What I'm Seeing Now

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Good Thing The Hose Bib Had Been Winterized!

Before my client arrived, I was looking around, and wanting to show him where the water main was, the hose bib shut-off valves, and where the hose bib service tubing exited the house I thought, "Good think the hose bib had been winterized!"

I was not surprised to see the valve turned off.

It should be this time of year.

But the house was vacant and had been, without any winterization done elsewhere.

So looking up to see where the pipe exits the house I saw this.

That's a complete separation of the tubing at the joint!

And it had been like that for some time.

It had popped off right where the arrow indicates.

Next spring, when going to turn on the valves to have the hose outside, this would have been a gusher and a plumber would have to be called!

Look at the bottom of the tubing at the top of the photo and you can see that this connection was never really well done!  There is hardly any solder at that joint.  Compare the lack of solder there with the joint at the bottom of the photo.

It's best to find out now if there are plumbing problems!

It was kind of tucked away.  You had to be looking over the framing and toward the outside wall!  This home inspector was looking!

My recommendation:  even when houses seem to be in great shape it's best to have a home inspection.  We are very thorough fellows, or try to be!  When we walk into a service/furnace room I assure you, there are a thousand things going through our minds.  And we try to look at them all!

 

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 85 commentsJay Markanich • December 26 2013 04:35AM

Comments

Good job in catching this, Jay!  Nothing is worse than a plumbing issue during the cold winter months!!

Posted by Dan Hopper, Denver Realtor / Author / Advocate/Short Sale (Keller Williams Realty Downtown LLC) over 4 years ago

And any home owner believing that they understand the dynamics of these matters is just asking for trouble. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Jay, did someone intend to come back and connect it at a later time. Probably was running out of solder and forgot what he was doing. Good catch!

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 4 years ago

Good morning Jay,

When looking at flip houses one of the items to look for.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) over 4 years ago

Hey Jay - Great job catching this. I learned a lot about being thorough from the pilots I fly with. Following check list and procedures each and every time reduces the instances of human error and oversights.

Posted by Andre R. Aragon, Real Estate Photographer (Greater Tampa Real Estate Photographer) over 4 years ago

Good morning, Jay. I do not think that anyone winterizes their hose bibs here. Most of the time, I still see the garden hose attached to it!

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 4 years ago

Winterizing hose bibs should be on every homeowners November to do list.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 4 years ago

Jay, it certainly would not have held for very long soldered like that

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 4 years ago

Having been through thousands of home in my career I feel pretty confident about finding things that might be wrong. I ALWAYS do a home inspection! It is better to have ANOTHER set of eyes on all the things that might go bad.

Posted by HomeSalesForce.com Team Powered by eXp Realty, Canton, Alpharetta, Roswell, Woodstock, Atlanta (eXp Realty) over 4 years ago

It wasn't very visible Dan.  I had to stand on something.

Turning on the valve would not have made much of a mess Lenn, but calling the plumber would not have tickled anybody but the plumber!

I no know Mike!  You can see that this was never done well in the first place.

Raymond - on any house!

Andre - pilots have checklists for everything and follow them to the T!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Hey Michael!  I see frozen hoses all the time!

That's when I do it Cindy.  Usually after hearing a radio spot that says it's going to freeze that night!

Not likely Charlie.  And didn't!

J&J - that is always circumspect.  And get the pros to do the different jobs - inspection, termite, loan, etc.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

HI Jay

pretty bizarre hook up there, as you say that did not just happen, thanks for the heads up.

Happy Holidays and a Pfanntastic 2014

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) over 4 years ago

Hi Jay,

Very good find. Most plumbers or insopectors would not had found this till they had turned the water on. Then it may have been too late after the basement gets flooded. OYE.

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) over 4 years ago

Peter - we pointed our heads up to see it!

Clint - my client didn't understand, so I turned it on very briefly to demonstrate it to her!  She said, I think I have this right, "OOOhhhh..."

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Yes, it definitely pays to hire a home inspector, esp a good one.  Wish I lived in your area.  I'd be giving your name out often.  - Debbie

Posted by Women of Westchester Working Together, Women helping Women get ahead (Women of Westchester Working Together) over 4 years ago

I have seen this in many homes where the solder on the joints looks like the apprentice plumber did the work. 

