Category Archives: Understanding your home

Your Copper Plumbing Pipes are Shot, NOT

By | Plumbing, Understanding your home | No Comments

I recently had an interesting conversation with a client that had contacted a local plumbing outfit to fix a broken tub faucet. After looking in the crawl space he made it clear that the copper plumbing pipes need to be replaced because he saw evidence of corrosion at the joints. The home was 40 years old and there were no leaks, the client is into his preventative maintenance without a doubt. My first thought was to tell him to get a second opinion. Typically copper lasts 70-80 years or more and the green patina at the joints is called verdigris….

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A Visit To The Crawl Space

By | Fixing things, Home Evaluations, Indoor Air Quality, Problem Solving, Understanding your home, Water Awareness | No Comments

Nobody really wants to admit that they have one especially if you haven’t been down there for a while or ever. I just bought a new to me 1988 home and what I found told a story. Fortunately, I had a prepurchase inspection and so there was not much shocking to deal with. As a teaching tool, here is what I found and what I did not find. What I Found I knew that there had been a substantial flood. 30K worth and so there was a nice new Visqueen on top of the old stuff which I thought was…

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How Come My Water Pressure Is Low?

By | Fixing things, Plumbing, Understanding your home | No Comments

One of the silliest things I see is when the incoming water line is choked down for a valve then made larger again. What the hell were they thinking? This reduces the volume of available water or gas for that matter. This one goes from 3/4″ down to 1/2″ then back up to 3/4″ Go From Big to Small It is easy to see and such a bozo no-no that I chuckle when I write about it. The ball valve is great it is just the “RONG” size. The Rule of Thumb The rule of thumb is that the more…

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The Location of Things Matters

By | Energy, HVAC, Understanding your home | No Comments

I tend to be very observant. I am always on the lookout for a good story. This one got me chuckling. I went to pump down and disconnect an AC compressor from a home that we were going to do a significant remodel to. I noticed that the unit was quite filthy. A filthy, clogged AC compressor makes me nuts because it decreases efficiency and wastes energy. My HVAC contractor was brushing off lint and got a good laugh. No Wonder it is so Filthy We have some cottonwoods in the area and they are easily cleaned with a steady…

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New Great Use For A Home Inspection

By | Home Evaluations, Understanding your home | No Comments

As I visited with a client that had lived in their home for 20+years. and wants to live out their lives in the same place. As I walked around looking at the overflowing shopping list of to-do’s, it dawned on me. Rather than me telling them what needed to be done, that a third party would be a better way to express what needed to be done. Sure I can remodel the bathrooms and eliminate some bedroom skylights but for the subjective things IMHO it is not my place to say. Who is BestĀ  Suited to Give Advice? As trustworthy…

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My Floor Feels Like A Trampoline

By | Fixing things, Problem Solving, Understanding your home | No Comments

In an effort to make houses as comfortable as possible you set up your stuff and it looks good, some stuff is fragile and you would assume that the floor is stable but we see all sorts of stuff that flys in the face of a solid floor. The Big 3 Questions Turns out there are all sorts of approved floor assemblies. Back a hundred years ago they would guess at what size boards were good enough, how far to span them, and how far apart they were. Sometimes they would guess correctly, other times the assemblies were left missing…

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Help My Roof is Popping

By | Problem Solving, Understanding your home | No Comments

I get some intriguing questions from time to time. I could not pass this one up. A popping roof means it is not just a weird occasional issue, it actually wakes her up. This concern is that the house is in some danger of collapsing. Although possible it is unlikely even from a layman’s perspective. If it is real fear then by golly it was my responsibility to investigate and that is exactly what I did. Catastrophizing Is A Thing Fear of things makes them worse. Did you hear that? Another pop. Let’s face it everything gets worse when you…

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Gas Oven Failure Fixed

By | Appliances, Understanding your home | No Comments

I’ve been working on a Viking Professional natural gas oven that was not heating properly. It is a simple system that has very few parts or controls. The burners were burnt out and that was the first obvious sign, I bought an igniter thinking that it was the problem too but they were both glowing orange so I figured that they were working. (Typically when they are not working they areĀ  fractured) I was wrong! After replacing the burners I was disappointed that it still had an issue of fluctuating on then off them sputtering so I tapped on the…

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My House is More Humid Than Normal

By | HVAC, Indoor Air Quality, Understanding your home | No Comments

I recently was asked to look at a new development in the summer of a home we recently remodeled. The concern is that it is in the ‘mid to high ’80’s and the house is humid. OUTSIDE HEAT mid to high ’90s INSIDE SET TO: 73deg UPON ARRIVAL: House is 70 deg AC not running. Fan in auto Humidity inside 44% Humidity outside 36% Background information The AC unit was replaced 4 years ago with a 3 ton coil (Inside) 2.5 ton compressor (Outside). We added 650SF to a 1500 SF home and a new furnace that was installed above…

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Joist Hangers Use & Misuse

By | Fixing things, Problem Solving, Understanding your home | No Comments

Joist hangers have been around for around about 59 years, they were developed by Simpson Strongtie for a friend who was looking for a way to secure some boards in a more structurally sound way. Now days there are all kinds for them for all sorts of purposes. There are many things that are intuitive like how to use a saw which reminds me of a joke. The logger and the Salesman A guy was logging on his land using an old crosscut saw to fell trees. A salesman suggested he would love the new chain saw so he left…

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