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  1. #1
    Jeff Beck's Avatar
    Jeff Beck Guest

    Default For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    Inspectors in the City of Chicago,

    My daughter and son in law just put in an offer on a house (new construction) in the city.

    I saw it for the first time today and noticed that the sump pump is connected to the sanitary sewer main.

    This doesn't seem correct to me. I do mostly suburban inspections and am accustomed to seeing the sump pump on a separate line to the outside.

    Both the sump line and the ejector pit line did have check valves.

    Anyone have any comments or know if this is correct?

    Jeff Beck
    Foresight Home Inspection LLC

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  2. #2
    Brandon Chew's Avatar
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    Default Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    This configuration is something you will find in a lot of old cities throughout the country. At one time it was thought to be good practice to do it that way. Those times have passed. As water pollution control laws have become more stringent during the past 40 or so years, the capacity of municipal wastewater treatment systems has become more valuable to the communities that pay for building and operating them. The "clean" discharge from the sump pump unnecessarily uses some of that valuable system capacity.

    Many municipalities no longer allow the sump pump to be connected to the sewer system, however, there are places which still do allow it. Some municipalities not only ban this practice for new construction, but have programs where they actively search for connections in existing homes (by doing things like smoke testing) and, if found, require the sump pump plumbing to be re-routed at the homeowner's expense.

    A phone call to the AHJ or the municipal sewer department should give you the answer you need.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    Hi Jeff,

    Sump pumps drain into the sewer in Chicago. Skokie does the same thing.

    Corey Fiedman


  4. #4
    Jeff Beck's Avatar
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    Default Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    Thanks for the replies Brandon and Corey,

    Chicago building codes seem to march to a slightly different drum beat.

    In Chicago, State licensed Home Inspectors observe plumbing but don't inspect it.

    His honah, dah mayor would be proud!

    Jeff


  5. #5
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    Default Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    I had a seller call me a couple of years ago. He asked (demanded to know) if I was a licensed plumber - I said no. He then asked (demanded) me to rewrite the report and retract all the comments regarding the plumbing system. I said no.

    He then proceeded to go into the screaming and threatening lawsuit etc phase of the conversation before he hung up. He never did tell me his name or what property it was for. I would have liked to have gotten more info from the buyer and asked what was going on. I tend to think it must have been related to the "inspect" / "observe" guidelines.

    Why I can't please everyone is beyond me!

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  6. #6
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    Default Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    the "inspect" / "observe" guidelines.
    Why, you are not "inspecting" it, you are "observing" the leaks, poor joinery, sloppy supports and lavatories falling off the wall.



    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    Not allowed in Chicago anymore , but Goggle Deep Tunnel project.


  8. #8
    Wm. G. Barrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    I had a seller call me a couple of years ago. He asked (demanded to know) if I was a licensed plumber - I said no. He then asked (demanded) me to rewrite the report and retract all the comments regarding the plumbing system. I said no.

    He then proceeded to go into the screaming and threatening lawsuit etc phase of the conversation before he hung up. He never did tell me his name or what property it was for. I would have liked to have gotten more info from the buyer and asked what was going on. I tend to think it must have been related to the "inspect" / "observe" guidelines.

    Why I can't please everyone is beyond me!
    Hi, been lurking for sometime, first post.
    In Illinois you can inspect plumbing only if you are a licensed plumber.
    Here is the code, and law that gives it authority.

    PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS
    (225 ILCS 320/) Illinois Plumbing License Law.




    TITLE 77: PUBLIC HEALTH
    CHAPTER I: DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH
    SUBCHAPTER r: WATER AND SEWAGE
    PART 890 ILLINOIS PLUMBING CODE

    SECTION 890.120 DEFINITIONS

    "Plumbing Inspector": An employee or agent of State or local government who holds a valid Illinois Plumbing License and is authorized to inspect plumbing.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    Quote Originally Posted by Wm. G. Barrett View Post
    In Illinois you can inspect plumbing only if you are a licensed plumber.
    Your post below does not say what you just said above.

    Here is the code, and law that gives it authority.

    PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS
    (225 ILCS 320/) Illinois Plumbing License Law.

