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Thread: What is this?

  1. #1
    Tim Sharp's Avatar
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    Default What is this?

    I'm new to the home inspection business so this might be a simple item for most. I was looking at houses with my daughter last weekend and we saw this on the back patio. I wondered if it might have something to do with termite treatment but it didn't look like any baiting system I've seen. What do you think?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: What is this?

    that's a cap, it screws down tight.
    could be many different things depending on other evidence you mmay find.
    Simplest wwould be a capped drain line in the slab foundation.
    worst would be an abandoned oil tank
    could also be an access to an underground drain line from roof or yard drainage.
    open it and take a wiff


  3. #3
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    Default Re: What is this?

    Looks like a base for a table or umbrella or something. Where on the patio is it?

    EDIT: Nevermind, Wayne's right.

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What is this?

    It's a pair of sunglasses you idiot!


  5. #5
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    Default Re: What is this?

    An improper clean out cover, possibly even a test clean out cover installed to test the system and the plumber forgot to remove it.

    More likely, though, the screw in clean out cover was broken and that was installed, or (worse) the clean out fitting is broken and a screw in cover will now longer fit, thus the use of that.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: What is this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Thompson View Post
    It's a pair of sunglasses you idiot!

    Hee Hee, I liked that one. Belly laugh.

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  7. #7
    Tim Sharp's Avatar
    Tim Sharp Guest

    Default Re: What is this?

    Ok, I'm suppose to sniff it and it's a sunglasses, all good points, thank you. In a way I'm glad no one said it was obvious it was ____, that is if you don't count the sunglasses comment.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: What is this?

    Tim. the sniff it was not a joke.
    If it smells like $hit you know its a septic line.
    If it smells like soil, yuou know its a drain line.
    If i was there, that's what I would do
    I would have tried all options to determine what it was . before posting a pic online.
    As Jerry and I stated. It is a drain line cap.
    What type of drain line has yet to be determined
    Hand Tightening Aluminum Single Test Plugs With By-Pass - Petersen Products Company
    gee, took me all of 10 seconds to search and find it
    You spent more time asking questions than thinking practically


  9. #9
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    Default Re: What is this?

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne soper View Post
    Tim. the sniff it was not a joke.
    If it smells like $hit you know its a septic line.
    If it smells like soil, yuou know its a drain line.
    If i was there, that's what I would do
    I would have tried all options to determine what it was . before posting a pic online.
    As Jerry and I stated. It is a drain line cap.
    What type of drain line has yet to be determined
    Hand Tightening Aluminum Single Test Plugs With By-Pass - Petersen Products Company
    gee, took me all of 10 seconds to search and find it
    You spent more time asking questions than thinking practically
    .
    Man I'm Not Smelling That !
    .

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  10. #10
    Tim Sharp's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is this?

    Wayne, thanks for the link, good information, I do appreciate you time.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: What is this?

    Billy,
    Looks like duct tape to me.

    Tim,
    Smell taste test may be the most definitive
    Do you have a overall pict of the patio showing cap/plug?


  12. #12
    Tim Sharp's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is this?

    Gary, the only picture I have that gives you any idea of the location of the cover to the house is here. To the right aprox 5 feet is the patio door. If this was my house I could see one late night I wold be stubbing my toe screaming expletives for all to hear.

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    Last edited by Tim Sharp; 03-01-2012 at 04:33 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: What is this?

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne soper View Post
    Tim. the sniff it was not a joke.
    If it smells like $hit you know its a septic line.
    If it smells like soil, yuou know its a drain line.
    If i was there, that's what I would do
    I would have tried all options to determine what it was . before posting a pic online.
    As Jerry and I stated. It is a drain line cap.
    What type of drain line has yet to be determined
    Hand Tightening Aluminum Single Test Plugs With By-Pass - Petersen Products Company
    gee, took me all of 10 seconds to search and find it
    You spent more time asking questions than thinking practically
    Wayne, there's two things here though. You already knew it was a DWV plug, Tim didn't, therefore you had a jump on what to search for. Also, as a new inspector, it's quite likely he hasn't encountered a test plug before because they're not supposed to be there. How is he to know it's okay to remove it for the smell test if he doesn't know what it is?

    Cut the guy a little slack - you're beating him up because he didn't know something and came to a group of experts to further his knowledge. That's exactly what he should be doing as a new home inspector.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: What is this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Sharp View Post
    Gary, the only picture I have that gives you any idea of the location of the cover to the house is here. To the right aprox 5 feet is the patio door. If this was my house I could see one late night I wold be stubbing my toe screaming expletives for all to hear.
    Tim,
    When you see something like this you look for its position in relation to the waste lines on the interior of the house. You also look at the possibility of a clean out for exterior drain lines. Termite treatment is another possibility. I would suggest not being afraid to remove the plug and investigate. You said you were with your daughter, looking to purchase it? I never hesitate to move things and explore the unknown. What are the owners going to do to you if you did explore a little? You probably grew up with a mother telling you not to touch things when you were out in public. Inspecting a property is at times more of an investigation as to what and why thing were done. Be a risk taker...

    Also, don't take comments to personally, many like to have a little fun in the response process. Though it comes across as a little harsh at times, it is good spirited.


  15. #15
    Tim Sharp's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is this?

    Gary,
    Your input is greatly appreciated. I probably do play by the rules too much, point taken and received.

    I understood the other comments to be lite hearted fun and I took it as such even though I may not have communicated that clearly.

    As I mentioned I am just starting my business as a Home Inspector, I have been a licensed electrical contractor for over 25 years. I'm excited about this new direction in my life so any input I get from you guys and gals is eaten up on this end.

    Let me know what you think about my new website Sharp Inspections - Sharp Inspections

    Thanks, Tim


  16. #16

    Default Re: What is this?

    Tim,
    The last one of those I saw was a termite bait station. (I removed the cover).
    But, the screw did not protrude up. It had a screw "in" type screw with a split wedge anchor inside so as to prevent those late night "naughty" words.

    BTW: "most" around here are helpful.
    So grow a thick skin and stick around.
    Ralph


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