Water Heater Pipe

The photo shows a flexible discharge pipe attached to the safety valve which opens when something goes wrong inside the water heater tank.

Plumbing requirements state that the discharge pipe must be the same size as the safety valve opening to ensure water flows unrestricted through the pipe – and the pipe must be rigid pipe to withstand excessive water pressure.

A flexible pipe is thin-wall and corrugated (accordion-like) to make it flexible.

The inside diameter of the flex pipe is smaller than the valve opening – this is called a pipe restriction.

Why does the home inspector report a flexible discharge pipe as a safety concern?

If a temperature/pressure relief safety valve opens because of high water temperature and pressure inside the water heater – there’s a good chance that the flexible pipe will come apart and possibly injure/scald someone.

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Wall Cracks

Home inspectors are asked all the time, “What about that crack in the wall?”

Some home buyers react negatively when they spot a wall or ceiling hairline crack, thinking it compromises the structural integrity of the house.

The fact of the matter is that wall and ceiling hairline cracks are 100% visually cosmetic and they don’t affect the house in any way.

However, cracks are an indicator that something caused them to form in the first place.

The most common causes of wall and ceiling cracks here in the San Francisco Bay Area are:

  • Earthquakes
  • Incorrect drywall installation and taping of joints
  • Too much moisture in wall studs during construction
  • Foundation settlement due to poor drainage around the house

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Closet Trouble

The home inspector opened a bedroom closet door in an older Hayward house and turned on the light switch.

The ceiling light fixture was missing its protective glass globe and two incandescent light bulbs were within inches of the stored clothes – too close for comfort.

The inspector Googled – ‘light bulb temperature’ – and the article said a 60 watt light bulb can have a surface temperature of 260 degrees.

If the closet light was left on all day, it’s possible for a fire to start.

Closet light fixture clearances require that all incandescent light bulbs be fully enclosed (glass globe) and that the incandescent light fixture be installed at least 12″ from stored items.

Seeing exposed light bulbs in bedroom closets or missing glass globes is fairly common in older houses. Today’s building requirements call for recessed lighting in closet ceilings.

Schedule an inspection – mention “I’d like a peace of mind inspection” – Save $25