Inspecting Tandem Circuit Breakers – aka Cheaters

-   This is an adaptation of an article I wrote for the ASHI Reporter, which was published in February of 2011. Confusion abounds over the use of tandem circuit breakers in panelboards, even among electricians and electrical inspectors.  Today I’ll set  the record straight as to when tandem circuit breakers can be used. ..More

  • 4 Point Inspectors New York City, NY
  • Infrared Inspection Services Los Angeles, CA
This home inspector’s love affair with flashlights

-  It wasn’t as bright as the brightest flashlight reviewed, but it’s also less than half the price and it’s far smaller. Twelve flashlights were compared in the review, but I think this one tops ‘em all. This little light cannon has the power of a spotlight, yet it’s small enough to fit in to your pocket.  To give you an idea of how powerful this light is, I compared several lights by shining them against a garage a night. ..More

  • Air Quality Inspectors Chicago, IL
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Four Common Water Heater Installation Defects

- If the water heater were to malfunction and the burner just kept heating the tank, the tank would eventually rupture, turning the water heater in to a missile.  Mythbusters did a great re-creation of this, which you can see below. ..More

  • House Inspection Phoenix, AZ
  • Insurance Inspector Philadelphia, PA
This year, I’m thankful for closed-cell foam insulation. Yeah, that’s right.

-  Now when I walk down to my basement, I don’t feel a drastic change in temperature; my basement is only about two degrees cooler than the rest of my house.  Life is good. I love it.  Closed cell foam acts as a perfect vapor barrier after 2″, it doesn’t allow for convection, and it has a much higher insulating value than fiberglass.  I can sit here at the computer without a space heater, and I no longer freeze my toes off. ..More

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  • 101 Point Home Inspection Dallas, TX
Water Stains on Windows

-  The photo below left shows what a window sill may look like with minor water leakage in to the wall; the photo below right shows a window sill with major damage from water leakage. If water is actually leaking in to the house around the opening for the window at the siding, this will typically show up as staining at the corners of the window sills. .  A home inspector could use a moisture meter to help determine if the stains are currently damp ..More

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