What I'm Seeing Now

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Whirlpool Access

This is a custom house.  It is six years old.  I like to inspect custom houses because I find the work there to be of superior quality.  The builders are smaller and don't build the same house in every neighborhood.

Custom houses usually have spectacular carpentry, features, kitchens and bathrooms.  Bathrooms usually have large whirlpool tubs.

When there is a whirlpool tub present, it is very important to look for and know where the whirlpool access panel is.

Make sure the builder has provided access!  Why?  If the motor breaks or there is a leak, typically the tub is surrounded by tile and you don't want to have to 1. guess where the motor is and 2. go about breaking the tile and wall to find it.

Often the access panel is in the cabinet beside the tub.  It should be large enough to get into the motor to repair or remove it!

Sometimes there is an opening provided in the tile.

When that's the case, usually I can see where it is.

The tile professional would leave grout that looks somewhat different in appearance from the grout around it.

The groove may be deeper, or the gap a bit wider.

Either way, it is important that a professional-looking access be provided so that IF a contractor has to get in, easy access is possible.

My favorite technique, of course, and considered BEST PRACTICE in any custom home, is DUCT TAPE.

But it needs to be a color that either goes with the tile or enhances it.

Appearance is everything, so pick the best tape!

And, in my very humble opinion, less is more.  If some dastardly UNPROFESSIONAL has put a longer strip of what was probably gray duct tape, feel free to replace it with a better color and shorter strip!

Sometimes duct tape can be re-used.  That's great because it certainly makes it easier to get in and get out!

My recommendation:  do work you can be proud of!  And when touring a house, be sure to look for proud work.  Proud work will always lend commentary to what else might have been professionally done on a house!  Once a pro, always a pro.  And a pro over here will be a pro over there.  That's what I always say...

 

 

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 13 commentsJay Markanich • September 15 2012 03:44AM

Comments

Yes, the post is written with a big wink and tongue firmly planted in cheek...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago
Hi Jay, wasn't sure I would hire you to inspect my home ..... Until I saw your comment!!! Lol. But you are absolutely right about the necessity of providing access if you have a jacuzzi tub in the event a repair is required. I've often had to look for one in some homes. Have an awesome weekend!!
Posted by Gloria Valvasori, Accredited Senior Agent, REAL Experience | REAL Commitment | REAL Results! (BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS REAL ESTATE SIGNATURE SERVICE) over 8 years ago

Thanks Gloria.  Those who know me well know of my sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek posts!  It's hard to put the twinkle in my eye into 2D words!

I just noticed - thanks for the reblog!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

It is my understanding access is required, all though not always installed. My daughter prefers the leopard print duct tape. Very fashionable. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 8 years ago

And I like her style!  I think that goes with everything. 

For sure access should always be provided Jim.  Once I could not find anything that resembled it in the bathroom, but discovered a small panel in the ceiling of the garage below.  It was the "access" and 20' high!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Morning Jay I agree get duct tape that matches the tile.  That's the only way  to go what dope did that job?  Enjoy the day

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) over 8 years ago

Pure enhancement James!  I love it.    ;>)

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

I personally have no problem with a framed panel for access.  I've seen some that was in the room next to the bath tub. 

The trend lately is definately for no panel, but to remove a square of tile to get to the motor for repair.  That's what I have and I haven't the foggiest idea which tiles to remove to reach the motor.  I suppose it could be directly under the on/off switch.

Oh well.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 8 years ago

In the closet next door or even a raised panel is common and if done well fine with me Lenn.  The tile is common too, as you say, but they leave a different groove in the grout or some other hint, like it's stuck out a bit higher.  Guessing where the motor is can be difficult!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

This is very good information for home buyers.  Frequently, tile has to be removed to gain access.

Have a very special weekend with your camera in hand.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 8 years ago

My camera is always in hand Roy.  Thanks!  Mostly for home inspections though!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Good morning Jay. I am thinking it has been accessed since the builder left. All right...I am HOPING he didn't leave it like that. lol

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) over 8 years ago

The house is 6 years old Randy, and yes, this is how it was left.  And this is a CUSTOM builder!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

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