Results 1 to 43 of 43
  1. #1
    Brian Thomas's Avatar
    Brian Thomas Guest

    Default stovetop burners

    A friend of mine is ticked at his home inspector for not discovering that the burners worked. The inspector noted that all burners worked however he only checked them on the high setting just to see if they kicked on.

    When my friend moved in he noticed that all burners work on high setting but 2 of the burners dont work on some other lower settings. My question is do you guys check every setting on every stove and oven? It seems to me that it would take an hour to check every burner on every setting and oven. Because the same could be true for the oven. It may work on temp 250 but not 425 etc.

    Merry Christmas!!!!

    Similar Threads:
    Last edited by Brian Thomas; 12-24-2008 at 08:06 AM.
    2018 ASHI InspectionWorld

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Thomas View Post
    ...do you guys check every setting on every stove and oven? ...
    Not me. If the burners fire up, I'm done there. I don't pretend to do a technically exhaustive inspection.
    Merry Christmas to you!

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    I test the burners on low and then high. The oven on broil to see the element gets hot and then switch over to 350 and verify with a thermometer. Then lights, mounting (anti-tip bracket), timers, physical condition of doors, elements, knobs, etc..
    I specifically disclaim self-cleaning setting, timed setting, etc. I don't want to get an oven hot enough to cause damage and then walk out of the house before it has cooled and unlocked.
    You are right that it could take hours test every feature.
    My inspection is pretty much in line with the state SOP.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  4. #4
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    I had an oven that i could not get to come. then the lady agent came over and she got the thing come on... thats what i put in my report.

    Chick's

    Best

    Ron


  5. #5
    Joel Anderson's Avatar
    Joel Anderson Guest

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    I just make sure they fire up as far as the stove top goes. If they do, they do; if they don't they don't, and that goes in the report. Also damage to the knobs, stove surface, etc.

    Like Jim, I inspect in alignment with my states Standards of Practice (SOP).


  6. #6
    Jeff Remas's Avatar
    Jeff Remas Guest

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    Household appliances are excluded from the home inspection standards of practice and are not required to be inspected. The mechanical and electrical connections of appliances are required to be inspected.

    We often don't even know if the appliances will be be part of the sale of the house and many times they are not so it is not an issue anyway.

    Trying the burners is a way to see if the electric is on and working or trips a breaker. For gas appliances, turning the burners on is a way of verifying that there if flowing gas to the appliance.

    If we turned on a burner and water came out then we know there is a problem with the connection.

    The signed inspection agreement that your friend has in his/her possession should clearly state that appliances are not covered.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,478

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    Brian,

    I would think that a home warranty would cover something like that.

    As Jim, I turn the burners on to "high" to see if they light, then turn them down to "low" to see if they stay lit. If electric, I do the opposite; start at "low" to see if they become warm and then to "high" and wait for "red" hot.

    Ovens and broilers I turn on to see if they get hot. I disclaim accuracy and self/cleaning or convection features. Those are seller disclosure items. I realize that there are no disclosures in foreclosure, but checking for temperature in a single appliance would take hours. And, where would you stop. Does the oven bake evenly? Should I bake a sheet of cookies and maybe a roast to see if they cook properly? Should I run a load of dishes that have a controlled amount of food on them to determine if the dishwasher operates adequately? This is primarily a safety and functional inspection. A few weeks ago I had a client tell me that an oven in a recently inspected home comes on but does not regulate. Oven gets to 550 and stays there. They weren't looking for anything, just giving me feedback.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  8. #8
    Brian Thomas's Avatar
    Brian Thomas Guest

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Brian,

    I would think that a home warranty would cover something like that.

    As Jim, I turn the burners on to "high" to see if they light, then turn them down to "low" to see if they stay lit. If electric, I do the opposite; start at "low" to see if they become warm and then to "high" and wait for "red" hot.

    Ovens and broilers I turn on to see if they get hot. I disclaim accuracy and self/cleaning or convection features. Those are seller disclosure items. I realize that there are no disclosures in foreclosure, but checking for temperature in a single appliance would take hours. And, where would you stop. Does the oven bake evenly? Should I bake a sheet of cookies and maybe a roast to see if they cook properly? Should I run a load of dishes that have a controlled amount of food on them to determine if the dishwasher operates adequately? This is primarily a safety and functional inspection. A few weeks ago I had a client tell me that an oven in a recently inspected home comes on but does not regulate. Oven gets to 550 and stays there. They weren't looking for anything, just giving me feedback.
    I agree with you there....Thats what I was trying to explain to my friend. He then asked me "dont you want to be the best inspector"? I then followed with a similar response that you gave me. Who


  9. #9
    Brian Thomas's Avatar
    Brian Thomas Guest

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Brian,

    I would think that a home warranty would cover something like that.