    TITLE 77: PUBLIC HEALTH
    CHAPTER I: DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH
    SUBCHAPTER r: WATER AND SEWAGE
    PART 890 ILLINOIS PLUMBING CODE

    SECTION 890.120 DEFINITIONS

    "Plumbing Inspector": An employee or agent of State or local government who holds a valid Illinois Plumbing License and is authorized to inspect plumbing.
    You just "defined" "plumbing inspector", and *part of* that definition says "and is authorized to inspect plumbing", presumably by the State or local government they are working for, however, nothing in there states that no one else may *NOT* inspect plumbing for reasons other than code.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 11-10-2007 at 12:21 PM. Reason: getting my mind back on track
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    Plumbers and roofers are the only two licensed trades in Illinois but this does not prevent others from inspecting it.
    One only needs to look at the SOP for home inspection and go from there to make that determination.


  11. #11
    Wm. G. Barrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    OK try this.

    (225 ILCS 320/1) (from Ch. 111, par. 1101)
    Sec. 1. Purpose. It has been established by scientific evidence that improper plumbing can result in the introduction of pathogenic organisms into the potable water supply, result in the escape of toxic gases into the environment, and result in potentially lethal disease and epidemic. It is further found that minimum numbers of plumbing facilities and fixtures are necessary for the comfort and convenience of workers and persons in public places.
    Consistent with its duty to safeguard the health of the people of this State, the General Assembly therefore declares that the regulation of plumbing and the plumbing trade is necessary for the protection of the public health, convenience, and welfare. The General Assembly therefore declares that individuals who plan, inspect, install, alter, extend, repair and maintain plumbing systems shall be individuals of proven skill. Further, the General Assembly declares that a guide for the minimum control and number of plumbing materials and fixtures, the design of plumbing systems, and the construction and installation methods of plumbing systems is essential for the protection of public health and convenience. In order to insure plumbing skill and to authoritatively establish what shall be good plumbing practice, this Act provides for the licensing of plumbers and registration of plumbing contractors and for the promulgation of a Minimum Plumbing Code of standards by the Department. This Act is therefore declared to be essential to the public interest.


  12. #12
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    Illinois requires license for HI?
    What is Illinois HI SOP for plumbing?
    Definition of observe? Inspect?


  13. #13
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    Default Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    Quote Originally Posted by Wm. G. Barrett View Post
    OK try this.

    (225 ILCS 320/1) (from Ch. 111, par. 1101)
    Sec. 1. Purpose. It has been established by scientific evidence that improper plumbing can result in the introduction of pathogenic organisms into the potable water supply, result in the escape of toxic gases into the environment, and result in potentially lethal disease and epidemic. It is further found that minimum numbers of plumbing facilities and fixtures are necessary for the comfort and convenience of workers and persons in public places.
    Consistent with its duty to safeguard the health of the people of this State, the General Assembly therefore declares that the regulation of plumbing and the plumbing trade is necessary for the protection of the public health, convenience, and welfare. The General Assembly therefore declares that individuals who plan, inspect, install, alter, extend, repair and maintain plumbing systems shall be individuals of proven skill. Further, the General Assembly declares that a guide for the minimum control and number of plumbing materials and fixtures, the design of plumbing systems, and the construction and installation methods of plumbing systems is essential for the protection of public health and convenience. In order to insure plumbing skill and to authoritatively establish what shall be good plumbing practice, this Act provides for the licensing of plumbers and registration of plumbing contractors and for the promulgation of a Minimum Plumbing Code of standards by the Department. This Act is therefore declared to be essential to the public interest.
    Nope.

    Home inspectors do not "The General Assembly therefore declares that individuals who plan, inspect, install, alter, extend, repair and maintain plumbing systems shall be individuals of proven skill."

    Now, as to the last part I did not bold and underline in the above "inspect", now is when you go to your definition for "Plumbing Inspector", and then to my response to it.

    Nothing in anything you have presented so far says, or even implies, that no one other than a "Plumbing Inspector" is allowed to "inspect" "plumbing systems".

