What I'm Seeing Now

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Taped Blower Door Safety Switch

Very often I see a taped blower door safety switch. 

This is an important switch!  It is there for a reason!

The blower door safety switch turns off the furnace operation should the lower protective door be removed.

In some units that cover has to be removed to be able to change or clean the air filter.  Hence the need for a safety switch.

This is so that one cannot be harmed by the blower fan blades should a hand be stuck inside the unit for some reason.  Those fan blades are turning very fast and can literally cut finger tips off!

There is a reason for the word SAFETY  in the term "blower door safety switch."

But also, this is a switch!

It is electric!

One shouldn't be fooling with an electric device for any reason.  Even though it is plastic and hopefully not electrically "hot" to the touch, care should be taken when dealing with it.

And certainly, CERTAINLY, if it needs to be taped temporarily for some reason, you shouldn't use aluminum tape!  Aluminum is, well, conductive of electricity!

If there is any electrical problem one has to wonder if that aluminum tape could create a dangerous condition, conducting electricity to the cover panel on the front of the unit!

Wouldn't the home inspector love THAT if he goes to check the filter inside the unit?

Removing the cover is also a good way to check to make sure the safety switch is operating properly, and turning off the blower.  Sometimes they get stuck.

My recommendation:  leave alterations to the HVAC unit to the professionals who know what they are doing!  Homeowners have no reason to do something like this!  And surely it should not be found by the next person opening the panel.  Who knows what might happen to somebody.

 

 

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 • March 26 2015 02:47AM

Comments

Morning Jay this is a first for me.  Although I know the switch was there I have never seen one taped. 

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) over 3 years ago

Hmm. Jay Markanich  I'm just wondering why they feel the need to tape it in the first place? 

Posted by Faith LaRosse, Realtor(R) (Springer Realty Group) over 3 years ago

Jay Markanich - I love reading your posts- I always learn something new! Thanks for the education

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA, (Keller Williams Capital Properties) over 3 years ago

I do from time to time James.  And sometimes it's just plain stuck.

Unknown Faith!  Someone thought they had a reason, but it probably isn't a valid one.

Thanks Lise.  Education is the reason I come to AR.  And I try to be instructive with my posts.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Jay that is why I hire a good home inspector because they find problems that my clients need to be aware of.

Posted by Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239, Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com (Real Estate One) over 3 years ago

Good morning, Jay.  Yes, that doesn't look so safe.  One needs to wonder about the logic here.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 3 years ago

Not that I would be intentionally putting my hand into the path of anything rotating this is an item that could easily be overlooked by a new homeowner with drastic consequence Jay Markanich. I've never seen one before!    

Posted by Kevin J. May, Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida (Florida Supreme Realty) over 3 years ago

Russ - this really is more common than one might think.  But to check the filter in some units the cover has to be removed.

There isn't much logic here Debbie.  Taping this in the long run is a no no.

Kevin - removing my filter I have to put my hand right beside the turning blower fan.  An unintentional slip could be a disaster.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Prety simple and undramatic fix, peel off the tape :) 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 3 years ago

'Tis Jim!  But not the inspector boy...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Jay, maybe I should remove the tape from the furnace and use it to cover that annoying check engine light in my car!

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) over 3 years ago

So you're saying that I should remove the pennys from behind my screw in fuses?

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 3 years ago

Of course not Stephen.  Everyone knows that should be duct tape.

Fred - only if you replace it with a wedge of that cheese in your tool kit.  Never waste that NATO round.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Jay, I love people "Sir why are you taping your breakers?"  "Well they keep popping off when we have the mixer, blender, microwave, and the garbage disposal on at the same time"  :-)

Posted by Mark Horan, "The Resident Chef" - Resident Team Realty LLC & (Resident Team Realty, LLC & Toni's Property Management LLC) over 3 years ago

Excellent Mark!  Isn't that okay if they use duct tape?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

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