What I'm Seeing Now

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New Water Main Shut Off And Water Heater

The features list said, "New water main shut off and water heater."

Not bad!  That's always good news, especially with an older house like this one. 

The old water mains in such houses are often so stiff they do not operate.  Most home inspectors will check that.

And there it is!  The new valve is a lever valve, always easier to operate than the older turning handle valve.

And the bottom of the new water heater can be seen.

But I saw the problem with this new installation immediately.

My clients didn't.  And the Realtor didn't either.

So I demonstrated.

The valve cannot turn off.  The water heater is in the way.

When it operated properly, the old, turning valve worked because it is up and a bit to the left of the photo.  The water heater was not in the way.

While the level valve is the right choice, the water heater's placement should have accommodated for its ability to move.

If there is a problem in the house that demands that the water be shut off, IT CANNOT!

Does the plumber know this?  Yes.  Did he think about it when he put in the water heater?  No.

The water had to be shut off to install this.  But the older water main was too stiff to turn so likely the water was shut off at the street by the plumber.

And he did not think it through.

STILL, HE LEFT THINGS LIKE THIS!

My recommendation:  as always, just because something is new, or has been newly installed, DOES NOT MEAN a home inspector should not check it out!  This lends further credence to the idea that a "peace-of-mind" check be done on contractor work, even work done by a bona fide company!  And why not?  That's certainly a Best Practice.  What would be better in this case - a small fee paid to a home inspector or a plumbing break that causes damage throughout the house?

 

 

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 17 commentsJay Markanich • July 21 2014 03:20AM

Comments

Good morning, Jay.... that's horrible....I'd make him move that hot water heater.... disconnect and do it all over again....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) about 4 years ago

The furnace is there Barbara.  When he was done and went to test the water main he probably only then realized his mistake. 

I can just hear him thinking, "Oh well.  Not my house."

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

You would think a professional who not make an error like that.  You would think.  As the old saying goes trust but verify. 

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

You are right, James, a "professional" would not make an error like that.

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

Jay, thanks for sharing a valuable tip with us. That shut off is worth nothing. You are right new does not mean it is right.

Make it a great day.

Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA (Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty) about 4 years ago

Never has, never will John.  Right makes it right!

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

Good morning Jay,

Should have had the second set of eyes when installing!

Make yourself a great day.

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

I think that's best Raymond.  And I certainly intend to, thanks!

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

Very true...many times an agent will list NEW when in reality it is a year or two old. And, new doesn't mean it was installed correctly or that it is free from defects. We just got a new dishwasher two months ago and it has had to be repaired twice. 

Posted by Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker, RVA Home Team - Winning with Integrity. (RVA Home Team) about 4 years ago

Heh, busted lines and you couldn't shut the water off even with that nice new levered handle.

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

This was truly new Shannon, but incorrect in its installation.  Too bad as the water heater and lever valve are good quality.  As you say, the installation is crucial however. 

That's the size of it Than.  Silly installation.  I know the plumber went to test it when he was done and then realized...

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

Jay, well now that was pretty dumb!  I wonder where this guy went to plumber's school.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 4 years ago

To tell the truth, Pat, I'm thinking 7-11.

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

Jay, good idea to replace the shut off. Bad idea not making it functional. Nice catch by the way.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Don - just looking at it I thought, hey, does this even work?  Tried it and well, nope!

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

Was it a plumber with zero common sense or was Billy Jay on the job  ? How IS he anyway ?

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

Billy Jays is a post-facto guy S&D.  He sees something interesting and goes out to sell it.

He shows up from time to time, when he decides to leave his Caribbean island...

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

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