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  1. #1
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    Default Inspectors' duties

    As an AC contractor, I was asked to verify that the home inspector was diligent in examining an HVAC system.

    It was noted that the AC condensing unit does not match the evaporator, size wise. The Realtor claims the home inspector should have noted it as a problem.

    I claim the home inspector is not trained in that but only should give a visual inspection of rusty or dirty equipment or wrong installation. His only duty is to report the equipment drops the temperature by so many degrees.

    There are many reasons that the evaporator and the cond. unit would not be intentionally matched that the inspector would not know why.

    What is the home inspector expected to know?

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  2. #2
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Inspectors' duties

    Quote Originally Posted by timjimbob View Post
    As an AC contractor, I was asked to verify that the home inspector was diligent in examining an HVAC system.

    It was noted that the AC condensing unit does not match the evaporator, size wise. The Realtor claims the home inspector should have noted it as a problem.

    I claim the home inspector is not trained in that but only should give a visual inspection of rusty or dirty equipment or wrong installation. His only duty is to report the equipment drops the temperature by so many degrees.

    There are many reasons that the evaporator and the cond. unit would not be intentionally matched that the inspector would not know why.

    What is the home inspector expected to know?
    Well, here is the technical end of things but it is not the limit of what an inspector can inspect or report on. If there is not tag on the outside of the evaporator cabinet then it is impossible to tell the size unless the cabinet is opened and 99.9% of all inspectors will not break the seal that is usual sealing the cabinet from air leaks. If there is a tag on the exterior of the evaporator coil cabinet and , for example, it is a 3 ton and the outside unit is a 4 ton then of course we are going to mention it and to have an HVAC company verify the reasoning behind this and then we stop there. In short, we find possible concerns and then hand it off to the pro for that system for further eval but don't say that to some inspectors because they truly believe that what they say is gold and you should just fix it and would not have to do your own evaluation. They know it needs further eval but would not use those words Anyway below is what we have to do. Beyond that just about anything goes short of punching holes (some inspectors actually do a wet/dry bulb test)

    535.230. Standards of Practice: Minimum Inspection Requirements for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Systems

    (a) Heating equipment. The inspector shall:

    (1) report:

    (A) the type of heating system(s); and

    (B) the energy source(s);

    (2) report as Deficient:

    (A) an inoperative unit;

    (B) deficiencies in the controls and operating components of the system;

    (C) the lack of protection from physical damage;

    (D) burners, burner ignition devices or heating elements, switches, and thermostats that are not a minimum of 18 inches above the lowest garage floor elevation, unless the unit is listed for garage floor installation;

    (E) inappropriate location;

    (F) inadequate access and clearances;

    (G) deficiencies in mounting and operation of window units; and

    (H) deficiencies in thermostats;

    (3) in electric units, report as Deficient deficiencies in:

    (A) operation of heating elements; and

    (B) condition of conductors; and

    (4) in gas units, report as Deficient:

    (A) gas leaks;

    (B) the presence of forced air in the burner compartment;

    (C) flame impingement, uplifting flame, improper flame color, or excessive scale buildup;

    (D) the lack of a gas shut-off valve; and

    (E) deficiencies in:

    (i) conditioned, combustion, and dilution air;

    (ii) gas shut-off valves and locations;

    (iii) gas connector materials and connections; and

    (iv) the vent pipe, draft hood, draft, proximity to combustibles, and vent termination point and clearances.

    (b) Cooling equipment other than evaporative coolers. The inspector shall:

    (1) report the type of system(s); and

    (2) report as Deficient:

    (A) inoperative unit(s);

    (B) inadequate cooling as demonstrated by its performance in the reasonable judgment of the inspector;

    (C) inadequate access and clearances;

    (D) noticeable vibration of the blower fan or condensing fan;

    (E) deficiencies in the condensate drain and auxiliary/secondary pan and drain system;

    (F) water in the auxiliary/secondary drain pan;

    (G) a primary drain pipe that terminates in a sewer vent;

    (H) missing or deficient refrigerant pipe insulation;

    (I) dirty evaporator or condensing coils, where accessible;

    (J) damaged casings on the coils;

    (K) a condensing unit lacking adequate clearances or air circulation or that has deficiencies in the condition of fins, location, levelness, or elevation above ground surfaces;

    (L) deficiencies in mounting and operation of window or wall units; and

    (M) deficiencies in thermostats.

    (c) Evaporative coolers. The inspector shall:

    (1) report:

    (A) type of system(s) (one- or two-speed);

    (B) the type of water supply line; and

    (C) winterized units that are drained and shut down; and

    (2) report as Deficient:

    (A) inoperative units;

    (B) inadequate access and clearances;

    (C) corrosive and mineral build-up or rust damage/decay at the pump, louvered panels, water trays, exterior housing, or the roof frame;

    (D) less than a one-inch air gap between the water discharge at the float and water level in the reservoir;

    (E) corrosion, decay, or rust on the pulleys of the motor or blower;

    (F) the lack of a damper; and

    (G) deficiencies in the:

    (i) function of the pump;

    (ii) interior housing, the spider tubes, tube clips, bleeder system;

    (iii) blower and bearings;

    (iv) float bracket;

    (v) fan belt;

    (vi) evaporative pad(s);

    (vii) installation and condition of the legs on the roof rails and fasteners to the roof structure and the unit;

    (viii) roof jack; and

    (ix) thermostats.

    (d) Duct system, chases, and vents. The inspector shall report as Deficient:

    (1) damaged ducting or insulation, improper material, or improper routing of ducts;

    (2) the absence of air flow at accessible supply registers in the habitable areas of the structure;

    (3) improper or inadequate clearance from the earth; and

    (4) deficiencies in:

    (A) duct fans;

    (B) filters;

    (C) grills or registers;

    (D) the location of return air openings; and

    (E) gas piping, sewer vents, electrical wiring, or junction boxes in the duct system, plenum(s), and chase(s).

    (e) Specific limitations for the heating equipment, cooling equipment, duct system, chases, and vents. The inspector is not required to:

    (1) program digital thermostats or controls;

    (2) inspect:

    (A) for pressure of the system refrigerant, type of refrigerant, or refrigerant leaks;

    (B) winterized evaporative coolers; or

    (C) humidifiers, dehumidifiers, air purifiers, motorized dampers, electronic air filters, multi-stage controllers, sequencers, heat reclaimers, wood burning stoves, boilers, oil-fired units, supplemental heating appliances, de-icing provisions, or reversing valves;

    (3) operate:

    (A) setback features on thermostats or controls;

    (B) cooling equipment when the outdoor temperature is less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit;

    (C) radiant heaters, steam heat systems, or unvented gas-fired heating appliances; or

    (D) heat pumps when temperatures may damage equipment;

    (4) verify:

    (A) compatibility of components;

    (B) the accuracy of thermostats; or

    (C) the integrity of the heat exchanger; or

    (5) determine:

    (A) sizing, efficiency, or adequacy of the system;

    (B) uniformity of the supply of conditioned air to the various parts of the structure; or

    (C) types of materials contained in insulation.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,777

    Default Re: Inspectors' duties

    Timjimbob,
    This sounds like a post form Christopher Smith who was asking about HVAC problems and who was to blame.

    http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...ame-right.html

    Teds response is great since it Texas specific.

    Be careful of how you respond as not to get in the middle of a legal dispute.
    The Realtor and the Home Owner should be looking at the state requirements to develop an opinion not using you as the definitive answer.

    Last edited by Garry Sorrells; 08-01-2011 at 09:02 AM. Reason: Additional information

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    dallas
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Inspectors' duties

    Ted's in my neighborhood. Answer fits.


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