas pipe you want to be especially diligent.

In this case, if the gas line is sinking, how about some nice TV antenna wire?

Sure, wrap it around itself, the gas pipe once, a bunch of times around nail or two, and if there's some left over, why not use it for the electrical cable nearby?

There was probably plenty left on the spool. 

And yes, there was an old, probably unused, TV antenna still up on the chimney!

Waste not, want not.

And don't worry about the other side.  It can just get supported up on top of the HVAC duct work!  Say, is that duct separating just a bit?

Doesn't that just engender a boatload of confidence that the gas line will be forever supported!?

Brings to mind a line from an old song, "He ain't heavy, he's my gas pipe..."   Or something like that.

It's important that things like this get corrected, and corrected properly by a professional.

GAS LINES AREN'T SOMETHING YOU WANT TO FOOL AROUND WITH! 

That's my experience anyway!

My recommendation:  when you run into a homeowner repair that is obviously not correct, especially when it's dangerous, mention it to your client, or the home inspector if it's during an inspection.  I have found that many eyes are better than two!

 

 

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 67 commentsJay Markanich • July 13 2011 06:18AM

Comments

And the famous....if it worked all these years...it has to be good.....

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 9 years ago

Wow!  That's quite the picture, Jay!    I would certainly think that the owners of that house would like to know that they were not in a "safe zone"

Posted by Dagny Eason, Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo (Dagny's Real Estate) over 9 years ago

You mean i can't use the old antennae wire anymore for support of pipes...oh this is a good one Jay...this one is a first one for me...always looking for the unusual...good share.

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Not sure how many years, S&D, but it was pretty wobbly that day!

Dagster - we ran from the house like the Monte Python group from that attack rabbit.  OK, that may be a bit of an exaggeration.

Ginny - the CT chicks are all up early!  I'd use it, but in more than one spot.

Or not at all...

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

Good morning, you danged picky home inspector!!! Probably all the idjet had was that there telephone cord. Hey, it's in the basement and ain't goin' no where. What's yer beef, Bud?

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

And what's a little sagification among friends, right Michael?  Maybe I am a bit too jaded, and jumpy, I don't know.

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

But Jay, there's METAL on the inside of the cord and everyone knows METAL is strong! :)

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

Wow.  Lots of creativity out there.  Wonders never cease.  Common sense is not very common.

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

I had considered that Bill, which is the only reason ...  well, maybe I'm wrong after all.

Debbie - not these days!  That is an attractive knot though.  Mr. Gordian would be proud.

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

Jay: Another great example of what not to do! Thanks to your educational posts, I shudder every time I hear about a homeowner who is so handy, he did all home repairs, renovations himself! LOL

Posted by Anne M. Costello (Weidel Realtors) over 9 years ago

The handy homeowner, Anne, I am finding, is few and far between!  Watch a TV show and viola!  I can do it too!  Although I doubt this guy saw that on a TV show!

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

Those images cause the kind of knots you don't want in your stomach.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 9 years ago

I've seen many problems with gas lines and gas exhaust over the years.  Which is why I made a decision to have an all electric home for the last two homes I owned.

 

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

Andrew - are you suggesting people swallow that cord?  Oh, I'm sorry, I get it now...   ;>)

Lenn - so I've heard!  And very popular with the newer all electric homes are the propane gas generators.  Do you have one?

Yeah, that was a bit of a fun poke!

I am certain the builder didn't (all those years ago) hang that gas line with antenna wire!  You have to wonder why the good stuff was removed and replaced with junk!

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

Great pics Jay.  Here in the Chicago area, with so many older homes, we see those types of situations all the time.  The  thinking is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"  HA!!

Posted by Howard and Susan Meyers (The Hudson Company Winnetka and North Shore) over 9 years ago

I can only imagine what you see in a day's work.  So many people think that just because nothing has happened yet, it's okay.  Thanks for your post!

Posted by Joy Daniels (Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd.) over 9 years ago

Well, H&S, this ain't broken ... yet!  You probably don't want a black iron gas line to get broken!