    As Jim, I turn the burners on to "high" to see if they light, then turn them down to "low" to see if they stay lit. If electric, I do the opposite; start at "low" to see if they become warm and then to "high" and wait for "red" hot.

    Ovens and broilers I turn on to see if they get hot. I disclaim accuracy and self/cleaning or convection features. Those are seller disclosure items. I realize that there are no disclosures in foreclosure, but checking for temperature in a single appliance would take hours. And, where would you stop. Does the oven bake evenly? Should I bake a sheet of cookies and maybe a roast to see if they cook properly? Should I run a load of dishes that have a controlled amount of food on them to determine if the dishwasher operates adequately? This is primarily a safety and functional inspection. A few weeks ago I had a client tell me that an oven in a recently inspected home comes on but does not regulate. Oven gets to 550 and stays there. They weren't looking for anything, just giving me feedback.
    I agree with you there....Thats what I was trying to explain to my friend. He then asked me "dont you want to be the best inspector"? I then followed with a similar response that you gave me. Who am I to decide if the oven is working properly at all temps. A) its not feasible and B) I am not a professional chef and cant determine whether something is cooked properly


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Remas View Post
    Household appliances are excluded from the home inspection standards of practice and are not required to be inspected. ..
    The signed inspection agreement that your friend has in his/her possession should clearly state that appliances are not covered.
    In some states (Texas for instance), Appliances are included in the SOP. So it really depends on the location, state, and standards of practice which should be spelled out in the contract and/or report.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,245

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    Having run across several bad control knobs during the years I was inspecting, I started turning all controls to the medium settings (approximately), feeling to make sure the burners start to warm up (which means they are working), then switch all controls to the high setting and see if they get red hot (or just *HOT*).

    If the control is bad except for the full on contact for *high*, the burner will not get warm when set at medium but will get *HOT* on high.

    If the burners work on medium and not high, the control contacts on high are burned up and the control is bad.

    I accidentally found some bad controls after a few years of inspecting, then changed my method to check for that - never had a complaint, and never knew if I missed any bad controls, just accidentally found some which made me revise my method to check for them, then found several more under the new method of testing.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  12. #12
    Brian Thomas's Avatar
    Brian Thomas Guest

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post

    If the control is bad except for the full on contact for *high*, the burner will not get warm when set at medium but will get *HOT* on high.

    I
    That must be the situation with my friends stove. 2 of his burners work only on high but no other setting.

    His stove happens to be a built in model so it had to come with the house. It was not something that the previous owners could just take with them. Of course, the sellers should have disclosed that the 2 burners didnt work but why do that when you can always just play dumb


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Thomas View Post
    A friend of mine is ticked at his home inspector for not discovering that the burners worked. The inspector noted that all burners worked however he only checked them on the high setting just to see if they kicked on.

    When my friend moved in he noticed that all burners work on high setting but 2 of the burners dont work on some other lower settings. My question is do you guys check every setting on every stove and oven? It seems to me that it would take an hour to check every burner on every setting and oven. Because the same could be true for the oven. It may work on temp 250 but not 425 etc.

    Merry Christmas!!!!
    I think you need to find some more reasonable friends.

    Ask him which major structural component of the house he would have preferred his HI not look at so he had time to stand in front of the range and run the burners through each temperature setting.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,245

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    Ask him which major structural component of the house he would have preferred his HI not look at so he had time to stand in front of the range and run the burners through each temperature setting.
    Matt,

    His HI had, like all HIs, enough time to look at both, either, all, everything ... it is simply up to the HI to price the home inspection to allow for that time, or, it is simply up to the HI to advise his/her clients that, due to price, some things will not be checked.

    This is not a matter of an unreasonable friend, it is a matter of the HI not doing what they should have, which includes managing their clients expectations.

    Just because someone charges $100 to do a home inspection does not mean they are not going to look at everything, not when that HI advertises "Complete Home Inspections", and especially those who then list hundreds of items in what they inspect.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,797

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    Clients can be strange that way - I recently inspected house with defective installation of manufactured stone that could require removing and replacing it, the client seemed at least as interested in the fact that one burner on the expensive "commercial" stove had a defective igniter.

    That said, on gas stoves I check for ignition and operation at high and low flame, I might consider adopting Jerry's technique for electric elements, no way I'm going to start checking calibration of thermostats or operations of timers, mechanical or otherwise.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    This is an intresting thread.

    I have always wondered why so many home inspectors (outside of TX) do not inspect appliances like stoves, dishwashers, disposals, etc. If I take myself out of my home inspector body and become a home buyer, I would want my inspector to inspect the appliances. Heck, I would want them to look at everything in the home.

    The profession has changed over the past five or so years. We are working in a young and evolving profession and as such we need to change as the profession changes. What was good 5 years ago might not be the standard of care today. Even the SoP's that we all claim to work by are outdated.

    I have found the need to increase my inspection protocols to cover more and more every year. Heck, many of the homes I'm inspecting will have $15,000 or more worth of kitchen appliances in it; so I better be checking to see what is working and what is not. A few weeks ago I inspected a home with a built-in brick lined pizza oven from Italy in it! About all I could say was that it turned on and got hot. This is also how I reported it in my report. But, I did take the time to turn it on and let it heat.

    More and more inspectors are checking pools/spas, appliances and lawn irrigation systems. Even if you don't you should have a working knowledge of systems like this as they are always intertwined into other systems in the home. The most common being the electrical and plumbing connections.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  17. #17
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    I kinda thought all home inspectors checked all appliances. As far as the stove tops, if it is gas I light each burner and slowly turn it down to off. The electric burners I go slowly from low to high to off. Kind of a no brainer here.

    Ovens/ Set at 350, come back in a while and see how accurate it is. I do not start ast 100 and go to 500. Simply put, the oven is set on 350 and this is the temp it read after the preheat. If it does not work in other ranges , oh well. I told them what I did to test it and what the reading was and if it needed adjustment or not.


  18. #18
    Michael Greenwalt's Avatar
    Michael Greenwalt Guest

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    My clients are always aware that I do not verify appliance operation. I do not always know which appliances are included in the sale and which are not. I inform the clients to verify which appliances are staying as part of the contract and verify that the operation of those appliances meet their expectations. This has always worked out well and relieves me of replacing defective appliances as part of our inspector $10,000 warranty as required by state law. (I use the term warranty, state law calls it liability).
    I know this isn't for everyone but it follows SOP, my contract, and limits my liability. So far this has made for a happy inspector and client. No problems thus far.


  19. #19
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Greenwalt View Post
    My clients are always aware that I do not verify appliance operation. I do not always know which appliances are included in the sale and which are not. I inform the clients to verify which appliances are staying as part of the contract and verify that the operation of those appliances meet their expectations. This has always worked out well and relieves me of replacing defective appliances as part of our inspector $10,000 warranty as required by state law. (I use the term warranty, state law calls it liability).
    I know this isn't for everyone but it follows SOP, my contract, and limits my liability. So far this has made for a happy inspector and client. No problems thus far.
    Fact is. You turn a stove or oven or disposal on when you are there and note that it works and then come back an hour later and turn them on and they don't turn on. Oh well, they worked when you were there. You just made note of your findings of when you turned them on. I don't see the liability. I have people call me a month later and say "I turned my disposal on and it is not working" I say "hold on a minute and I will check the report. Well, it was working when I was there. Sorry" End of discussion. No liability. There is abosolutely no mechanical or electrical devise that is guaranteed to work from one minute to the next. Breakers break, HWH elements burn out, stove tops stop working, sensors in HVAC systems quit working. Mechanical devices break down. Happens in someones home somewhere probably every second.

    Turn the stuff on. It works. End of story. At least you noted what happened when you trurned it on. If you do not mention it at all I think there is where things come into concerns for you. Isn't a HWH actually just an appliance?


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Matt,

    His HI had, like all HIs, enough time to look at both, either, all, everything ... it is simply up to the HI to price the home inspection to allow for that time, or, it is simply up to the HI to advise his/her clients that, due to price, some things will not be checked.

    This is not a matter of an unreasonable friend, it is a matter of the HI not doing what they should have, which includes managing their clients expectations.

    Just because someone charges $100 to do a home inspection does not mean they are not going to look at everything, not when that HI advertises "Complete Home Inspections", and especially those who then list hundreds of items in what they inspect.
    I was being somewhat sarcastic but there is also some reality here. We have a few hours to look over a house. Spending 10 minutes or more checking the accuracy of the range burners is crazy. There are MUCH bigger fish to fry.

    And I know the fee you collect on an average house is a kazillion dollars so it sounds as though people in Florida are willing to pay 15% of the purchase price for a 6 day inspection. Out here in the wild west we're not so lucky. We have short inspection contingency periods and have to make the most of the couple hours we have in the house.

    Micro-inspecting the output of a range burner is just stupid.... what's next? Measuring the velocity of the water going down the toilet to ensure the inside of the trap wasn't over-painted?


  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,245

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    I was being somewhat sarcastic but there is also some reality here. We have a few hours to look over a house. Spending 10 minutes or more checking the accuracy of the range burners is crazy. There are MUCH bigger fish to fry.
    .

    Precisely what I was getting at ... "We have a few hours to look over a house", you have "as long as you want and need" to look over a house. Spending 10 minutes or more checking the burners (nothing said by me about accuracy, just that they work) is NOT A PROBLEM ... unless you are low balling your inspections and must make them fit in a pre-determined time frame.

    And I know the fee you collect on an average house is a kazillion dollars so it sounds as though people in Florida are willing to pay 15% of the purchase price for a 6 day inspection. Out here in the wild west we're not so lucky. We have short inspection contingency periods and have to make the most of the couple hours we have in the house.
    Who puts the demands on that short time frame? Your client? You should not pay any attention to any one else. If that is all you client wants, then so be it, which is where I went when I said "which includes managing their clients expectations."

    That deserves repeating as IT IS THAT IMPORTANT ... "which includes managing their clients expectations."

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    My point is there are an infinite number of 'range burners' in a house. You could spend 3 days going through a house with microscope... You could spend 3 months if you really wanted to. I bet if I had enough time in a house you inspected I could find stuff you missed. Where does it end? Most people (outside of Florida, obviously) are only willing to pay a few hundred dollars for a home inspection.

    It's easy to play Monday morning QB on a message board and claim you disect every inch of a house and get paid thousands of dollars for doing so.


  23. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,245

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    I bet if I had enough time in a house you inspected I could find stuff you missed.
    You probably could, see *I KNOW* I missed stuff, but always told my clients that I would do my best to not miss the big stuff, so I might miss some small stuff, heck, might have even missed some big stuff too.

    Most people (outside of Florida, obviously) are only willing to pay a few hundred dollars for a home inspection.
    MOST people in Florida too.

    However, if you ask around, you will ALWAYS find someone charging more than "the normal" for that market area.

    It's easy to play Monday morning QB on a message board and claim you disect every inch of a house and get paid thousands of dollars for doing so.
    .

    I've never claimed that I dissected every inch of a house, but I did get paid thousands of dollars NOT doing so.

    Nonetheless, that does not do anything with the fact that it does not take much longer to check a burner at medium, then high, than it does to check one on just high.

    Oh, and to set your record straight, and I've said this many times in the past too, my last 3-4 years of inspecting was almost always NEW homes, walkthroughs, warranty inspections, and quality control for high end builders - meaning I *DID NOT INSPECT ANY APPLIANCES*, and I was still there for days on end, and still got paid thousands for NOT DOING SO.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  24. #24
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
    Darrel Hood Guest

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    I turn all stove top burners on high for a minute or two and sometimes find that gas supply fails to support the demand or a breaker trips. I then turn the burners to low for a minute or two with the vent hood on high. Sometimes, but rarely, I find that the vent hood extinguishes a gas burner. Fairly frequently, I find electric burners that don't work on low. At the same time, I am checking other items in the kitchen so very little time is devoted only to the burners. This is an opportunity to exceed the Texas SOP with very little time invested.

    I had never thought to check the broiler burner. Thanks for the tip.

    Darrel Hood
    DILIGENT PROPERTY SERVICES


  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Greenwalt View Post
    My clients are always aware that I do not verify appliance operation. I do not always know which appliances are included in the sale and which are not. I inform the clients to verify which appliances are staying as part of the contract and verify that the operation of those appliances meet their expectations. This has always worked out well and relieves me of replacing defective appliances as part of our inspector $10,000 warranty as required by state law. (I use the term warranty, state law calls it liability).
    I know this isn't for everyone but it follows SOP, my contract, and limits my liability. So far this has made for a happy inspector and client. No problems thus far.
    Michael, what state law is this? Y'alls home inspector law has not even gone into effect yet. Also, I think that you might misunderstand the text in the law. The $10,000 is your limit of liability for a screw-up. It is not a warranty, unless it has been changed over the past few weeks. This is the only home inspector law in the country that has a dollar limit to the inspectors liability. I would love to have a state law that limits my monetary liability limit.

    I know most of the home inspectors in the state don't like the $10,000 limit, but I really think Y'all are looking at it from the wrong prospective. It really does not put you at a higher risk, if anything it decreases your risk.

    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 12-30-2008 at 09:04 AM.
    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  26. #26
    SAL IACONO's Avatar
    SAL IACONO Guest

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    I follow the standards of practice that dictate only wether the burners are functonal. So, once they fire up...I'm finished. I also lights, check oven operation and the presence of anti tipping device.


  27. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,245

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    Quote Originally Posted by SAL IACONO View Post
    I follow the standards of practice that dictate only wether the burners are functonal. So, once they fire up...I'm finished.
    If you think that is "functional", you need to ... ask your wife if she can cook on that "functional" burner which ONLY WORKS ON LOW, or ONLY WORKS ON HIGH.

