What I'm Seeing Now

head_left_image

In Basketball, Double Dribble Is A Foul - But How About With Boilers?

It's true - in basketball, double dribble is a foul, but how about with boilers?

Frequently, when I see boiler heating systems, which heat up and pump water through radiators all around the house, there has not been regular maintenance.

Sure, sometimes certain parts here and there have been replaced or upgraded as they have broken. 

But regular maintenance prevents the kinds of things you see above.

Both of those devices are forms of pressure-relief valves.  While pressure is a boiler system is best when between about 10 and 15 pounds per square inch, as the water heats sometimes more pressure is created then the system likes.

So valves are provided to help bleed off a bit of that pressure.

But valves can wear out, or leak.  REGULAR MAINTENANCE WOULD CATCH THAT EARLY.  When maintained, theoretically, parts don't wear out to the point of damage.

The valve on the right is interesting!  It looks almost like a stalagmite developing in Luray Caverns.

The looks almost like a long-term pin-hole leak.  As minute amounts of water are pressed out through the valve and its cap, the water evaporates leaving only the minerals.  Over time those minerals can build up, sometimes plugging the pin hole.  But sometimes not!

My recommendation:  this boiler had a double dribble due to a lack of regular maintenance.  When you see appliances or systems, look to see if there is evidence of regular maintenance.  Is there a service history sticker?  Do things appear to be clean, or fairly new?  It is always best for systems to have regular maintenance.  Cleanliness and efficiency are important to all appliances.

 

 

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 20 commentsJay Markanich • June 27 2012 04:16AM

Comments

Looks like that boiler on the right is in a house with a well. Saw something similar last week. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 5 years ago

Not sure how a homeowner could see that and think everything was up to snuff....guessing sniffles are not a high priority...enjoy the day !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce - Short Sale (Keller Williams 414-525-0563) over 5 years ago

Jim - same boiler, same house, on a well, and Julius Squeezer is off to the left!

S&D - sniffles and dribbles are usually signs of a problem portending! 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Not to worry.  Once they get in, everything will be taken care of.  We got $6,000 in lieu of repairs because the buyers want to manage the repairs themselves for quality.

 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 5 years ago

Hi Jay,

We don't have many boilers here at all. Now, back in Michigan I saw quite a few of them.

Many home owners are in a mind set of "out of sight, out of mind".

Good catch, but that's what we get paid for.

Have a good day in Virginia.

Best, clint mckie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) over 5 years ago

That is smart if it's enough Lenn.  I suspect you figured the amount needed pretty carefully though!  They have plenty of time to get the boiler looked at and tuned up.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Thanks Clint.  It wasn't hard to see, just turn on the flashlight!  And hope a big black snake does not wrap around your leg...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

The reason the buyers want the money rather than repairs is because, they are going to be living with the equipment and want to manage the repair themselves.

Repairs made to properties by moving out sellers are not always so reliable.

 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 5 years ago

Precisely what I was saying Lenn.  The skill or experience of the selling agent in recommending what to do and/or how much money to ask for is paramount.  I would not trust sellers to replace a fridge, or fix the roof as much as I would trust my own judgment in those regards, or in any regard.  But, the monies have to be there.  If an engineer calculates that something might cost $5000 and it ends up costing $15000 instead, you know what follows!  But, do you want the sellers to make the repairs themselves?  Probably not. 

Experience counts.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

That just does not look good!  Lenn is quite wise (which does not surprise any of us!) to make sure the buyers manage the repairs.  This seller does not have a great track record when it comes to home-related issues!  (Isn't this your third post on this house?)

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) over 5 years ago

I wouldn't put so much on the sellers in this regard Kathryn.  People simply don't know.  But it is important to have regular maintenance, because, as you know, we don't know what we don't know!  You know?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Jay, when you said "double dribble" I was worried you were going somewhere else entirely :)

 

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 5 years ago

Good morning Jay. I would think the place to forget about maintenance would not be a pressure relief valve. If it doesn't relive pressure....yikes. Lack of maintenance is a deal breaker more often than not.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) over 5 years ago

Jay -- you are right, that this does not put the sellers in best light on maintenance issues.  Your reference to Luray Caverns reminded me of their beauty and their stalcpipe organ.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) over 5 years ago

Shadow - not everyone is at that point in life where that association would have been made...

Randy - the unti wasn't in terrible condition, or that old.  But maintenance is a very important characteristic of any house.

Steven - they still play that organ!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Jay, Helen and I have been to Luray Caverns (I think it was during a week stay in Massanuten - not sure of spelling and that very well could be a stalagmite...

Seriously, I have seen the damage that can be caused when improperly maintained boilers start to have issues... "it ain't pretty"

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 5 years ago

Jay, If the homeowner lets stuff like this go what else have they ignored? I learned in my days as a Mack Truck dealer that if an owner lets the obvious go, look out for the things you have to dig deep for.

Posted by Tom Bailey (Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc.) over 5 years ago

I have been there three times, that I can remember Chris.  It is about 1.5 hours from my house.  It is interesting and the organ is weird.  Nature does cool stuff!

Tom - perhaps.  What systems like that need is regular service.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Good morning Jay that sir is some nasty looking stuff.  Looks like you have been busy as I have.  Well got to go 

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) over 5 years ago

Stay busy James!  It's best for everyone, but especially you!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments