What I'm Seeing Now

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"No Way Is That Oil Leaking. The Whole Thing Was Just Serviced."

Coming around the back of the house I could smell the tank before I saw there was one. 

Seeing what was under the filter and connections I could tell it was leaking.

When I mentioned that to my client the Realtor said, "No way is that oil leaking.  The whole thing was just serviced." 

So I gave it the old paper towel test.

Fortunately it was not raining or windy!

The paper towel test is amazing, and very high tech.

But follow the steps exactly:

1.  Put a paper towel under what you want to see might be leaking.  This works under plumbing locations too, like sinks.

2.  Wait a while.

3.  Come back later and look.

We came back later!  And looked!

There were leaks right where I said it looked like there were leaks - at the connection beside the filter canister and against the foundation wall.

My client was impressed at how well technology works.

I took a photo. 

I mentioned it on the report.

I think the Realtor doesn't like me.

I think the paper towel test worked ... again.

The paper towel test is always a Best Practice!

My recommendation:  when people try to divert your attention from something, or tell you in advance that you don't need to look at this or that, BE SURE TO LOOK!  CAREFULLY!   Oh, your client will like you, but the other party might not.  I've been there before to know that's true.

 

 

 

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 27 commentsJay Markanich • May 25 2013 03:30AM

Comments

Hi Jay.  Pretty high tech inspection system.

Posted by Conrad Allen, Webster, Ma, Realtor (Re/Max Professional Associates) about 5 years ago

Some times you have to break out the big guns Conrad!

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

Where did they think the odor was coming from???

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

They didn't Lenn!  I was just making a comment to my client and was told it simply could not be.

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

Can't argue with the high technology used in this case.  I bet you lost sleep worrying about if the agent liked you or not. :)

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

I had never met him before James, and I bet I don't hear from him again.

His loss, not mine.

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

Leaking oil tanks as bad a smoking guns...especially when a 275 gallon one empties, goes under cement floor, ruins drilled well in cellar or near foundation from private water supply. Cheaper to fix going in.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 5 years ago

Those are big problems when they happen Andrew.  And these old metal tanks should never have been buried!

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

Good morning Jay,

Ah the smell of oil in the air beware!

Keep it simple sometimes works better than the high tech stuff anyway.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) about 5 years ago

Good morning, Jay.... that's simply "genius".... there are some real estate agents that you can't help but dislike.... my list gets longer every day....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) about 5 years ago

Are you saying my high tech paper towels are simple Raymond?

Barbara - I wonder what people think they are gaining sometimes.

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

What?  You have Realtors that don't like you because you just report what you see?  That's crazy! 

How 'bout the sellers'? That'd be even crazier!  Who would think that someone wouldn't like you for being honest, direct, and just telling it like it is?

Are you sure you didn't poor a small vial of oil, you had hidden in your pocket, on the paper towel when no one was looking just to make it look like you're a good Home Inspector who found something wrong and does a good job?? I mean, after all, it just was serviced for Pete's sake!!

;)

Posted by Joshua Frederick, Home Inspector in Defiance & all of Northwest Ohio (Home Inspector for ASPEC Residential Services, LLC) about 5 years ago

It's an REO Joshua.  But, what, you're as sarcastic as I?!  Say it ain't so!

At least I didn't find termite eggs under the downspout splashblock.  That's a favorite technique of one termite company around here!  We report, you decide.

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

Doesn't have to be high tech to be effective!

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) about 5 years ago

Gotta love those high tech tests.  Pretty solid evidence, I'd say.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 5 years ago

Oh duh...duh...duh....so it didn't SMELL like oil ?

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 5 years ago

Jay, very hi tech indeed! Oil contamination is very, very, very serious. As I said to Lenn, an ostrich who sticks their head in oil filled sand is asking for trouble.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 5 years ago

"Then one day he was shootin at some food, and up through the ground came a bubblin... fuel oil!"

The EPA would love that guy!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 5 years ago

Jay, technology again to the rescue ;) The old litmus test,lol.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

I don't know much about oil leaks, you don't see much of that here Jay.

I thought I was alone in the paper towel test, use it regularly for plumbing leak detection.  :)

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) about 5 years ago

Hi Jay - Buried tanks are a rarity here, as are inspectors who might know about the paper towel test. When a buried tank turns up - and we have seen sellers go to some lengths to hide their existence - we're usually going to have the buyer ask that it be removed prior to closing, to avoid potential clean-up liability.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) about 5 years ago

Gabe - very effective.  That towel was under there about 1 hour.

Debbie - special scientific paper.  Specially ordered.  Specially packaged.  To be used one by one.

S&D - it did to me!  But apparently nobody else. 

Andrea - should I have dug in there to see if an ostrich head was buried?

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

Fred - I know there are laws regarding this problem, but I don't know what they are.  I wouldn't know who to call to report it!  But I'm glad that guy wasn't shooting while I was there!

Don - and bummer, the paper didn't turn purple.  I guess there's nothing to see here.  Let's move on...

Tom - I use it all the time for plumbing leaks!  We be connected.

Dick - always best to clean it up and not inherit a huge issue you don't want to inherit!

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

Jay, check to see if Billy Jays sells one of those ostrich head detecting kits.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 5 years ago

Andrea!  Shhhh!  Don't give that guy any ideas!  The darn thing will be on your TV screen tomorrow morning at 5am!

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

Jay - It's crazy how the Realtor could get upset at what you found. I like the towel test, think I will use it as well. 

Posted by Eric Middleton, Professional Property Inspector (Closer Look Property Inspections Inc.) about 5 years ago

The house is the house Eric.  No matter what it is.  The house is the house.

What, we should just skip the little point about the oil tank?

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

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