    I suspect she will gladly allow you to cook the next meal yourself using the burner only turned to high, then the following meal with the burner only turned to low.

    I have the feeling that you will then change what you are calling "functional".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    1,078

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    I turn gas burners on to "high" to see if they light, then turn them down to "low" to see if they stay lit. Then I turn the exhaust fan on to high to see if they stay lit on low.

    If electric, I do the opposite; start at "low" to see if they become warm and then to "high" and wait for "red" hot. Failure at low but not high is a common pattern for electric burners.

    Ovens I turn to 350, turn on the exhaust fan as a reminder the oven is on, and inspect other parts of kitchen. I return and stick my hand in or feel the heat on my face when I open the door. Then I set the oven to Broil, leave fan on as reminder, inspect some more. I come back and check to make sure the top electric element is on or the gas burner is on. Shut off oven and fan. No specific temps are taken or reported.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  29. #29
    Bob White's Avatar
    Bob White Guest

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    Anyone ever fire up the oven without checking inside first?

    I've done it (and got caught) twice.

    Slow learner.

    When I was a teenager, I melted an aluminum (I think it was aluminum) coffee pot on an electric stove element --- in my friend's grandparent's cabin.

    I put a pot of water on for coffee and went fishing with my buddy --- when we got back the pot was melted and the handle (plastic? bakelite?) was flaming away on the stovetop . .. .


    On topic, I do the same as Bruce with burners and ovens (when I'm not melting things)


  30. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,245

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob White View Post
    Anyone ever fire up the oven without checking inside first?
    Bob,

    Does not checking r-e-a-l w-e-l-l above the broiler element count?

    I was inspecting a condo being sold by the estate and everything had been removed, I checked inside the oven as I always did, then turned the oven on.

    Seems that I was not the only one who missed the wood cutting board which had been stored on top of the broiler element ... ... while everything went fine when I tested the bake element, it didn't take long after turning to broil for smoke to start pouring out of the oven.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Posts
    615

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    It's my observation that few HIs do the kind of marketing research to know what their markets will bear. The most common model is to follow the pack re pricing. Of course, the few geniuses will come along and low ball everyone, convinced that they will make it up on quantity.

    A natural inclination is to fear pricing oneself out of the market. If your skills are in the middle of the pack, that is a very real fear. If your business is based on small margins and huge numbers of jobs, that's a very real fear.

    If your abilities are far above the norm and your reporting methods reflect that, you are able to demand and get prices outside the norm. It is true that you will have far fewer jobs, but your margins and your profits remain much higher.

    I'm not making judgements about anyone's choice. Lots of guys have been successful being middle of the pack, low margin, high volume inspectors. I also believe that there is no stupid element of an inspection, if you're being paid enough to do it.

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,445

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    I do not test ovens for temperature accuracy. I test the broiler element and the oven element and make sure they glow fully red. Elements I start on low for a minute or two then crank to high till they get fully red. I don't check the timers to see if they keep accurate time. I will look at the clock and note if it does not work, as well as the oven light. Anti tilt and loose handle etc are also noted.

    Had a first a week ago - an optional steam oven. I could not tell from the oven door if the steam was working. After a while I opened the door and burned the crap out of my hand on the top of the door (when the steam escaped).

    I do not run washing machines unless the buyer tells me they go with the house, AND they are empty. Same as running a dryer. I will run it, UNLESS there are clothes in it.


  33. #33
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    I do about the same as Jack on testing ranges and cooktops except that the TREC SOP's require us to note the temperature differential when the oven is set to 350 degrees. If it falls within +/- 25 degrees, it is considered acceptable. I throw in one of those cheap 5.99 oven thermostats from the hardware store in the oven and take a pic of it to show the temperature. I've had a few people call me after moving in and state the oven does not work. I email them back the picture and never have had a call back about it. It worked the day I was there I tell them. S*^t happens, welcome to homeownership.

    Rick


  34. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    La$ Vega$, Nevada
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    May I digress and answer the 'burner' question first asked? (Actually...Jerry answered it pretty well...but I'd like to expand on his answer a little more). The typical electric-resistance burner element fails from the 'bottom-up'. It will fail to heat on the 'low' setting and still operate on the higher ranges. It will NOT fail from the 'top-down'. If the burner works on 'low' but fails to get any hotter...the problem is elsewhere in the circuit...usually the 'controller'. That's why the correct 'way' to check electric resistance elements is to start at 'low' and after the elements heat-up...go on up to 'high'. Be careful in your 'wording'. The problem may or may-not be the 'element' itself.

    As an aside.... I shoot a short 'video' of my non-contact thermometer (gun) sweeping over the burner-elements on 'low' to show the temp-rise...and then take a follow-up photo to show the elements glowing 'red' on 'high' (turn off the flash).

