Last week, city inspectors in Charleston North Carolina prevented
people from using their own balconies and decks.
Turns out unit
owners, with one association found out they were all rotting out from water damage and were found unsafe.
Turns out, the units had defective windows, and the buildings in the complex had inadequate roofs.
Developers answer is that buyers had an opportunity to hire their own home inspectors.
So I guess the lesson here is never let anybody talk you out of a Home or Condo Inspection.
Here is a link to the full story.
pressure or flow?
Most likely the problem is going to be flow rather than pressure.To begin with you need to understand the difference between water
flow and pressure.
Most people not getting enough water out of fixtures and faucets assume it is water
pressure when in reality it is the flow.
Well systems use pumps which create pressure , however in a city such as Chicago the pressure is regulated normaly
to about 40 lbs.
Here is a quick and easy way to determine if the
problem is flow.
First begin by making sure that any aerators
are removed or cleaned and any water filters are not clogged. (check again)
Ok still seems slow , now determine if the problem is flow.
Flow is the volume or amount of water coming out while pressure is the amount of force. Turn on the kitchen sink , then turn on both the Bathroom sink, and the shower.
(Please if you are not sure about how the kitchen sink will
handle the water and not overflow have someone watch it for you)
Anyway now if you flush the toilet and notice a signifigant drop in the amount of water coming out of the shower
it is safe to assume the problem is in flow.
way to check actual pressure is to buy a water pressure gauge at the store.
Here is what they look like
can be screwed right on to a water bib or adapted to say the size of a sink faucet as in the kitchen
by screwing it in place of the aerator.
supply lines coming in are 3/4 inch and should have no problem feeding two 1/2 inch branch lines with out a drop in flow.
Remember flow is volume.
If you have galvized pipes
which is common in older homes the most likely culprit is rust and corrosion blocking the pipes like a clogged artery.
Sometimes a gentle tap
can knock the rust loose but often these should be replaced with copper.
you can check for is to see if there is a broken pipe.
You can do this by turning off all the water in the house and watching the
dials on the water meter to see if they still have movement.The one one the far right will move the fastest.
you are still having a problem after you learn what is causing it please be sure to call a licensed plumber.
*Now that we know a little about what GFCI means we
can discuss another form of circuit interrupter.
A rc F ault C ircuit I nterrupter
back to when you have hit a switch to turn it off or on and maybe saw a spark.
This is known as an arc.
these arcs can occur unintentionally.
an arc occurs at a spot where a wire or connection is inside the wall it produces a spark which could lead to something catching
fire and endangering human life.
a GFCI or Ground -Fault -Circuit- Interrupter the AFCI is not intended to protect you from shock but rather to protect your
property from catching fire.
as with any new devise might say they are not reliable , however this is being heard less and less as they learn how to install
Most early problems have
been tracked to improper installation.
AFCI devise is designed to know the difference between a switch arc and a potential fire hazard type of arc (spark)
When inspecting new construction I am looking
for AFCI protection to be provided to all bedroom areas of the dwelling
Unlike with GFCI receptacles AFCI protection
is provided at the electrical panel with a special type of breaker which has a test button right on it.
a Home Inspection I will be checking the panel to see if the AFCI breaker is wired correctly and tripping the circuit to test
for proper function.
After you move into a residence with either one of these circuit interrupters it is recommended
you test them once a month in order to be certain you are protected.
is that familiar devise we all see in kitchens and bathrooms with the little test buttons.
G round F ault C
ircuit I nterupter is installed to prevent electrical shock.
The receptacle is specially built to detect changes in currant such
as when passing through a human body.
If you are looking at an older home or condo and I am doing the electrical inspection, I will be checking
to make sure you are protected by these devises weather or not it was required at the time the residence was built.
Safety has no limitations
If not , don't sweat to hard as
not all outlets near water require the GFCI receptacles, just the first one in the series as it can protect the other outlets.
If the back of a GFCI receptacle
was visible you would be able to see there are four lugs where wiring can be attached.
If the receptacle is a stand alone not connected in series
then would find the hot or black wire connected to the brass lug as with any normal receptacle.
The neutral or white wire will be connected to the silver
looking screw .
The amp rating of the GFCI receptacle
should be ok with that of the conductors and the breaker it is connected to.
NEC or the National electrical council is adapted by most states and
municipalities though ,Chicago Home inspectors inspect in a town where conduit is king ,the NEC is non the less the guide
line myself and others will follow when inspecting anywhere in the state of Illinois as part of our Standards of practice
This is part one as part two will discuss AFCI
This is part one as part two will discuss AFCI