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  1. #1
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
    mathew stouffer Guest

    Default Interesting equipement in attic

    Found this in the attic area, some type of grow lights. When you see this do you recommend any further testing. I know, vague question, just want to see what comes to mind. House built in the 70's and rented for the past few years.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    Found this in the attic area, some type of grow lights. When you see this do you recommend any further testing. I know, vague question, just want to see what comes to mind. House built in the 70's and rented for the past few years.
    I would simply take a picture and report that I found a strange, unconventional and unsafe light fixture in the attic and that they might want to ask the owner about it.

    If you want to expound on the subject a little more, you could add that when you have found similar type light fixtures they were associated with folks who were growing recreational herbs in their home!

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Santa Rosa, CA
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    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    Have it removed and the conductors properly terminated by a licensed electrical contractor. Why have it further tested? Is it wrong? Then say so.

    Gunnar Alquist
    Wishy-Washy Inspections, Inc.

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

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    Did you find any seeds?
    Where I live now there's lots of folks who pay top dollar for seeds with a decent DNA.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  5. #5
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
    mathew stouffer Guest

    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    No seed, but it smelled. Buyer asked if they should get a meth test and I said not a bad idea. So now the bank want to sue me.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    But you don't grow meth. You, ummm... brew it?

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

  7. #7
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    Rochester, NY
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    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    Burning down the house....Burning down the house....


  8. #8
    Timothy M. Barr's Avatar
    Timothy M. Barr Guest

    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    Why would a bank want to sue an home inspector because he thought having the place tested for meth was a good idea? Bank hiding something???


  9. #9
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    Oct 2010
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    Luxemburg, Wisconsin
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    35

    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    It is not the job of an HI to speculate the purpose of a "fixture." Your job is to report condition, in this case from what can be seen in the photo, electrical issues and hazards.


  10. #10
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    Utah
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    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    This is a hatching pod. When you look inside, a creature will catch you, pull you in, and eat you.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    Seed search no----- bud search yes.....

    Sued for just agreeing with client to have other tests done ?????


  12. #12
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    Mar 2007
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    Western Montana
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    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    Some states have licenses that allow marijuana to be grown in limited quantities for medicinal use. I have seen both legal, and remnants of illegal pot growing setups. As I would assume many other inspectors have seen.

    My main concern (after looking at the DIY electrical) is moisture and mold. Even if they did not use hydroponic vats, these operations usually create a LOT of moisture in the vicinity. Closet setups will tend to have mold in the attic space above the closet.

    Meth is another story (but this does not look like a meth lab setup). Some jurisdictions want you to walk away and call the police - they don't want you, a realtor, or prospective buyer tampering with any possible evidence trails. They would rather be on the cautious side and waste their time on a false lead, than have a possible investigation messed up

    MATHEW -
    You said, "So now the bank want to sue me."
    Why does the bank want to sue you?


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    Funny,
    I have seen some of the same before. I don't know about the call the police issue here. If it is one light why waste their time.

    As for meth lab you most likely smell ammonia. And the process permeates the home.

    Here are some other signs. I was a HazMat Tech and did a lot of training using meth labs as a scenario, one of the major repsonses for HazMat teams in most metro areas-

    Meth lab signs
    Yellow discoloration on walls, drains, sinks and showers
    Blue discoloration on valves of propane tanks and fire extinguishers
    Fire detectors that are removed or taped off
    Experiencing physical symptoms while inside the house, such as burning in your eyes or throat, itching, a metallic taste in your mouth and breathing problems
    Unusual strong odors that smell like materials from a garage, such as solvent and paint thinner, cat urine or ammonia
    The use of security cameras and surveillance equipment


    Signs that property owners should look for with their homes and tenants:
    Tenants who behave oddly and are extremely thin, have open sores, bad teeth or dilated pupils
    Large amounts of trash with items such as lithium batteries, torn-apart matchbooks, water bottles, cold medicine packs and antifreeze containers
    Discolored coffee filters that are not brown
    Plexiglas or other dark-colored cookware
    Glass containers with two layered liquids and chemistry sets


    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

  14. #14
    chris davies's Avatar
    chris davies Guest

    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    Dude, huh, huh, huh, where did we put that grow light?? Hey man, flip over the Led Zepplin album, let's get ripped! Dude, heh, heh, I know I had to climb a ladder to get to it. You have any Twinkies? Bummer, man. Maybe aliens came down and confiscated it with your weed. Whoa!


  15. #15
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Beck View Post
    Some states have licenses that allow marijuana to be grown in limited quantities for medicinal use. I have seen both legal, and remnants of illegal pot growing setups. As I would assume many other inspectors have seen.

    My main concern (after looking at the DIY electrical) is moisture and mold. Even if they did not use hydroponic vats, these operations usually create a LOT of moisture in the vicinity. Closet setups will tend to have mold in the attic space above the closet.

    Meth is another story (but this does not look like a meth lab setup). Some jurisdictions want you to walk away and call the police - they don't want you, a realtor, or prospective buyer tampering with any possible evidence trails. They would rather be on the cautious side and waste their time on a false lead, than have a possible investigation messed up

    MATHEW -
    You said, "So now the bank want to sue me."
    Why does the bank want to sue you?
    You know. This whole "medical marijuana" thing is so much bull. They have THC tablets that do the same thing as medical marijuana and many other drugs folks can already buy that will work just as well as smoking dope. There is no need for the scam of medical marijuana. This is the biggest and most complex lie that has been devised to substantiate the need to be able to grow pot and open stores that just sell it alone and it pipes and papers and ignorance.

    It may be different things about smoking cigarettes and pot but they both do more damage to your body and mind that far out ballance any need for them.

    This is all we need is a society that will grow in leaps and bounds that have their reaction time behind a steering wheel slowed down.

    Hey man, what was that we just ran over. I don't know man but don't bogart that joint. Pass it over here.


  16. #16

    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    Don't worry the bank will not sue you!! I found this out before several times, Just tell the bank you have the pictures for the proof of your disclosure to the buyer. That's all! you will not get any answers after that. Tell them the proof is in the pudding.


  17. #17
    mitch buchanan's Avatar
    mitch buchanan Guest

    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    As far as the comment about calling the police - use your own judgement. True story from last year. I'm about to inspect a vacant home - the Realtor tells me there was a double homicide in there, since cleaned up. Turns out the father was molesting the daughter, the police found out and before "Dad" was arrested, he killed the girl and himself. Pretty creepy and sad, but I performed my normal inspection.
    As I entered the attic, I saw a plastic bag with a handgun inside (I didn't touch it). I told the Realtor and she called our local police agency that handled the case. The detective in charge said the case was closed, he didn't want to come and take/look at the gun - "Do what you want with it". I told the Realtor to let the buyer know about the gun, I didn't want to disturb it. I was quite surprised that the police didn't have an interest in it! I felt I did what was needed in this instance - notify the police, Realtor and the buyer (don't know if the buyer kept the gun).


  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    No. San Diego Co., CA
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    562

    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    The Detective's alleged response is totally unprofessional and inappropriate. At the very least he should have arranged for the gun to be collected and transferred to the police dept. for safe-keeping and/or further examination. His inaction, laziness and neglect of duty should have been reported to a Supervisor. Leaving the weapon there for the new owner to deal with is also irresponsible, IMO.

    ip


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    You know. This whole "medical marijuana" thing is so much bull. They have THC tablets that do the same thing as medical marijuana and many other drugs folks can already buy that will work just as well as smoking dope. There is no need for the scam of medical marijuana. This is the biggest and most complex lie that has been devised to substantiate the need to be able to grow pot and open stores that just sell it alone and it pipes and papers and ignorance.

    It may be different things about smoking cigarettes and pot but they both do more damage to your body and mind that far out ballance any need for them.

    This is all we need is a society that will grow in leaps and bounds that have their reaction time behind a steering wheel slowed down.

    Hey man, what was that we just ran over. I don't know man but don't bogart that joint. Pass it over here.
    Its a money deal. If it's legal it can be taxed. Regardless if it's unhealthy people will continue to use it legal or not. Same with alcohol. Society should have learned for probition. I say legalize it all, tax it heavily and reduce the taxes I have to pay.

    Galen L. Beasley
    Inspections Supervisor
    Housing Authority of Kansas City MO

  20. #20
    Ken Bates's Avatar
    Ken Bates Guest

    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    Scott Patterson's reply (the first one) seems to be the most practical and appropriate.

    I recall a time when I poked my head above the bedroom closet attic hatch and saw only one object in the attic space.

    It was a small childs purse less than 2 feet from the hatch.

    When I opened it I found dry vegetation that resembled oregano.

    The Angel above my shoulder said put it back.

    The Devil above the other said "take it---is the seller going to report a theft of attic oregano?"

    So later, I told my client to look for a possible surprise in the attic.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Hester View Post
    Funny,
    I have seen some of the same before. I don't know about the call the police issue here. If it is one light why waste their time.

    As for meth lab you most likely smell ammonia. And the process permeates the home.

    Here are some other signs. I was a HazMat Tech and did a lot of training using meth labs as a scenario, one of the major repsonses for HazMat teams in most metro areas-

    Meth lab signs
    Yellow discoloration on walls, drains, sinks and showers
    Blue discoloration on valves of propane tanks and fire extinguishers
    Fire detectors that are removed or taped off
    Experiencing physical symptoms while inside the house, such as burning in your eyes or throat, itching, a metallic taste in your mouth and breathing problems
    Unusual strong odors that smell like materials from a garage, such as solvent and paint thinner, cat urine or ammonia
    The use of security cameras and surveillance equipment


    Signs that property owners should look for with their homes and tenants:
    Tenants who behave oddly and are extremely thin, have open sores, bad teeth or dilated pupils
    Large amounts of trash with items such as lithium batteries, torn-apart matchbooks, water bottles, cold medicine packs and antifreeze containers
    Discolored coffee filters that are not brown
    Plexiglas or other dark-colored cookware
    Glass containers with two layered liquids and chemistry sets
    That's an OK list. Thanks for the mini course!

    One time, there was an old sheet with some dried bunk on it in the attic, along with a couple of boxes of paper. I told the buyer and his agent the tenants had left some of their junk in the attic and the seller should clean it up. Different story if there's moisture damage or other.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  22. #22
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    St. George, UT
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    217

    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    No seed, but it smelled. Buyer asked if they should get a meth test and I said not a bad idea. So now the bank want to sue me.
    I see nothing wrong with what you told the buyer, (assuming the buyer is whom hired you, not the bank) your contract is between you and the buyer only. Your Job is to report what you see and advice the buyer. The bank has no dog in this fight and could actually be in trouble for stepping between you and your client.

    To see evidence of drug production of any kind and then as you did report it, and then have your client ask you if they should get it tested for meth??? I shur would not tell them, heck no, nothing to worry about.

    I noticed you are in Park City, I know of your Police Chief, he was the Chief of Ivins (UT) before going to Park City, good man.


  23. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    New Mexico
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    6

    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    Over the years I have run across several tenant installed "grow areas". One was a hidden room in a partial basement/crawlspace where they had actually built in a hidden room (narrow walkway with crawl in door) completely lined in reflective foil, grow lights, and watering system installed. Started wondering about the "missing" footage between upstairs living area, basement, and crawlspace. 10' x 15'. Walkway was hidden by lumber stacked in front of walkway access. Another home had 2 planters in one of the attics-they were about 3' x 2' x5' with light fixtures hanging above them off the rafters. Disclosed info to buyers, not sure what they did.

    Have also looked at several homes in the area with "legal" medical grow rooms. Just took photos and made sure they complied with the states requirements. Seperate rooms, secured locked doors.


  24. #24
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    Apr 2009
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    Melbourne, FL
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    180

    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    I have seen this situation several times; best thing to do is inform the buyer, that is you primary responsibility. Secondly if you deem the condition in fact has an adverse effect on the property you are obligated to inform the owner of the condition. This a judgment call on your part. Seem that just a light dose't warrant getting the owner involved; but if there were plants growing or associated damage them the latter would apply. Minimally you need to recommend removal of the fixture and correction to any remaining issues.


  25. #25
    Rob Yarboro's Avatar
    Rob Yarboro Guest

    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Page View Post
    The Detective's alleged response is totally unprofessional and inappropriate. At the very least he should have arranged for the gun to be collected and transferred to the police dept. for safe-keeping and/or further examination. His inaction, laziness and neglect of duty should have been reported to a Supervisor. Leaving the weapon there for the new owner to deal with is also irresponsible, IMO.

    ip
    Guns are perfectly legal to own on Kentucky and most other states, but maybe not in California. If you saw a bear trap in the attic would you freak out and call the police? It was a gun, a gun at rest is harmless......just like a baseball bat, 2x4, or a pillow is harmless, until one wants to use it to harm another.


  26. #26
    Rob Yarboro's Avatar
    Rob Yarboro Guest

    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    ....BTW, I'll take the gun if no one else wants it.


  27. #27
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Tyler, TX
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    719

    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    No seed, but it smelled. Buyer asked if they should get a meth test and I said not a bad idea. So now the bank want to sue me.
    I am a legal fraidy cat, but I think I would have to let the bank sue me or threaten me to do their worse. What could they possibly gain by suing me for an opinion asked of by my client. My goodness!!!

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  28. #28
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    May 2010
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    No. San Diego Co., CA
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    Default Re: Interesting equipement in attic

    Rob
    This is not a case of gun ownership legality, illegality or even where it was located. The primary issue is that significant crimes occurred (I consider child molestation, murder/suicide significant) directly involving the occupants of the home. Even though the discovered weapon was not allegedly involved, clearly there was (should have been) an exhaustive police investigation surrounding the occupants and the crimes. For that reason alone and absent a true and/or identified owner (perhaps the weapon was used in other crimes by the now deceased Dad) the detective should have, (a) taken posession of the gun (b) had it examined for evidence of related crimes (c) held it until a rightful owner came forward to claim it (d) Return it to any person having claim over the property under court order.

    It's really just a case of following procedures. IMO the Detective's failure to do so, is both negligent and irresponsible.

    If the occupant of the home I was inspecting was a suspected murderer and I discovered possible evidence in the attic, you betcha I'd notify the investigating authorities, baseball bat, pillow or anything else, even a bear trap.


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