    SHORT-STORY: Six months ago I had a client call and say the Home Warranty Co. refused to repair or replace her gas range/oven when she filed a claim with them, stating that the range-burners were failing to ignite. They came out and inspected the unit and refused 'service' stating that the 'failure-to-ignite' condition was old and pre-existing to their purchase of the home. She told them her H.I. had checked everything out and it worked fine for him (me)...and that she had been cooking on it for the past 6 weeks and it just suddenly 'quit'. They still refused her. She called me in tears...so I emailed her the .avi 'video'...she forwarded it to them...they wanted to meet me on-site and see the video on my laptop to verify that it was her oven...we did...she got a new oven. Whew!

    Those 20-30 short little .avi's that I shoot, along with the 200-300 photos that I take on each inspection, have saved my rear-bumper every year that I've been in business. I know some HI's will complain about the extra hassle and 'time' for the camera-work...it's not for everyone...but I've had a camera in my hand since I was 7 and find the photo's and video's a lot like my black-belt. Nice to have when the need arises...but it's NOT a 'freebie' and it's not the 'easy-answer' and it requires extra work and careful application...to make it 'work' profitably for you! After 10+ years of full-time HI's and 30+ years in Construction Management, my camera is the second-most-valuable tool I own and use. My brain is still #1. (Note: It's funny how people won't believe 'you'...but they'll believe your photo or your video...) Document...Document....Document. My pictures and my video's ( a.k.a. 'my work-file' ) ARE my little 'expert-witnesses' that keep me out-of-court...just like my black-belt keeps me out of fights! Go figure!

    Disclaimer: Black-belts and digital-cameras are NOT for everyone. Just ask Rodney King. Objects in the 'lens' may be larger than they appear...and your mileage may vary. I have a clause in my 'Agreement' that the client will NOT receive my 'work-file'...which includes any photos, video's, notes, voice recordings etc. not used 'in' the Home Inspection Report. Appraisers do not turn over their work-file to their clients; nor do CPA's or attorneys. Neither do I! It's your 'first-line-of-defense', after you've gotten your well-written HI Agreement signed and done your H.I. & H.I. Report properly.

    Last edited by Glenn Curtis; 01-04-2009 at 04:08 PM.
    Glenn R. Curtis CMI
    La$ Vega$, Nevada
    Inspecting Nevada since 1982

  35. #35
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    Glenn

    What is a

    "well-written HI Agreement signed"

    Never heard of one. They are all useless if you just screw up.

    Just curious and always question one when they write that.

    If you work by a particular standard and miss something then you did not follow that standard and your agreement just became useless.


  36. #36
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    La$ Vega$, Nevada
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Glenn

    What is a

    "well-written HI Agreement signed"

    Never heard of one. They are all useless if you just screw up.

    Just curious and always question one when they write that.

    If you work by a particular standard and miss something then you did not follow that standard and your agreement just became useless.
    Define '...screw-up' in the context of what you said above. I do a lot of 'Expert Wit'-work. I can categorically say...that the Inspection Agreement plays a large role in every case I've worked on. I don't like to make 'blanket-statements'...like the one I just made, but in this case it is true...and it's my observation. I don't speak to those who have 'messed-up'... I speak of doing your job well...having a pre-signed HI Agreement...a thorough inspection...a well-written report...good back-up documentation...a rich work-file...clients expectations fulfilled...all in conformance with the applicable SOP's...in my case, Nevada. (NAC645d.450-.580). To say that '...all...' HI Agreements are '...useless if you just screw up...' (your term), as you did above, is not an accurate statement in my experience, although it may be yours. I have been engaged on assignments to do just what you said...help defend HI's who '...screwed up' and in the case I just finished with...the HI's signed Agreement did just that. It established the 'venue' part of our defense enough to win. Yes...the HI messed-up...yes he got out from under a $570,000 lawsuit due to the language of his HI Agreement. Why not utilize 'well' every productive tool at your disposal? It's what the best martial artists do...it's what the best HI's do-2.