    Now, if you were to redefine the scope of your statement down to 'inspect plumbing systems as a plumbing code inspector for a "State or local government" as regards to inspecting to, and enforcement of, plumbing codes for approval' ... even then, though, nothing in there say that *only* a "plumbing inspector" (as defined) is allowed to do that. Of course, though, the reality is that no "State or local government" will authorize a person "to inspect plumbing" unless they also are a person "who holds a valid Illinois Plumbing License".

    Which all means that you, as a home inspector, are not prohibited from inspecting plumbing systems acting as a home inspector. Or, for that matter, acting as anyone or anything - nothing in there prohibits you from inspecting plumbing systems - I just doubt that anyone would allow you (i.e., 'hire you') to sign off on a permit or inspection card stating that the work was, or was not, to code.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    Only licensed plumbers INSPECT plumbing systems.
    Licensed home inspectors OBSERVE plumbing systems.

    Now you can argue till the cows come in but it is the law in our state. No where in the state regulations does it say home inspectors are to "inspect" plumbing systems - period! It's all in the terminology.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

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    Default Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    Only licensed plumbers INSPECT plumbing systems.
    Licensed home inspectors OBSERVE plumbing systems.

    Now you can argue till the cows come in but it is the law in our state. No where in the state regulations does it say home inspectors are to "inspect" plumbing systems - period! It's all in the terminology.
    "It's all in the terminology."

    Absolutely correct, and *nothing* in the terminology which has been posted "prohibits" a home inspector from "inspecting" "plumbing systems".

    Get that terminology? Nothing "prohibits" - period!

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    Jerry,

    As I recall, you do not live in Illinois and I expect are not well versed in the regulations that we operate under in this state. Therefore I see no reason why you try to contradict what we know to be accurate. I can assure you that I know the law for Illinois inspectors and it seems to me that Wm Barrett is well informed as well.

    I understand that you are well regarded as a wealth of information but you have mis-stepped here and ventured into an issue that you are not familiar with. Any continued effort will be counter-productive and considering the topic of whether we inspect or observe, it ain't worth the time.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  17. #17
    Wm. G. Barrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    Thanks Eric!


  18. #18
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    Default Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    OK, just so that I understand;

    Can a home inspector in IL, look at the dang pipes in a home and report what he is seeing and what should be done to take care of the problem?

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

  19. #19
    matt fletcher's Avatar
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    Smile Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    I observe assholes.

    I do not inspect them!

    I think the guys who live and work in IL probably know what they are doing and don't need any advice from non-lawyers in other states who spend too much time reading code books.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    Scott,

    We are to "observe" the plumbing and comment and what we see. "Inspecting" the plumbing is the realm of the licensed plumbers and they make the determination of what correction is necessary.

    Initially, the law was written that H.I.s inspected plumbing. But then someone pointed out that licensed plumbers were to ones to do that according to their law. So the H.I. law was changed to say we can only observe. Now I doubt there's anyone who could really tell you what the difference is, but it's "there."

    It's just a funny little quirk that we have and not one that I think creates much problem for us.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  21. #21
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    Default Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    Quote Originally Posted by matt fletcher View Post
    I observe assholes.

    I do not inspect them!

    I think the guys who live and work in IL probably know what they are doing and don't need any advice from non-lawyers in other states who spend too much time reading code books.
    Matt,

    If you would complete you profile we would know what area you are from. All constructive
    comments are welcome. Are you an Attorney,Inspector or just an observer of life?

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  22. #22
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    Oh! Oh!

    "I observe assholes.
    I do not inspect them!
    I think the guys who live and work in IL probably know what they are doing and don't need any advice from non-lawyers in other states who spend too much time reading code books."


    Starting on Monday (11/5/07) an infraction will be given to any individual who's post (posted on or after 11/5/07) has been reported to me by another member (that person will remain anonymous) and in my opinion has violated the "Defamatory, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, and/or threatening" portion of the message board rules.


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    Default Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    Quote Originally Posted by matt fletcher View Post
    I observe assholes.

    I do not inspect them!

    I think the guys who live and work in IL probably know what they are doing and don't need any advice from non-lawyers in other states who spend too much time reading code books.
    Just so Matt does not delete his post thinking it will go away.