Hose bibs and connections cause millions of dollars in dmage very year because of either inproper installation or owner error such as failing to unhook hose from the hose bib in cold weather.

Another great catch for you!!

Posted by Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker, Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940 (Mike McCann - Broker, Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska) over 4 years ago

Thanks Debbie.  And if you were in my area you would be at my door more, hopefully with a box of branding...  Says he with a wink.

Mike - for sure!  And here apprentice or maybe a homeowner trying to fix a previous freeze!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

From the angle of the picture it looks it's hard to see but it looks like it was never sweat together. If the copper is properly cleaned the joints hold forever.

Posted by Chuck Mixon, Cutler Bay Specialist, GRI, CDPE, BPOR (The Keyes Company) over 4 years ago

From the angle of the picture it looks it's hard to see but it looks like it was never sweat together. If the copper is properly cleaned the joints hold forever.

Posted by Chuck Mixon, Cutler Bay Specialist, GRI, CDPE, BPOR (The Keyes Company) over 4 years ago

There was very little solder Chuck.  And not brushed clean either.

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

The name inspector could not be more accurate here....Jay shows the way!

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 4 years ago

Okay Jay, another great find.

Something is missing, that pipe could not have fit into that fitting! It's the wrong angle and doesn't appear long enough. At the minimum, there is a 45 degree street fitting missing.

What think you?  :)

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) over 4 years ago

Thanks Richie, but that's why we're on the job!

Tom - mayhap!  The gap between the two is 1" or so, and the angle is wrong.  The shut-off valve is new though, so somebody has been here before!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Plumbing is pretty important. Got a leak, have someone sneak a peek.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 4 years ago

Jay,

To be on the safe side, maybe a plumber needs to correct the problems sooner rather than later.  I would ask the listing agent to ask the homeowner to get these plumbing and winterization issues fixed soon!

Posted by Andrew Payne Realtor® Richmond VA Homes For Sale~804-938-5257~, Richmond, VA, Real Estate, SRES®, NAR Green (Coach House Realty) over 4 years ago

Inspections are very important, even in new homes.

Posted by Raul Rodriguez, Looking out for the client's interest and not my p (Covenant Partners Realty) over 4 years ago

An alliterative solution, Andrew 1!

That's up to them Andrew 2.  I just observe and report.

While not new here, I do new home inspections nearly every week Raul.

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Nice catch.

That would have been quite the mess under there. Copper plumbing....yuk!

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) over 4 years ago

Copper plumbing is the gold standard Than!  I would not want anything else.

But what you buy in the store and what builders put into houses is not the best out there... 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Good catch Jay. In that spot, near the 2x4, it would have been easy to miss. That would have been nasty. 

Posted by Tom White, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN (Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com) over 4 years ago

Great post Jay and good observation for your client.

Posted by Juan Jimenez, The Richmond Home Inspector (A House on a Rock Home Inspections LLC) over 4 years ago

I had to stand on something to get up high Tom.  My camera is over my head as I took this photo.

Juan - even you would have had to stand on something to see this!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

All those joints look a little sloppy to me. I would bet there is more that haven't exposed themselves yet!

 

Hey Moe... bring the plumbers tape!

 

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 4 years ago

It's 'little' things like this that make a home inspector invaluable, priceless.

Posted by Sarah, John Rummage, Love Being Realtors® in the Nashville TN Area! (Benchmark Realty LLC, Nashville TN 615.516.5233) over 4 years ago

Great find, Jay!  

This is exactly why water service restoration is so much more than "just turning on the water."

I often find detached or cut piping in houses that have been winterized. Due to the possibility of catastrophic flooding, I always recommend that the dewinterizing process be performed by a licensed plumber.

Posted by Tom Jansson, Chicago Area Home Inspector - InterNACHI Certified (Acuity Home Inspections) over 4 years ago

The water was on elsewhere Fred.  And I remember that Three Stooges show!

Thanks Sarah.  I truly am.    ;>)

Thanks, and it had been Tom.  Except for the valve there!  Someone knew it was not right!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Pretty happy I don't live in a climate that has to deal with winterization. Looks like this could have been a real nightmare.

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max Southern Realty) over 4 years ago

They'd have found it pretty quick Bill!  But paying the plumber thereafter would not have been fun.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

A Thousand things in your mind? I thought I was the only one going mental. Merry Christmas Jay. and a happy new year.

 

Posted by Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector, The Home Inspector With a Heart! (SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno) over 4 years ago

Thanks for the reminder to mention hose bibs to home buyers and tenants.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 4 years ago

Even if the house is pristine, you MUST have a home inspector do his or her job. You never know what is under the covers.

Posted by Jimmy Faulkner, The Best Of St. Augustine (Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage) over 4 years ago

It's surprising how things like this happen. This is also a perfect example why I don't turn on the water to a home. 

Posted by Rob Ernst, Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor (Certified Structure Inspector) over 4 years ago

Yikes.  Great thing you caught that while the water was off; that would have been a mess.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) over 4 years ago

That is a SCREAMING reason ALL should have a home inspection, and even blares for those CURRENTLY in homes its not a bad idea as well!

WOW

Posted by David Shamansky, Creative, Aggressive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtg (US Mortgages - David Shamansky) over 4 years ago

That is out in the open.  What is behind the walls.

Posted by Dwight Puntigan, Dwight Puntigan (DRP Realty, LLC) over 4 years ago

Wow, there is a disaster you saved.

I always say to our agents - walk in, walk out, don't turn or flip anything except the lock on the door.

Posted by John Dotson, The experience to get you to the other side! (Preferred Properties of Highlands, Inc. - Highlands, NC) over 4 years ago

Great reminder for all us! This is one of the things that must be checked. Thanks Jay..

Posted by Eric Galuppo (Real Estate Rev - More Leads Means More Revenue) over 4 years ago

Disaster averted. Great catch, Jay. I would not have wanted to see the mess that could have created.

Posted by Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life (Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com) over 4 years ago

You certainly were "looking" and that is what makes you the professional that you are.  This was an important discovery.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 4 years ago

Jay

Good thing you have sharp eyes, AND know what to look for. Too bad you found a problem but what good news. Can you imagine the mess come springtime if this had not been discovered?

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) over 4 years ago

Jay, I have a house I am flipping and the home inspector found a small water leak. He could not definitely say where it was so after an hour or so today I finally found it. Now to fix it. It is copper and may be a bad joint. I sure hope so otherwise will have to install a new water valve for the sink .

Posted by Mike Frazier, Northwest Tennessee Realtor (Carousel Realty of Dyer County) over 4 years ago

Scott - smart fellows like ourselves try to cap it at 1000.  When we get up in toward that million mark, or jillion, is when we go mental.

Gita - it's long past time to winterize around here!

Jimmy - now and then the house is pristine!  I love that!  But not often...

Rob - I don't either.  If a house has been winterized I tell them it must be dewinterized professionally because I will not do it.  Dats schmatt!

Kat - the valve in the photo is off and that was good!  I actually turned it on really quickly to demonstrate how much water to my client.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

David - this could even be a previous repair gone bad!  Or unfinished.

Dwight - no leaks that I could find!  I hope it stays that way.

John - always lock the door!  I never go into a house without an agent present.  And she/he locks the door!

You're welcome Eric.  We'll be here for a while!  Come on back!.

Tanya - sometimes accidents are planned!  And this one may have been averted.

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Another reason why home inspections are extremely important for a home buyer, especially on a vacant home. You really know what to look for, Jay.

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) over 4 years ago

Joan - that is why we inspectors show up!  To look around...

Jeff - it probably would have been found pretty quickly.  But then there's the plumber to deal with!

Good job Mike.  It can take digging!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Thanks Pamela.  There are many things, and most of us inspectors have our routines worked out.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Wow.  A complete separation.  Not just a tear in the pipe but a total removal.  Good catch as I would assume sometimes that insulation is hiding those things.

Posted by Jay & Michelle Lieberman, Creating Calm in the Buying and Selling Chaos (Keller Williams World Class) over 4 years ago

The insulation wasn't hiding it, J&M, but it was hard to see.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

That would now be the indoor shower the buyer wasn't aware that came with the house. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 4 years ago

@At Jim, and a well deserved "cold" shower at that!