    Last edited by Glenn Curtis; 01-04-2009 at 06:14 PM.
    Glenn R. Curtis CMI
    La$ Vega$, Nevada
    Inspecting Nevada since 1982

  37. #37
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Curtis View Post
    Define '...screw-up' in the context of what you said above. I do a lot of 'Expert Wit'-work. I can categorically say...that the Inspection Agreement plays a large role in every case I've worked on. I don't like to make 'blanket-statements'...like the one I just made, but in this case it is true...and it's my observation. I don't speak to those who have 'messed-up'... I speak of doing your job well...having a pre-signed HI Agreement...a thorough inspection...a well-written report...good back-up documentation...a rich work-file...clients expectations fulfilled...all in conformance with the applicable SOP's...in my case, Nevada. (NAC645d.450-.580). To say that '...all...' HI Agreements are '...useless if you just screw up...' (your term), as you did above, is not an accurate statement in my experience, although it may be yours. I have been engaged on assignments to do just what you said...help defend HI's who '...screwed up' and in the case I just finished with...the HI's signed Agreement did just that. It established the 'venue' part of our defense enough to win. Yes...the HI messed-up...yes he got out from under a $570,000 lawsuit due to the language of his HI Agreement. Why not utilize 'well' every productive tool at your disposal? It's what the best martial artists do...it's what the best HI's do-2.
    Well, I must say, I commend you , If that is all there was to it in the 570 case. Obviously there was no 570 in damages or not even a small portion of. Obviously I cannot state that with any knowledge but there must have been a whole lot to it. It sounds more like a frivolous law suit and the courts just said, Bull. If in fact there was hundreds of thousands in real damages or any part in the 100's it would have not been thrown out or as you say the client gotten out from under it.

    Another question I have is what are Nevada state SOP's or do they have any. Quite frankly if you adhere to a states SOP's, that is the law and nothing is going anywhere in a law suit. If one does screw up and not follow those standards your Agreement is trash. You can say anything you want in an agreement but if you do not follow the law then you are going down.

    Anyways. I should say no more because infact I do not know anything of your states laws or the standards the home inspectors must follow.

    Good for your client for getting out from under it. Bad for your clients client if he did screw up and did not at least have to pay for what he screwed up on. If that is the case. If he blatantly screwed up and all was dropped then there is something wrong in Nevada. In that case I cannot commend you or your client. What is right is right. If he screwed up then either he or ultimately his insurance should have paid to right the wrong.

    Oh yeah. Screwing up is screwing up. Like cracks all over the home and 10 grand in piers needed and your client not writing the obvious concerns into the report for his client. In that case there is no 570 in damages. Only 10 grand. Or, no carbon monoxide detector and the flue pipe was not connected to the furnace in the hall closet and the furnace had no proper ventilation and then someone next to died. Now that is a real screw up and the money sued for should have been paid. If it was the piers then it was a frivelous law suit and the judge was pissed and thru it out. If it was the near death thing it would not have been thrown out no matter what the wording in the trash agreement was.

    Don't get mad. Just my opinion. I live by the what is right is right rule in life. My opinion as to the clients you help get off because they did not screw up , well, they did not screw up, you did not get them off. The fool that sued was seen as what he was and the judge thru it out.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 01-04-2009 at 10:51 PM.

  38. #38
    Russel Ray's Avatar
    Russel Ray Guest

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    I do what Gunnar does (post 7). Note that we're both in California.


  39. #39
    Bernardo Golner's Avatar
    Bernardo Golner Guest

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    As Rick said dropping a 5.99 thermometer in the stove I would also suggest droping a 7.99 in refrigerator and feeezer


  40. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,245

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernardo Golner View Post
    I would also suggest droping a 7.99 in refrigerator and feeezer
    .

    Those dial thermometers HIs *used to use* for measuring TD when they thought it actually meant something ... those are the thermometers I used in the refrigerator and freezer - no need to buy anything, the HI probably still has those tucked away in the bottom of their bag from not using them for TD anymore ... dig them out and use them for that.

    I know some HIs who just opened the doors to the refrigerator and freezer and shot the walls inside for the temperature. That works too. All you are trying to do is obtain a number, any number, which shows that you checked those for operation and if they were cold - then put those in your report next to the appliance in the appliance section with the other information you put in your report on those appliances.

    All you are doing is documenting what you did and what you found, works better than any inspection agreement. I hate to disagree with Glenn on his comments on HI inspection agreements providing protection, they do, but not a lot ... you can say you go by your SoP, then as soon as you state what you do check and use words like "complete home inspection", "thorough home inspection", or other words and phrases which can be taken as meant to imply that you ACTUALLY DO a "complete or thorough" home inspection, forget about you SoP, you now will be judges on what is the standards of your profession in your area, i.e., do you do *at least as much as 50%+1* of the other inspectors? If you do, then you are likely meeting the standard of care established "for your area" "by your peers" (which includes you when they in being looked at).