    Eric, William,

    Just in case reading is a problem, here is part of my other post:

    "Nothing in anything you have presented so far says, or even implies, that no one other than a "Plumbing Inspector" is allowed to "inspect" "plumbing systems"."

    That still stands.

    Regardless of where a person is from, reading is a skill, and what is written can be read by anyone anywhere with the ability to read.

    Reading has NOTHING to do with living in IL or Chicago, or, if people who live there have a problem reading, then maybe it does ... I dunno, you tell me ...

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

  24. #24
    Bruce Lunsford's Avatar
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    Default Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    I gotta go with Jerry on this one, and I think his point is valid. It also makes me look forward to the bliss that licensing is going to bring to Florida. I just soooo look forward to licensing solving all of our problems.....

    On another note Jerry, the same is true with the Florida law that supposedly bans HI's from "inspecting" septic systems. No where in the law does it actually say we cannot test septic systems. I actually read all 137 (or so) pages of the law. Buried in it are 2 or 3 pages that pertain to septic inspections. What the law actually says is you have to be a licensed plumber, etc. to pump a tank and inspect the tank.

    It further goes on to say other methods can be used.

    No where in the law does it say dye tests, finger probing, etc. cannot be used.

    Once again - licensing is the saviour of us all!


  25. #25
    matt fletcher's Avatar
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    Default Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    As a practicing builder, NAHI certified inspector, ASHI member, state certified construction teacher, and having completed 3 college degrees, I don't think it matters what the %$# it says it the code book. If the local authorities say it is so, then it is so, unless you want to find yourself in a world of hurt next time you pull a permit.

    As for using the term "*******" on this board...is it my understanding that the word is offensive, or calling someone "*******" is offensive? I find it hard to believe that grown men in the construction industry are offended by the word "*******"

    I called no one an *******! I simply used the term in a generic sense!

    On actual (not virtual) construction sites, we use the term "*******" quite often without offending anyone...but, find actual assholes (people who are difficult) to be offensive. That is the difference between the real world (where I live) and the virtual world where other people seem to live.

    On the ASHI and NAHI chat boards they ban assholes. Just for the record, I have not been banned.

    AS I said, the inspectors who live and work in IL know more than the people who do not and debating the law in IL is akin to beating a dead horse. But that appears to be a DAILY hobby for some who don't have any inspections or construction projects to do.

    I am sure this has fallen on deaf ears, but at least I tried.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    Standards of practice. In regards to home inspectionare set as a minimum standard.

    Definition of the word inspect; under the SOP is to visually examine a readily accessible system and component of a building in accordance with these standards of practice using normal operating controls and opening a readily accessible access panels.

    Observed ;is not defined.

    My personal opinion is they use the word observed, rather than inspected due to the fact you should not be operating things such as a shutoff valves during the inspection.
    Once again, let me state the standards are a minimum set by the state of Illinois.

    So please let's not mince words. No inspector reading this thread in his right mind is going to stop inspecting plumbing. Based on a few posts in inspection news.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    Gentlemen,

    As both sides of this Very Important Issue is free to their own interpretation's shall we move on to more educational and informative topics?

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  28. #28
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    Post Re: For Chicago IL Home Inspectors

    As to the original question, it is unlikely that the sump pump draining into the waste water system is a problem. As for the semantics:

    Roget's New Millenniumô Thesaurus - Cite This Source - Share This
    Main Entry: observe
    Part of Speech: verb 1
    Definition: notice
    Synonyms: beam, behold, catch, contemplate, detect, dig, discern, discover, distinguish, eagle-eye*, espy, examine, eyeball*, flash*, flash on, inspect, lamp*, look at, make out*, mark, mind, monitor, note, perceive, read, recognize, regard, scrutinize, see, spot, spy, study, survey, take in*, view, watch, witness
    Antonyms: fail to see, overlook
    Source: Roget's New Millenniumô Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.3.1)
    Copyright © 2007 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

    If it was inspected, it was observed. If it was observed, it was inspected. If lawyers want to make a mess of things, then let them straighten things out - at their own expense.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
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