October, 2007
Postcards from the Field
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Frosty Freeze



This photo shows why the AC did not work in this home. It was frozen!

Bil Greg
BIG Home Inspections
Springfield, Va.

No deck parties


This electrogalvanized joist hanger was used on the rear deck of a townhouse that was built with pressure-treated lumber whose treatment chemicals have destroyed the “stirrup.” Any real weight on this joist will result in a failure.

Jim Rooney
Freestate Home Inspections
Annapolis, Md.

Great-grandfather’s sub-panel


This sub-panel is live and in use on the basement ceiling in a 117-year-old house. I’ve heard of electrical systems being grandfathered, but not great-grandfathered.

Mike Leiden
Castle Inspections
Cleveland, Ohio



You know you are a redneck HVAC tech when you use a used chew can for a junction box.

Lamar Rase

Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Missoula, Mont.



The white plug wire was powering a floor fan trying to dry up water on the basement floor of a local condominium. When reported to the association board, its response was: “We have an on site superintendent who has been here for years and we’ve never had a problem.” 

Jim Entwisle

A-Plus Home Inspection LLC
Fairfield, Conn.



The installer of the ground wire was smart enough to know that you shouldn't install a galvanized ground clamp to a copper plumbing line, but not smart enough to know that if you insulate the connection with a piece of rubber inner tube you might as well not connect it at all because the plumbing lines won't be grounded.

Dan Kopp
Valley Home Inspection
Caldwell, Idaho

Copper’s not THAT expensive


This is a water pipe connection made with a water hose. I guess the owner didn't own a torch.

John Woods
Champia Real Estate Inspections
Marietta, Ga.

Bee’s knees


When walking a roof, it's always a good idea to peek down the plumbing vent stack. You never know what might be clogging that air flow.

Charlie Rice

Pillar to Post
Sykesville, Md.