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

Joy - you're welcome!  And sometimes when something is already there people assume it is alright.

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

Jay, no one uses 300 ohm TV antenna wire anymore anyways. They probably cut it off from the antenna leading into the living area. Hope the wire isn't still connected to the antenna. Wire conducts electricity pretty well, if the antenna got a lightening hit.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 9 years ago

I have really enjoyed reading your posts Jay!  They are always helpful and full of surprises to see what some people have done to bootleg repairs in their homes!

Posted by Sherri Berry, Murfreesboro TN Homes & Real Estate (Reliant Realty, Murfreesboro) over 9 years ago

I would suggest in the future they use structural duct tape to hold everything together. From my experience that is the solution to all the worlds problems.

Posted by Charles Hendricks (The Gaines Group, PLC Architecture and Design) over 9 years ago
Jay, I'll have to say your post cracked me up. It funny but great reminder to let our client know the importance of getting things fixed by a professional.
Posted by Mike Yeo (3:16 team REALTY) over 9 years ago

Thanks Jay,

Just shows you why you don't to it yourself....call an expert like you....or you might injur yourself!

I did think there was a boy scout knot though...I thought that was suppose to be the best knot ever.

Posted by Ginny Lee, CRS, Realtor, CDPE & ASP,Americas Best Agent,Naple (Americas Best Agents, Inc/Premiere Plus Realty, Inc) over 9 years ago

Sounds like another fabulous product for Billy Jay's. Antenna cable what can't it do.

I'm sure with enough of it they could have sealed that leaking duct work.

Oh just throw a couple of drywall screws in it. That will fix the air leak lol

Enjoy the day

Posted by Don MacLean, Realtor-Homes for Sale- Easton, Mass 02356 (New England Real Estate Center Inc.) over 9 years ago

Well I am outed because this is similar to my work which to me is a great accomplishment and I am sure to others, slightly painful. My only consolations are that I know I lack and I don't cry over it, but handyman I am not. I have mastered over 100 ways to make duct tape do things though....lol  Good stuff and thank you.

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 9 years ago

The eyes have it Jay. I've found it worth while to trace all the gas piping runs I can see. Many times I've found them used as coat rails in another room. Gas lines need our support!

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

Being a Scout Mom for many years I was under the impression that this would fall under "A Boy Scout is Thrifty" or "Be Prepared". Of course our troop prefers duct tape but we can't always be picky.

On a serious note, someone is watching over those lucky souls.

 

Posted by Rebecca Lewis (ODAT Realty Services, Inc) over 9 years ago

Jay, Wow.  Amazing what homeowners use as fixes.  I'm sure your reception was clear for the buyer!

Posted by Susan Brown (Keller Williams NE, Kingwood Texas (Humble & Atascocita too)) over 9 years ago

I bet that Walt Disney never thought that the words 'Mickey Mouse' would be used to describe certain fixes with knots and duct tape.

Posted by Melissa Zavala, Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County (Broadpoint Properties) over 9 years ago

Jay, I always say "If you can't tie a knot tie alot" I see this type of thing all the time.

Posted by Brad Gotham (Granite Peak Inspection, Inc. ) over 9 years ago

Jay,  Not to Knot ... seriously ... a gas pipe!  My goodness ... what was that person NOT thinking!

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist, Probate Real Estate (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 9 years ago

Jay  -- and he had so much antenae wire, it is amazing that he only used one loop under the pipe!  I'm sure you would have been much happier, if he had set up 2-3 loops, each of which had been tied off on that great 16d nail -- that's what nails are for after all!  LOL

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) over 9 years ago

Jay, I knew there was a reason I like you besides the great information. I am also very involved with Boy Scouts and believe every young man needs the leadership training it offers.  As for this repair...WOW!

Posted by Ray Waisler, NMLS #6621 - Specializing in Jumbo FHA & VA (Finance of America) over 9 years ago

Michael - maybe he had a roll of it left over and nothing to do with it!  So, let's make good use!

