What I'm Seeing Now

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Is Your Clamp A CHAMP Or A CHUMP?

Here's your chance to answer - is your clamp a CHAMP or a CHUMP?

Clamp you say?

Yes, clamp I say.

One of the first things I do when I enter a house is turn on the dishwasher.

It takes a while and I want to make sure it cycles completely and finishes properly.

BUT BEFORE I DO I ALSO CHECK UNDER THE KITCHEN SINK!

Why?

Because Rule #1 on a home inspection is don't break anything.  Rule #2 is to pay real close attention to Rule #1.  And Rule #3 is to never cause a flood.

I don't like floods.

Looking under this sink I immediately noticed the position of the connector clamp.  And because of this Rule #3 kicked in, and I did not turn on to test the dishwasher.  For all I know this is a booby trap, sometimes left for the unsuspecting home inspector by the "savvy" seller.

Do you see the clamp?  It is circled in red.

Do you see where it should be?  That spot is circled in yellow.  The connection of the dishwasher drain hose to the disposal should be really tight so it does not leak! 

And to help with that, the dishwasher manufacturer provides a very nice clamp.

It isn't its fault, but this clamp is a CHUMP.  Well, the installer is the CHUMP really.  The clamp wants to be a CHAMP.  Securing that hose to the dishwasher it would be!

But there is more!

The disposal wiring is also without a clamp!

In this case it's an electrical connector clamp that is missing.

The purpose of the connector clamp is two fold -

1.  It clamps onto and secures the wiring into the unit, whatever the unit is.  That way it cannot be accidentally yanked out!  A connector clamp is not only code, it is SMART!

2.  It also fills the hole.  That way an errant spark cannot escape the box.  Electric sparks can be 2,500F hot!  That is hot enough to ignite most things in a kitchen cabinet, including the cabinet!

And to help with that, the disposal manufacturer provides a very nice clamp.

This clamp is missing because this installer is a CHUMP too.  He saw it in the box and did not think it important.  Why?  No reado instructionso.  That's perfect Spanish.

Is this home inspector unusually wary?  I don't know about the unusually part, but I know he is VERY WARY!  I've seen him work.  He really is!

My recommendation:  don't forget clamp basics when you install a new appliance.  And don't let your installer turn you into a CHUMP because you didn't think it important to follow his work!  Be a CHAMP instead!  Make sure your appliances are all clamped up! 

Someone tell Chris Ann that her inspection made the hit parade.  Thanks.

 

 

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 15 commentsJay Markanich • February 05 2014 04:47AM

Comments

Booby traps you say?  Once, 15 years or so ago, with the agent and buyer watching, a washing machine knob came off in my hand.  No noise, it just came off.  It was broken.  A week after the inspection I got a bill from the seller for $850 to "repair the washing machine knob."  Really?

No, I didn't pay.  And the lieing-sack-of-potatoes seller did not press.

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

Good morning Jay,

You must have learned maybe once the hard way!

Clamps and knowing which one to use for each project is an education of its own.

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

I have fallen prey to booby traps Raymond.  Once the trap caused a massive flood.  The agent accidentally let the cat out of the bag, and the buyer's agent heard it, removing me from harm.

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

Hi Jay,

Looks like they were doing what Mr. Home owner doe's best. A crappy install as they say "I can do that".

Have a good day in Bristow my friend.

Best, Clint McKie

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

All true Clint - they did that!

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

I just checked...my clamp is a champ :)

Posted by Suzanne Otto, Your Montgomery County PA home stager (Six Twenty Designs) about 5 years ago

Welcome to the club Suzanne!  I am not sure what you win, but you're in!

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

Jay, you seem to run into a lot of booby traps.  Don't you worry about being electrocuted or bitten by a spider or drowned underneath a dishwasher? OK, maybe not the last one. Being careful must actually be #1 on your checklist.

Posted by Tom White, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN (Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com) about 5 years ago

It happens Tom!  And probably to all home inspectors.

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

 You need to make sure that you clap it, Jed. Or is that Jed, Clampett? Oh, I get so easily confused this time of the morning – just put a clamp on it!

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) about 5 years ago

Well when I get through this morning looking around in the Rain guess where I'm headed.

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

Jay, thanks for sharing.  I had no idea -- just assumed the installer knew what they were doing.  I am headed downstairs to check mine now.  My husband will be so impressed with my newfound knowledge!  thanks for making me look so good!  :-)

Posted by Alicia Utz, REALTOR & Military Relocation Professional in NOVA (EXIT Realty Associates) about 5 years ago

My wife tells me that all the time Michael, but it's a context not regarding plumbing or electrical.

To the store to buy a clamp James?  Kidding...

Any time Alicia!  Looking good and feeling good.  But don't assume!

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

A little leak onto that wire could make for a break dancing home inspector.

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

That would be a sight Jim.  Beleeb me.  I actually refused to test the dishwasher because I didn't want to cause any unseen problem with breakage, leakage, floodage or, now, your thought, break danceage.

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

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