What I'm Seeing Now

head_left_image

Flipper Forgot Step Two!

Sometimes the job isn't done until it's done!  Some things take more than one step and this time Flipper forgot Step Two!

Step One was to install a new water heater.

And it was done well - there are a few things to look for and they were present.

Okay, it was small and really inefficient, but new!

Well, he used the old plumbing, including the gas shut-off valve being on the wrong side of the sediment trap, but we've already had that lesson.

You can see that's been there for a while!

Would he take the time to replumb the gas line and do it right?  Not likely, if he even knows where that trap and valve should be placed.

But when you take the time to buy, schlep, install and plumb a new water heater, you should at least pay attention to Step Two!

THEY SIMPLY PLACED THE OLD VENT HOOD ON TOP OF THE NEW WATER HEATER AND DISREGARDED THE CONNECTION TO THE MAIN VENT STACK!

It might not be a bad idea to install a new hood and vent too!  That would have been Step Two!

This water heater was functioning!

It provided hot water, which means when I turned on the dishwasher, washing machine and began testing plumbing, the burner fired up and it began producing exhaust!

Where was that exhaust going?  The basement.

And what does it contain?  Carbon monoxide.

So, we left the furnace room as quickly as possible after discovering this.

NOT GOOD!

So, I guess Flipper will be getting a call back for this one.

Do I think he should be the one to install the new vent assembly?

No, I don't.  I would prefer to see the buyer receive money to have this done by a real plumber.

AN IMPROPER HOOD, IMPROPER SLOPE ON THE EXHAUST TUBING, IMPROPER, LEAKY CONNECTION TO THE MAIN VENT STACK AND THE SUBSEQUENT POTENTIAL FOR CARBON MONOXIDE IS NOT SOMETHING TO FOOL WITH.  THIS SHOULD BE FINISHED BY A PROFESSIONAL!

Of course, all I can do is recommend.  I cannot, and would not, demand that the seller or buyer do anything.

My recommendation:  when things are done, supposedly by professionals, but certainly when done by a Flipper, make sure all the pieces are in place.  Your life might depend upon it!  Oh, and call a home inspector.  Your life might depend upon it!

 

 

 

 

 

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 46 commentsJay Markanich • October 17 2011 04:48AM

Comments

Flippers don't always "believe in using professionals" when they believe they can so easily do everything themselves...right or wrong, the "know" how ...urgh !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 7 years ago

I'm actually surprised that the owners aren't having health issues as a result of this, Jay. Don't they have to have carbon monoxide alarms in their homes, too?  We do in Oregon, as of April of this year.  One on each floor I believe.

Posted by Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate, "Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905 (John L Scott Market Center) about 7 years ago

Sally and David - well, I have so much fun with flippers that this is kind of an "old hand" post!

Gayle - geez, go to bed girl!  Are you still up from last night, or getting up this morning?!

This house has been vacant for some time, having been purchased by Flipper to turn around as soon as he "completed" the work!  And I recommend those alarms on every report where there is a CO possibility.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

Jay: With many lenders a credit won't work. The buyers need to request the repair be done by a licensed plumber and have the receipt provided. 

Posted by Anne M. Costello (Weidel Realtors) about 7 years ago

Wow, that sounds pretty serious.  I agree, it's best to have a licensed plumber fix this rather than the original person to try to fix it.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 7 years ago

Understood Anne, but Flipper is not apt to hire a licensed plumber to do the work, or even worse, hire himself and create a phony bill.

Debbie - if they don't know to do it right the first time, they are unlikely to know how to do it right!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

Good morning, Jay. Isn't it interesting that we would both choose the same topic to write about today...

Posted by Michael Thornton, Nashville Area - Photography & Videography (RadnorLake Video) about 7 years ago

Jay, A potentially fatal flaw, you'd think even a flipper would understand the consequences of gas exhaust going into the home.

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) about 7 years ago

Same wavelength Michael.  It happens!  I've seen the bumper stickers...

Bliz - if he even noticed it!  Some things I see really make me wonder.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

Jay - Amazing how cutting corners can come back to haunt you later on down the line....

Posted by Carol Zingone, Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty) about 7 years ago

Jay - Many of your posts demonstrate how careless "flippers" deal with their repairs, and I think I've developed the solution. You should write a guidebook for flippers that would show them step-by-step exactly what to do and what to avoid. Of course we'd lose some great comic relief/horror stories from your posts, but it would be a great public service.

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) about 7 years ago

Good morning Jay.  Wow! You don't have to be a Master Plumber to see that the exhaust pipe is not right.

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 -) about 7 years ago

Jay, crap like this just makes an inspector want to vent!

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 7 years ago

Those are the mistakes that really scare me.  CO2 venting right into the house.  Yikes!  And when I think if the home were to have kids in it :-(

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) about 7 years ago

Jay, flipper or not EVERYONE needs to hire a professional licensed inspector.

My neighbor told me yesterday he was buying a home of his cousin for cheap...............first words out of my mouth, hire an inspector.

he said it was his cousin and I chuckled, is he giving you a money back guarantee...........if not get an inspector.

Enjoy the day

Posted by Don MacLean, Realtor - Homes For Sale - Franklin MA (Simolari & MacLean REMAX EXECUTIVE REALTY) about 7 years ago

In our area, the replacement of a hot water heater requires a permit and inspection for this very reason.  Does this mean everyone follows the rules?  Nope, but you clearly pointed out why it's important!