    *ALWAYS*, and I repeat, always do as much as you can, and document that you did it. Saying after-the-fact when contacted about a problem "Oh, well, yeah, *I DID* check the refrigerator and freezer and they were working when I was there, here, in my notes ... (you lost right there, you can make up anything in your notes) ... it says the refrigerator was 38 degrees and the freezer was 2 degrees." TOO LATE! Put that in your report, that way all you have to say is "Do you have the report with you?" "Great. Turn back to the appliance section on page ... and look down to refrigerator/freezer, the temperatures I measured during the inspection are right there." No ifs, no ands, no buts, THAT is the information you included IN YOUR REPORT at the time of the inspection - those are the facts you live by and die by - what is in your report (which includes photos, but photos get into another argument about what to do with the ones you take but don't put in your report, do you keep them or dispose of them, etc., and that is for another discussion, not this thread).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  41. #41
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Surrey, BC
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    Here in BC, Canada, the sellers are required to complete a "Disclosure Statement" on their own personal knowledge of conditions in many parts of the house. They must also disclose if any appliances (to their knowledge) are NOT working fully and properly. If the buyer moves in and all appliances are not working properly, then the dispute must be settled between the buyer and seller. In 18 years I have never been called about a complaint about appliances.
    My Report clearly and boldly states that "THE FOLLOWING APPLIANCES WERE PRESENT BUT NOT EVALUATED" and then I simply list the appliances that were there. There IS a liability involved here. As soon as you look and report on an item in the house, you are assuming possible liability for failure of those items.
    How do you report on the fridge compressor, the internal water heater for the dishwasher, etc.? Also the SOP state in section 2.2 C. 1. that you must report on items which "are near the end of their service lives". It is subjective to report that EVERY stove, dishwasher, fridge that is over 10, or 12, or 14, or 16, or 18, or 20 years old is near the end of its service life. Which age do you choose to determine this and report it?
    In my early years (before I knew better), I did test appliances even though that was not required by the SOP. I figured that I was helping my Client. I ran into several dishwashers that were leaking. In one case, there was a brand new wood laminate floor in the kitchen. Luckily, I was still in the kitchen to notice the leak. But anyone who turns on the dishwasher and runs it through a whole cycle without standing in front of it for the whole 1/2 hour could be taking a big chance. What if it does leak under the floor, all the seams swell a few days later, and the floor must be completely replaced? And the sellers just say, "We wash all our dishes by hand and never used it". YOU caused the floor damage and YOU must pay for the replacement. You WILL be going to court, and HOPE that you are found not liable.
    To fully test the stove, I used to turn all burners and the oven to maximum, and run them for 10 minutes. Several times the stove breaker tripped off. I was very proud that I had found a major problem - 40 amp wiring that was faulty, which could burn down the house. On one occasion I had my head under the kitchen sink and said to myself, "What's that smell"? I turned around and saw smoke rising from the back of the stove. It turns out that I had fried the wiring harnesses and timer switch on the stove. That cost me more than the inspection fee to fix an old stove which was not worth even $100.00. So you can bet that I don't do that test anymore! However, can you properly inspect a stove without testing for this possible life-threatening defect?
    Last year, at the ASHI National conference, I attended the session by two Texas inspectors on how to inspect appliances. So I do know how to do that if I am required. But unless you live in Texas where this is mandatory, you may choose not to take on the added liability if it is NOT REQUIRED by the SOP. There are many good reasons why appliances have been excluded.


  42. #42
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,245

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Beliveau View Post
    On one occasion I had my head under the kitchen sink and said to myself, "What's that smell"? I turned around and saw smoke rising from the back of the stove. It turns out that I had fried the wiring harnesses and timer switch on the stove. That cost me more than the inspection fee to fix an old stove which was not worth even $100.00.
    Steve,

    That should not have cost you anything, *YOU* *DID NOT* "break it", *YOU* simply did your job and the stove "failed under testing", which was, and still is, *why you were hired*.

    Remember that phrase: "failed under testing"

    It is rare that an inspector "breaks something" (i.e., you knock a vase off an end table and it falls, breaking not only the vase but the window too), it is not uncommon that something "fails under testing" (I've had garage doors fall off their tracks and go crashing to the ground - "failed under testing").

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  43. #43
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: stovetop burners

    I have not paid for any of the oops it broke items when I inspected a home. Leaking tub, shower or toilets on the second floor leaking down thru. Leaking dishwashers, stoves that stop working, a coupe of garage doors that folded and landed on the floor, nothing. I pulled some attic stairs down once and they pulled right out of the ceiling and half the hall ceiling drywall with it. Fireplace screens, windows falling out when operating than. I could go on for ever. Never paid for a thing.

    I guess if I open a rear patio door and it comes off the broken hinges I am suppose to pay for that as well.

    Never anything to date. Remember. If it broke from you touching it or stopped working from you operating it, it would have happened to the home owner next time he touched it.

    Some one of these threads some one told me I was nuts and don't count on not paying for such items. Oh well, maybe I am but have never yet and do not believe any inspector should.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •