What I'm Seeing Now

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Does This Look Done By Someone With A Mechanical License? A permit?

When I see things like this I have to ask myself - Does this look done by someone with a mechanical license?  A permit?

In Virginia, installed chimney connections are to be done by licensed people.  Virginia even provides that the person have a mechanical license.

And why not?  Chimneys are very important!  Chimneys contain and exhaust dangerous heat and gases!   The word dangerous is just that.  Danger should be treated carefully.

So, when I saw this, I had to ask myself if it looks professional.

What do you think?

Does it look professional?

The tape is a nice idea, but I especially like the use of the drywall screws.

They have not been there very long because there is no rusting.

Drywall screws rust quickly, but especially when they are used with certain metals.

I admit that I don't know exactly what things are supposed  to look like when done in accordance to proper installation techniques.   I am not familiar with every manufactured device or connection.

But I know when things don't look right.

Usually the code refers installations like this to the manufacturer's instructions.  The code is a minimal standard and does not always involve specifics.  It simply can't.

So I looked it up when I got home.  The International Mechanical Code, 2009, subscribed to by Virginia, says things like this:

  • 801.10.1  Closure and access.  A noncombustible seal shall be provided below the point of connection to prevent entry of room air into the flue.  Means shall be provided for access into the flue for inspection and cleaning.
  • 801.10.2  Connection to factory built fireplace flue.  An appliance shall not be connected to a flue unless the appliance is specifically listed for such installation.  The connection shall be made in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instruction.
  • 801.10.3  Connection to masonry fireplace flue.   The connector shall be provided with access or shall be removable for inspections and cleaning of both the connector and the flue.  Listed  direct connection devices shall be installed in accordance with their listing.

Looking at the photo above, what do you think?

And I had to peruse 149 pages of code to find that information! 

My recommendation:  if it looks amateur, it probably is.  If it looks done by someone other than a trade professional, it probably is.  If a home inspector notices a mess like what is pictured in the photo above, he will report it.  The recommendation to have a professional examine it also and make necessary repairs cannot be overemphasized!

 

 

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 16 commentsJay Markanich • July 27 2015 01:01AM

Comments

Oh gee whiz Jay... a little creative use of recycled screws and right away you think there may be a problem....it's why they call them "handy"....they think of different ways to use  materials !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 5 years ago

Creative use for sure S&D!  Let's see what I have on the truck.  And get rid of some of this stuff...

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

 Good Monday morning Jay. Where did they get their license? A Cracker Jack box?

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

And you would have a problem with that Michael? 

Cracker Jack has been around for a long time.

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

No, I like Cracker Jacks. At one time, being a Cracker Jack was a good thing. How do you think I got my TN home inspectors license?

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

Yes, that doesn't look so good.  I bet you were laughing and shaking your head when you saw this.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 5 years ago

Good morning Jay.  When I opened this I saw the picture and thought what in the world is that.  I read your post and even I knew before reading it there was something wrong.  

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

Jay, seems like there are a lot of do-it-yourselfers in your area! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) about 5 years ago

Good morning Jay,

Hopefully they have the insurance to cover the disaster waiting to happen.

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

Jay Markanich No doubt that your keen eye uncovered a tragedy in the making. As we always tell our buyers,"Get a home inspection regardless of what a seller tells you!".

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc.) about 5 years ago

I was kidding Michael.  My minor league coach (I was a pitcher) called me a "cracker jack."

Debbie - it's this kind of thing you want the buyer to see and understand!

James - this was a joke.  The photo doesn't lie!

Wayne - this guy could have been a "professional" they found at the 7-11 parking lot.

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

Raymond - hopefully this was totally reworked before my client moved in!

S&N - this did not look very old, so perhaps the seller did it just to sell the house.

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

What a beauty! So you don't think that is a non combustable seal? You should drive down to the 7-11... I mean the sub contractors office and ask him/them... what the hell is that?

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 5 years ago

Speaking Spanish as I do, Fred, I would probably understand the answer. 

Other "professionals," from other nationalities, hang out at other places.

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

I don't care what state you are in, there is no way that job is going to meet code. 

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) about 5 years ago

And you are probably right Stephen!

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

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