Posted by Wendy Cutrufelli, Contra Costa Realtor (Alain Pinel Realtors) about 7 years ago

Good morning Jay. Good call on cash back to have repairs made by a professional. Flipper has already shown his skills and no one wants to take chances with carbon monoxide.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) about 7 years ago

Jay - a great point regarding one of the "little things" that seem so simple but are much more complex.  RE: Wendy's comment, in our area there is a requirement for a permit and inspection - but getting the inspection done as carefully as Jay does is another matter - whether work done by professional or homeowner.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) about 7 years ago

Hi Jay,   Messing with an exhaust vent is asking for serious trouble.  Well done !

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) about 7 years ago

These flippers have to know that there will be an inspection. Are they just lazy or stupid?

Posted by Sandy Acevedo, RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale (951-290-8588) about 7 years ago

Carol - if they even knew, or thought, they were cutting corners!

Gee, John, that would be a Brittanica series or a 22 CD set!

Ken - sure?  I am always amazed at how things are left for me to inspect.

Duckster - just make sure you pull away from the main vent stack before you do!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

Justin - someone could have moved into the house and just in time for winter closed all the windows and waited for the CO to build up!

Don - I am going to bet there is no guarantee.  Or even care after the sale is completed!  You know what happens when we assume...

I'm sure they don't, Wendy.  And the code inspectors are sometimes not very specific with their look sees.

Randy - I wouldn't trust this guy, but someone above said that accepting cash might jeopardize the loan.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

Good catch, Jay. If the blatantly obvious stuff isn't right one has to wonder what disasters are hiding...
I think that would be a deal-breaker for me.
Thanks for sharing.
Bruce

Posted by Bruce Kunz, REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale (C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100) about 7 years ago

Steven - home inspectors try to be very thorough, perhaps more so than jurisdictional inspectors.

Bill - they didn't mess much!  That vent looks pretty old - I wonder if that affected the sellers?

Sandy - maybe this one didn't know!  But to think someone isn't going to see that is naive, at best.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

Bruce - hard to know what's inside the walls and what other schmuck work was done.  But we try to see as much as we can!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

Flippers....got caught here on NC SE Coast...Still holding...

Posted by Ginger Harper, Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County! (Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage) about 7 years ago

Ginger - when are you going to let them go?    ;>)

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

Jay, I am aweful careful to not vent near any gas appliances---not good for the feathers.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 7 years ago

Der Ducksterflugen - excuse me for being so blunt, but you ARE a gas appliance.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

Jay, you save more lives than your local paramedics and ER staff.

Posted by Marge Piwowarski, Phoenix AZ Horse Property, LLC (Phoenix AZ Horse Property) about 7 years ago

I've had a few of these Marge, and with CO you simply cannot fool around.  It has to be handled immediately.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

Most people think I move around on the pond using my feet.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 7 years ago

Jay, this is an issue that could have proved fatal.  I bet your clients were glad they invested in you.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) about 7 years ago

Jay, Great Job! Sometimes it's hard to believe what people will do to save a buck!

Posted by Michael S. Bolton, MN Appraiser (Michael S. Bolton,Inc.) about 7 years ago

Jet locomotion, gotta be Duckie.  Makes for more speed!  You gotta eat the right stuff.  I'd stay away from frogs...

Chris - it's amazing sometimes what people either are living with or accept as OK because they just don't know.

Michael - well, true.  I am trying to save a really, really bad circumstance!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

Jay, your blogs have taught us all so much about what to look for in a home inspection and validated why it is important to have one done when buying a new house.

Sharon

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) about 7 years ago

Jay,

Sometimes I think I may be blessed that I live in the land of volts and amps. We can burn here but we have a much smaller chance that the silent CO gets us.

I really do not see much gas (exempt when eating beans), but what I do see them they seem to always have a problem. Most of it from lack of maintenance and then a little DIY to kick over the hill.

Great post Jay... as always ; )

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

HI Jay,

it is just amazing that people would take these type of risks, just to save a few dollars, and become potentially liable for the lives and well being of an entire family...... shocking how people think.

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC www.pfanntastic.com) about 7 years ago

Jay - Maybe you should just catalog your tips and sell them individually. At $5 each you could make a fortune. Just remember the "little people" who once offered the suggestion : )

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) about 7 years ago

All I have to say is that there are people who still won't get a Home Inspection. This is one of those fine examples of why you should have one.

Posted by Rob Ernst, Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor (Certified Structure Inspector) about 7 years ago

Frank and Sharon - well, thanks and you're welcome!  I still don't think everyone gets home inspections!

Don - I see things done wrong with electric water heater installations - my favorite is wiring sitting on top of the unit.

Thanks again John.  You do make more money when you separate the collection into individual pieces!

Robert - for sure you and I see examples every day!  I don't understand it either, but I am in the business and people might think I'm biased!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

Hi Jay - It's a good thing you did the home inspection!  Most people aren't aware of everything that can cause problems now or down the road.

Posted by Peggy Chirico, REALTOR® 860-748-8900, Hartford & Tolland County Real Estate (Prudential CT Realty) about 7 years ago

Peggy - that's the old adage, we don't know what we don't know.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

Peter and Linda - you slipped in there and I didn't see you!  Sorry!  That is the kind of thing I see so often on home inspections that baffle me more than any other.  Maybe they really are that ignorant, not stupid, but ignorant?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

Had a very similar issue just a few weeks ago. The sellers were unaware and have a baby in the home. I pointed out the danger to the listing agent. The issue was fixed in less than 20 minutes with a call to the gas company.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 7 years ago

That's what I mean when I say that people are ignorant Jim.  Not stupid, by any means, but ignorant.  Amazing they lived there like that unawares!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments