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  1. #1
    Richard Claveau's Avatar
    Richard Claveau Guest

    Default Winter lawn sprinker inspector

    Hello to you all. Winter is ascending on us in the north... brrrrr. Anyhoo, what is the best way to conduct a check of a sprinkler system with a foot of snow on the ground? Is there anything I can check or do I simply tell the homeowners a thorough inspection can't be conducted other then an inventory of the installed components I have access to. If there are problems in the spring can they fall back on the disclosure statement with any success? Thanks so much, looking forward to a response. Rick

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Rockwall Texas

    Default Re: Winter lawn sprinker inspector

    Personally, if I lived in an area that had a foot of snow I wouldn't be inspecting the sprinkler system at all. I would have to note it as "Not Inspected" on my report.

    How can one inspect something that is not fully accessible? Too much risk in doing so.

    As far as going back on the sellers disclosure months after closing; just not much luck even trying to pursue it as so many things could have happened and changed to the system since the disclosure was orginally written.

    I have a client right now that is trying to go back onto the seller for supposedly having tree roots in a sewer system that they have found now after being in the house for 7 months. Did I see them? No! How was I to see them? It is in my contract agreement that the condition of the drain lines below the soil is not inspected and beyond the scope of my inspection. Can't see them, not inspected.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN

    Default Re: Winter lawn sprinker inspector

    This is when your common sense should kick-in. As with anything you are inspecting during an inspection, if you can't see it you say so and disclaim it. If you can't see it you can inspect it. We all do this don't we!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN

  4. #4
    Evan Grugett's Avatar
    Evan Grugett Guest

    Default Re: Winter lawn sprinker inspector

    Here in the North East, I add a separate page in my inspection report for "Winter Season Limitations on Inspections". This page goes in right about now (late October) and generally comes out at the spring thaw in April. If you are supposed to inspect a component or system by the SOP of your State regulation, or your professional society (ASHI, NAHI, etc..) and you can't, or are limited, you have to tell the client why. That should absolve you of any problem later.

    I also include the limitations in the section where I directly report on the system or component. The list includes: Snow cover on roof, grounds, decks, etc...; Air conditioniong condensers in ambient temperatures below 60 degrees; lawn sprinklers and swimming pools that are closed; the inactivity of wood destroying insects; and hose bibbs that are shut down.

    A "functional check" of a lawn sprinkler system is beyond the scope of a Home Inspection. However, I am warning the clients at this time of the year to verify that the lawn sprinklers will be properly drained and winterized so that the underground piping doesn't freeze and break. Seeing the supply valve to the irrigation turned off doesn't mean that the water was evacuated from the piping underground (you can't see that). We also always check to see if the Code required backflow preventers and check valves have been installed on the sprinkler take off from the potable water supply system. It is very common in these parts not to see these protective devices installed since many of these systems were retrofitted into existing houses. When the lawn sprinkler is installed when the house is built, the check valves and backflow preventers are generally there.


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