What I'm Seeing Now

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When I'm Baffled, I'm Baffled

New construction, pre-drywall inspections can be interesting.  This is the only time the house can be seen in a skeletal state.  But sometimes I see things that I don't understand, and when I'm baffled, I'm baffled.

This is the laundry room.   It is on the third level.

I know, the drip pans are missing for the washing machine and water heater (in the corner).

What has me baffled is the plumbing tube with the valve on the far right.

I like to follow things for a while to see where they go.  This is an unusual tube and valve placement, so I followed it.

Following it below there is nothing unusual so far.

So I followed it further.

From the above photo it travels another few feet to connect into the drain line under the bathroom sink.

I have to say - I'm not sure what this does!

Anyone have any ideas?

Could it be a new trap clean out that I haven't heard about?

The installation is odd.
The location is odd.

The connection is odd.
The thinking is odd.

WHAT'S GOING ON HERE!?

All I could do is put it on the report, ask the question, and see if the buyer can get an answer as to what it is.

I haven't heard from him.

So I wait.  I wait to be educated.  And I really want to be! 

How smart will I look on the next pre-drywall inspection if I can identify it? 

"Oh, that?  Yes, it looks odd.  But that's the new anti-atmospheric-highly-pressurized-valve/trap disgronificator!  Everyone knows that..."

And oooooh, aaaaah will say the client. 

My recommendation:  when you see something baffling it never hurts to ask.  Who knows!  Your horizons might just be expanded!  You also might be identifying something that is a wondrous mistake!

 

 

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 28 commentsJay Markanich • September 28 2012 04:26AM

Comments

Good morning, Jay....and this had a plumbing inspection signed off?? hmmm

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) about 6 years ago

Yep!  I don't go until the builder has his go ahead to begin drywall.  That gives the builder cover Barbara.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Hi Jay,

At the risk of sounding like I know absolutely nothing I will simply say I don't know what it is. I hope it hay just be a drain line for draining the water off the lines to work on them. But who knows.

I have a question though, why is there a "noose" hanging in the corner of the utility room?

Have a great day in Bristow.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) about 6 years ago

OK, I am waiting for an answer to show up here. Someone must know the answer!

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) about 6 years ago

I see an opportunity for Billy Jays here.... is this the next product? The anti-atmospheric-highly-pressurized-valve/trap disgronificator.... he might make millions.

Hope we all find out what it is...

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 6 years ago

That noose is the electrical line for the water heater Clint.  And I'm with you, I don't know what the plumbing installation is!

We'll see Gary!

Andrea - shhhh!  Billy might be listening!  That is a cool product though, I have to admit.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

It appears to be a trap primer, but from what you describe, it would't make sense on a bathroom sink drain. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 6 years ago

But what trap would it prime Jim?  It isn't the washing machine drip tray.  It isn't the furnace drip tray.  And why would those pans be plumbed into the sewage drain system?  This has me baffled.  It is directly under the bathroom.  The toilet and shower connect, and this is the sink, which connects a couple of feet further to the other bath drains.

I'm thinking disgronificator.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Good morning Jay,

Okay... I am having a lovely morning, enjoying a perfect cup of coffee and reading blogs by my fellow AR participants.  But wait, one of the experts I count on in home inspections is stumped - say it ain't so, LOL.  

Can't wait for your follow-up to find out what this mystery line is for!

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) about 6 years ago

I'd like to know myself Lisa!  Does any home inspector think he knows it all?  Send me to that guy, cause I want to learn!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

what a great job, you always have the best photos and stories, thanks for sharing them for us so that we can educate our prospects too

Posted by Mark Loewenberg, KW 561-214-0370 (KW of the Palm Beaches) about 6 years ago

I love your stories, which always provide me with further education! Thanks for once again sharing.

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) about 6 years ago

Jay -- that is why you are such an in demand inspector -- you follow things to get to the bottom of the story -- and if it doesn't make sense you say so.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) about 6 years ago

You are welcome Mark!  Glad you enjoy them.

Barbara-Jo - and I'm glad YOU enjoy them too!  We try.

Steven - maybe this makes sense.  I just haven't heard yet as to how!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Good evening Jay. I was hoping if I held off someone would have shed light on it. I guess it will have to wait for another day. lol

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) about 6 years ago

Sorry Randy.  I contacted that buyer and asked if he had an answer, but he has not gotten back to me either!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Morning Jay this one is way beyond me so I'll bow to your experience.  Hope all is going well and you have a great weekend

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) about 6 years ago

Thanks James.  If/when I find an answer, if there is one (!), I will let everyone know!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Jay, At first I thought it may be a condensate connection but you say it is from another sink drain. Odd indeed. I would not think that is anything I have ever seen. Seems like a lot of trouble for no reason.

I do want to know if you get the answer.

This is a perfect example that sometime we need to just pose a question.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

That's what I did on the report Don.  I emailed the buyer asking what it is, but have not heard back.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Jay, how about a trap primer for the washing machine drain?  I too await the "truth":)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 6 years ago

The washing machine drain is under that assembly on the wall Charlie.  The trap in the photo is 15' to the right of the photo.

I've never seen a trap primer.  Why would they put a valve one a tube dedicated to a trap anyway?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Jay, it beats me why people do many things :)  We see a lot of trap primers out here---but they are never manual like the one in your picture would be.  The one you have might be considered a potential cross contamination point.  I hope at some point you find out exactly what the heck is going on with that installation.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 6 years ago

Shadow Primer - I had a case just Saturday where the water heater TPR drained into the plumbing drain, which was open at the top of a tube 3' high with a trap at the bottom.  That trap was undoubtedly dry.  I suggested they pour water into it (your word - prime it) now and then, or cover the top.

I'd like to know what is up with that installation too!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

I see a lot of those for TPRV drains around here but they still have to have a trap primer---and of course there has to be an air gap between the end of the drain and the TPRV drain.  Here is a picture of two trap primers---the one in the back is for the floor drain the one in the front for the TPRV drain

trap primers

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 6 years ago

That's a lot of work for what benefit?  Here 99% of TPRs go to the floor.  I have never seen a primer like that!

I also never see earthquake straps on water heaters!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Jay, well they function to keep the trap full of water so that sewer gases don't enter the home and are required by plumbing codes.  Here TPRV drains are no longer allowed to go the floor---they are required to go to the exterior or to an approved receptor. You are likely in the wrong seismic zone to see strapping :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 6 years ago

I know why I don't see strapping Charlie.  And I don't know why TPRs can't go to the floor!  They discharge so seldom.  And if they leak a puddle is the best way to find out.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

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