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  1. #1
    Jon Randolph's Avatar
    Jon Randolph Guest

    Default Should I turn the water on??????

    I'm sure that this has been covered before, but if the home does not have the water turned on and the lines psi check ok, how many would turn the water on? I had a realtor that was irate because I would not turn on the water. She stated that her "usual inspector" would just go ahead and turn the water on. I know that the inspection is severely limited without the water turned on, but I don't want to be the one paying for repairs due to a plumbing leak.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Should I turn the water on??????

    No, nota, do not turn the water on
    Locate the water main, remove the cover, hand the water key to the agent, you get the idea.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Should I turn the water on??????

    Rick is right on - DO NOT turn on the water yourself. It is someone else's job to make sure the property is ready to be inspected - not yours!

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

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Should I turn the water on??????

    I agree. When a house is vacant, we always tell them the utilities MUST be on to do a full inspection. When they are NOT, we look to the buyers agent to get things going.

    They will usually contact the listing agent and ask them if it is OK to turn on the water. I then go thru the house and make sure all the faucets are off (including laundry and hose bibs) then give it a try.

    We may still have a leak, but I'm not the one that took responsibility for it.

    There have been many time the listing agent has to send someone out to winterize the house again when I'm done. But, that's not MY problem.

    If the buyer's agent isn't there, I try to call the listing agent. If I don't get permission, I don't turn it on.
    JF


  5. #5
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I turn the water on??????

    Ditto Jack's post.

    Rich


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Should I turn the water on??????

    IMO, absolutely not.

    Even if you turn the water back off in the presence of witnesses, you may never be able to demonstrate that subsequent damage caused by events that occurred after the inspection did not happen while you had the water on.

    We all want to do the best possible job for our clients, but IMO this does not extend to putting ourselves at serious financial risk as the result of someone else's failure to do their job.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Should I turn the water on??????

    I'll join the choir! No do not turn it on.

    Then ask the Realtor why her normal inspector is not inspecting this home?

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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Should I turn the water on??????

    I have, several times, and each time I was lucky, then I realized what could happen and who would be responsible - ME! - (back then, there were not many other to learn from).

    Since then, nope, no way, not me.

    Well, ... one time I did 'lend my water meter key to an agent who insisted on turning the water on', but, then that would not have been my problem, it would have been the agents problem - 'cause *I* *told them* 'I would not turn that on, there could be a leak somewhere ... '

    Nope, they were lucky too.

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

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Should I turn the water on??????

    If it is not locked, then I will. But, it rarely happens and live in a temperate climate where it never freezes.

    Jon, I might be hesitant in your case because of the potential for breaks in the lines. Not sure.

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Should I turn the water on??????

    Not just no, but Hell no.

    I wonder how many irate Realtors whose "regular Inspectors" do whatever they want would sign this document?

    For those of you who will turn on utilities, replace all other names listed on the document (in the blanks and the text) with your own name. Still want to be the "good guy?"

    Have I ever turned on the water? Yes, but that's because every once in a while I'm really stupid. I have never turned on gas shut off anywhere and I've never reset a meter for an inspection.

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  11. #11
    Jon Randolph's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I turn the water on??????

    Thanks for all of the replies. Most of this is along the lines of my thinking. I don't want the liability to be on myself. Thom, thanks for that form, I will use it in the future prior to even making the meter/main valve accessible to the client and/or realtor.


  12. #12
    K Robertson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I turn the water on??????

    Had an agent do this to me last week, seems to happen about once or twice a month. She demanded I refund 1/2 my fees since I was only performing 1/2 the inspection. I told her to give 1/2 of her 3% back to the client since she didn't do her job and make sure the water was on!

    Sort of funny on that one because about an hour into the inspection, the TXU shut off the electric due to non-payment and refused to give me another couple of hours to complete the inspection.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Should I turn the water on??????

    Thom,

    How many of those Utilities release forms do you have actually signed?

    Not many Realturds have signed those I'd be willing to bet.


  14. #14
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: Should I turn the water on??????

    Quote Originally Posted by K Robertson View Post
    Had an agent do this to me last week, seems to happen about once or twice a month. She demanded I refund 1/2 my fees since I was only performing 1/2 the inspection. I told her to give 1/2 of her 3% back to the client since she didn't do her job and make sure the water was on!

    Sort of funny on that one because about an hour into the inspection, the TXU shut off the electric due to non-payment and refused to give me another couple of hours to complete the inspection.

    How the hell can a realtor (even think they can) demand anything... they (the realtors) have absolutely nothing to say to the client but, "Sorry I didn't do my job!"

    From the TREC Sales contract-- as follows:7. PROPERTY CONDITION:A. ACCESS, INSPECTIONS AND UTILITIES:Seller shall permit Buyer and Buyer's agent access to the property at reasonable times. Buyer may have the property inspected by inspectors selected by Buyer and licensed by TREC or otherwise permitted by law to make inspections. Seller at Seller's expense shall turn on existing utilities for inspections.

    It is not our responisibility to adhere to the sales contract. It is the buyers and the sellers who have to do their respective jobs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Richard


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Should I turn the water on??????

    Too many real estate agents forget that their job is more than riding clients around, opening doors, showing houses and collecting a big fat check. They are AGENTS too.

    agent - one who acts for and in the best interest of another

    Part of acting in the best interest of a client is making sure the house is ready for an inspection.

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Should I turn the water on??????

    Rick,
    You're kidding, right? The value of the form is that they can have no other response than to refuse to sign. But it becomes clear as a bell why I won't do what "their regular guy" does.

    They could have God sign it and I wouldn't turn on utilities.

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

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Should I turn the water on??????

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Rushing View Post
    Seller at Seller's expense shall turn on existing utilities for inspections.
    Very poor language.

    Ummmm ... if they are 'not already on', then they are not 'existing' are they, and, if they are 'existing', then they are already on.



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

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Should I turn the water on??????

    Had a case back in 2002 wherein an inspector turned on the water service at a new home due to RE agent pressure. Agent left and after inspector completed roof inspection found a rather serious stream of water exiting beneath the garage overhead door. It turned out the plumbing contractor had not yet hooked up the toilets and all of the supply valves where left open. Big bucks where involved in repairing the water damage and the Realtor stated, “Not my fault, I wasn’t even there when that stupid inspector turned on the water.”
    Moral: never – never - ever turn on nothing that’s off !
    PS: I liked K. Robertson’s reply to that dummy agent.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  19. #19
    Mike Huppi's Avatar
    Mike Huppi Guest

    Default Re: Should I turn the water on??????

    Not me either

    Just today the hot water dispenser under the sink was not plugged in. I told the client that I can not plug it in because I dont know why it was unplugged and there must be a reason for it and I will not take the liability. He asked if he could and I told him go ahead if he wants to but not me.

    He plugged it in and turned the water on with his finger under it and turned to me and said that it was not getting hot. I told him he better turn it off and grab a towel or rags because the water was flowing out of the bottom of the cabinet.

    I quit carrying a wrench because I dont want to flood a home.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Should I turn the water on??????

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Very poor language.

    Ummmm ... if they are 'not already on', then they are not 'existing' are they, and, if they are 'existing', then they are already on.

    In all your spare time read our section of the Real Estate Act. By lawyers, for lawyers. Are lawyers even required to take English courses? Never mind, I forgot. If you say something clearly enough, it's hard to use it for your own purposes later.

    http://www.trec.state.tx.us/pdf/rela/RELA_Sept_2005.pdf

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

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