Very nice meeting you today.  Thanks very much for the referral.

Thank you Sherri.  By the way, there are a lot of Wellborns here in No. VA.  Even used to be a Wellborn Real Estate, started by Jeff Wellborn, in Reston.

Charles - that would have been the obvious selection, but no, they went with antenna wire!

Mike - we are assuming of course that this was NOT done by a professional!  Who knows!

Ginny - that pipe falls down and there might be somebody injured!  And sorry to disabuse you of the Boy Scout knot...  urban legend.

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

Don - obviously drywall screws would have ranked up there with duct tape for a proper application.  Some people just don't know the latest or the greatest.

Richie - the universal repair product!  Works great on car rust too.

Coat rails are perfect for that Robert!  I should make a note to pass along to this guy.

You are right Rebecca, somebody is definitely watching over them.  And I bet they won't be prepared if that pipe falls!

Susan - that channel was brought in pretty clearly!

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

Melissa - good thought!  It's too bad too!  Disney would have never done something like this!  He over engineered everything.

Brad - good saying.  He didn't tie quite enough in this case.

Kathleen - I would go that direction too!  NOT to knot.

Steven - precisely.  I don't know what he was thinking - not much under either the gas pipe or electric cable.

Ray - Scouting makes for very circumspect people.  Twice now as Scoutmaster for me.

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

Oh my, the things you find under the house and in the attic! Mucho fodder for blog posts!

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA over 9 years ago

Cynthia - reading all of the home inspector posts on AR every year would probably qualify you for a PhD or so...

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

Jay, I give my home inspector the heads up on all the issues I have found when I make the appointment.  I then accompany him so that I can learn from the experience.

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

Not a bad plan Chris!  Everyone should learn from the experience.  And you should jump in - many eyes are better than two!

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

Jay,

You are so lucky. The only gas lines I usually see is from a propane tank to a gas fireplace. Usually the run is only 15 to 20' long.

Do you see a lot of missed bonding on the CSST piping? They seem to never bond in my area.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Don - I see very little CSST in private homes here.  When I do it is bonded.  Mostly it is in apartment and condo buildings.  If those are bonded it must be at the source, because I don't see it in the individual units.

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

So who spread the myth about a boyscout knot? A DIYer? :)

But I'm not sure about your last statement. Personally I would find it disconcerting to add more eyes. Two fit my face just fine. But that's just my opinion of course.

Nana

Posted by Kate Kate over 9 years ago

Jay: I reviewed the inspection report yesterday. You did a very thorough and excellent job. Thank you very much. You're stuck at the top of my list for commercial referrals. Thanks again. . .

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 9 years ago

I really enjoy your blogs and photos. It is amazing the creative maintenence that lurks behind the walls.

Posted by Liane Thomas, Top Listing Agent, Bringing you Home! (Professional Realty Services®) over 9 years ago

Thanks for the information and good advice. Most of the time "taking the time and spending the money to fix a problem correctly will pay off in the long run".

Best of luck this year with your business!

 

Bruce Fecteau       Realtor    Century 21 Orange County        http://www.century21-orangecounty.com

Posted by Bruce Fecteau (Century21 Beachside MV) over 9 years ago

Makes me wonder when people decide "hey, this looks like a good idea" - and believe me in this business, you see that alot! Thanks for the heads up... we will be on the lookout for tv antenna. :)

Posted by Atlanta's Home Inspector, David Lelak IHI Home Inspections, Experience the IHI Difference (IHI Home Inspections 404-788-2581) over 9 years ago

Hey Jay,  I know a lot of people "fix" things around the house, but since becoming a Realtor, I have seen things that truly amaze me!

Posted by Jon Mahan, ABR Charleston, West Virginia Real Estate (Real Estate Central) over 9 years ago

I too have seen amazing DIY projects that are dangerous to the safety and welfare of their household. I often wonder, how homeowners justify their families safety by saving a few dollars and not employ a professional.

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) over 9 years ago

Great post but unfortunately not an unusual find.

