What I'm Seeing Now

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What Am I?

You may have a hard time seeing this and knowing what it is, so let's play What Am I?

The homeowners who are trying to sell this house are trying to prevent cold air from getting in when, um, hints to follow, this "thing" is not running.  I'll give a lot of hints and we'll see if you can tell what it is.

---> I'm wrapped up like a surprise present, but you can't pick me up to see how much I weigh or shake me to see if I rattle.

---> Now that it's cold I'm going to be used more and more.

---> I'm covering a kind of a hole in the wall.

---> If you touch me now I'm warm to the touch.

---> Inside there is a pilot light which turns me on (the pilot light is lit right now!)

---> Lots of heat gets created just inside me and I let out the extra heat.

---> And because I burn natural gas I create CARBON MONOXIDE.  Don't worry, CO is only dangerous if you breath it.

---> While I burn that natural gas I also release extra pressure to keep the appliance running smoothly and calmly.  

---> You might wonder - if I burn long enough could the heat go where it isn't supposed to and cause a fire or the glass front on me crack?  Nah, probably not.  Don't let your imagination run wild!  But keep guessing!

---> When the home inspector saw me he laughed.  It hurt my feelings.

So, what am I?

If you get it wrong first try, I'll give you two guesses.

My recommendation:  if you feel cold air coming in through the fireplace this is not the reason.  Don't try what you see here at home. 

 

 

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 19 commentsJay Markanich • November 21 2014 03:06AM

Comments

Looks like some sort of vent to me - maybe a dryer vent.

Actually, right now it kind of reminds me of the old jiffy pop popcorn.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 4 years ago

It is a vent Debbie.

In a condo like yours you probably don't have one.

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

Maybe a furnace vent.  I don't know.

I'm pretty high up...16 floors or so, so it would be challenging to fix that vent.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 4 years ago

Looks like a vent or clean out for a fireplace to me.  That's my best guess but I'll be back for the correct answer

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

Debbie - it would be challenging for you to tape it!  But send me a photo if/when you do!

James - these are pretty common.  Posting this somewhat  sarcastic photo, I thought everyone would know what it is to know how silly my questions are!

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

Good morning Jay,

The vent for a gas insert would be my guess. 

Could you take a picture with your themal imaging camera; it would probably be spectacular.

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

So Jay was the fireplace still "functional?"  I would hope not.  As Forrest says, "Stupid is as stupid does."

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

"If you get it wrong first try, I'll give you two guesses." - Jay Markanich

"If you get it wrong first try, I'll send you to sleepy land forever." - Carbon Monoxide

Moral of the Story?  Jay is much nicer than Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

Posted by Edward Hamill, Market Leader / CBInTouch Expert (NRT Southeast / Coldwell Banker) over 4 years ago

Good morning Jay. You got me too. I would guess some type of vent but really have no idea.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) over 4 years ago

No question in my mind. It's a sophisticated camera secretly installed by the CIA to record activity in a "safe house".

 

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

Ummmm,

A wall safe? Ductwork for future expansion? Bee hive? Dumb waiter opening for the exterior? Periscope for the second floor? The backside of a niche? A beautiful display of duct tape artistry? Overnight bank depository?

Arrgghhh, your clues are tough, I give!!

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

Sisters and Brothers of the congregation, here is a photo of a similar thingee on my house.

Impressively, the guys who installed mine have the arrow pointing in the right direction!

The hot wants to go up.

And here is a blog I had on one of these a few years ago.  Notice the arrow.

Enjoy!

http://activerain.com/blogsview/2267131/regular-fireplace-flue

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

Raymond - I did not have Mighty Mo with me that day, but if I did take an image it would be warm.  Inside the pilot light was lit.

Charlie - in this case it is not like a box of chocolates.  I knew what I was going to get, so even though the pilot was on I did not fire her up...  so to speak.

Thanks Edward!  Some of us already knew that, but apparently not these folks!  They would be mortified if they knew how much fun I was having with this.   Well, now that I think about it, they are lucky NOT to be mortified.

It is a vent Sheila!  What happens if you tape a vent closed?

Lenn - as you know, I don't make this stuff up!

And you may be right.  "They" knew I'd think it was something else and put up a sarcastic post about it, only adding to the urban legend of the new camera that's out there.  Think Roswell or Area 51.

Maybe instead of natural gas this is about swamp gas after all?

Sorry, Fred, but you'll just have to think further.  And if I was Sister Mary Catherine (a two-generation legend at my friend's Catholic school) you'd have your knuckles smashed with a ruler for being a smartsy backtalker.

 

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

Dang, Didn't even get a chance to guess before you all figured it out.

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

Sorry Don.  Let's hear what you got!

Moon suit material wrapping around the weather station?
Pez dispenser?
Cat door?

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

Jay~ I was going to guess that it was some type of fireplace vent. I'm sure I have one outside. I'll need to check to see which way the arrow is facing!

Posted by Donna Foerster, Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant (HomeSmart Realty Group) over 4 years ago

That it is Donna, but all taped up no vento, if you know what I mean!

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

Yicks...you would think that whoever the inventor was could give it just a little more eye appeal...hmmm ?  Enjoy !

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

A little bit more Chrismassy with ribbons and colors, S&D?  The tape surely should not be there, blocking it's ability to vent and all.

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

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