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 4 years ago

Winterization is absolutely crucial.  Ignoring it is indeed a costly error!

Posted by Jeff Jensen (The Federal Savings Bank/Lending in 50 states) over 4 years ago

Inspections are like a box of chocolates: You never know what you're going to get.

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) over 4 years ago

Up north, winterization is so critical.  Good catch on that hose bib connection.  

Posted by Rob Arnold, Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F (Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc.) over 4 years ago

Jay, the price of the whole house inspection is nothing compared to something like this bursting and the ensuing repair cost. Get an Inspection!

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Boy, that would have been a big surprise come warm weather. Yeow! Good eye, Jay.

Posted by Mike Cooper, Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 4 years ago

Good inspectors like you catch those details as a proactive action to prevent catastrophe-- so glad the pipes will not burst now.

Posted by Ralph Gorgoglione, Hawaii and California Real Estate (800) 591-6121 (Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes) over 4 years ago

You are right Jay, thorough inspection is really a must and should be done even in new homes. 

Brilliant Post! 

Posted by Frank Iglesias, Atlanta, GA Real Estate Investor (Working With Houses, LLC - Atlanta Real Estate Investments) over 4 years ago
Beautiful renovations!
Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 4 years ago
I gleemm pretty brilliant!
Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 4 years ago
It's different and I would give it time.
Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 4 years ago

Jay - Great catch... it woulds have been Old Faithful down there as as the water was turned on.

Posted by AJ Heidmann ~ CRS, YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert (McEnearney Associates, Inc.) over 4 years ago
That was a great catch! Nothing goes unnoticed by you...even the smallest thing! :-)
Posted by Rosie Moore (Serving Sugar Land, Richmond, Rosenberg, Missouri City) over 4 years ago

You Canobie to score the thing. But it wasn't often.  

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 4 years ago

Please delete my previous comment, my voice typing system is messing up 

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 4 years ago

Hello Jay: The stories we could tell. It doesn't make sense to winterize the hose bib and not everything lease, but that's why we hire home inspectors.

Happy New Year

Posted by Brian Rugg, Sun City TX Real Estate - Georgetown, TX Real Est (Rugg Realty LLC Sun City Texas 512-966-3200) over 4 years ago

Very expensive fix should they not catch it in time.  Thanks Jay.

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) over 4 years ago

That there is a full-service house Jim, with indoor everything!  I actually gave my client a 1/2 second shot with the valve turned on to demonstrate to her just how much water would have spurted out of that had she found out later!

'Twould have been cold Mr. Millionaire.  I am honored that you would stop by.  I hear condos on St. Thomas are nice.  And you don't have to winterize the hose bibs there!

Jeff - this was more than winterized!  Turned off with a purpose!

Jason - I have heard that elsewhere but can't put my finger on where...

Rob - well, it is and repairs can be sketchy, obviously!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Evelyn - you are right, my inspection price was probably cheaper!

Mike - there are times when it would help a home inspector to be a giraffe.

Ralph - if the gap is filled there won't be a burst!

Thanks Frank.  Wasn't hard to see once you got up in there.

Laura, Laura and Laura - did you get Dragon for Christmas?  Kidding.  I know you show up later!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

AJ - that would have been Old Faithful for sure.  A lot of water comes out of pipes of that gage.

Rosie - I am sure I am no where near 100%!

Laura - is that Obie Wan Canobie?  And your previous comments are pretty cute.  I don't want to!  Is there a learning curve where that software has to figure you out?  Or a speech thing where you have to use perfect diction and such?

Brian - whoever tried to fix it turned it off I think.  Then never finished the job!

James - surely the fix costs more than my inspection did!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

A look over is good when the eyes doing the looking are trained to know what they see...have a pro inspect!

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) over 4 years ago

You just have to know where to look Gary!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

This is especially true in our area...and trust us...there is no such thing as one that IS winterized...ask our insurance company !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 4 years ago

If you bleed all the water out you should be okay S&D.  If there is no water, there is no swelling.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Again, the old adage proves true "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!"

Posted by Sara Homan, Realtor, Homes, Farms & 55+ (Coldwell Banker Ellison Realty 352-209-4044) over 4 years ago

Sara - I think a guy named Richard said that.  I hear he was Poor, but kept a regular journal.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

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