I remember finding soft copper water pipes held with electrician's plastic tape and a humidifier secured to the duct by a knotted rope. I don't even want to get into duct tape but would add that I recently saw and article where a plane in Alaska was repaired after a bear attack for flight back out with the stuff. Scary!

Posted by Marshall Brown, BSEE, CHI (Mid America Inspection Services, LLC) over 9 years ago

Nana - that Boy Scout knot myth has been out there since before I became a Cub Scout a century ago!  And Nanas need eyes all over their head, whatchu talkin' bout?

Thanks Michael.  It was not only nice meeting you and them, but having some fun while doing the inspection.  And if I'm going to be stuck anywhere, at the top of your list would be the spot!

And I'm glad you do Liane!  "Creative maintenance" is a very good term!

Bruce - the long run is the only way to think!  There's too much planned obsolescence in our society!

D&B - I see so many TV antennas that ought not to be there!  People use what is nearby, unfortunately.

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

Jon - my legal name is Jon, spelled the right way!  I have seen things that would truly amaze you too!

Kimo - I think that sometimes people just don't know!  What you don't know can be very dangerous too.

Marshall - you are right about that!  Not bad mixing the plumbing and electrical like that.  And what's wrong with duct tape for plane repairs?  Have you never seen those two guys on TV and their duct tape remedies?

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

Wow.  It's crazy how many home owners do not properly resolve an issue and cut corners when making repairs that can be potentially dangerous down the road.

Posted by Patricia Beck, Colorado Springs Realty (RE/MAX Properties, Inc., ABR, GRI, SRES) over 9 years ago

Well, Patricia, people can be very creative when they need to get things done!  This is a gas line though!

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

Thats why we always do inspections.  The quick fix is not always the best fix.

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max By The Sea) over 9 years ago

And/or no fix at all Bill!  This was no fix!

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

One of my clients has a great response for this, "Stay away from the Home Depot"

Posted by Mike Henderson, HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848 (Your complete source for buying HUD homes) over 9 years ago

Hey Jay, don't all repairs have to be completed in the most convenient way possible? I know it's going beyond the scope of what you're pointing out here. But I've noticed overy the past 10-15 years that the Home Depot slogan "You Can Do It, We Can Help" doesn't apply to everyone. Sometimes I wish that people who aren't handy could just accept that fact, and hire a professional !!!

Posted by Jeff Hollister, Real Estate Broker, Serving Orange County, CA (Native Californian with 20 years serving OC Buyers & Sellers) over 9 years ago

That works Mike.  And the DIY shows on TV!  So often I see those people on TV do things wrong!

Jeff - they don't have to be, but the often are!  That slogan is a part of the problem!

 

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

Jay, no excuse for that. Glad you didn't see an old ashtray laying around either. That would have made things really lively!

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 9 years ago

I once used a clothes hanger to repair the rusted out gas pedal mechanism under the hood of my 72 Ford F100.  It worked so good it became my permanent and cheap fix.  But probably not a good idea for a home.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 9 years ago

That guy is a homeowner pro. No bailing wire for him, he uses top quality materials.

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

Lyn - every time we had clay time at camp I made an ashtray.  Really creative guy...

Gene - sounds like the perfect fix to me!  Ranks up there with my chewing gum screen silencer! 

http://activerain.com/blogsview/2284563/gumming-up-the-works

Jim - when the right thing is beside you, obviously you go with it!  Baling wire?  C'mon!

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

It's amazing the kind of quick fixes that are exposed during a home inspection!

Posted by Gerard Gilbers, Your Marketing Master (Higher Authority Markeing) over 9 years ago

This was a pretty fun one Gerard!  Creativity never ends!

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

I've been at 99% of my clients' home inspections over the past 14 years and I've seen stuff like this a lot.

Posted by Benjamin Clark, Buyer's Agent - Certified Negotiation Expert (Homebuyer Representation, Inc.) over 9 years ago

It is everywhere Benjamin, trust me.  And so is Uncle Bob.  That guy gets all over the country!

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

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