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  1. #1
    mike huntzinger's Avatar
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    Default who writes down ser #

    I finnished a moble home inspection and the buyer was asked by his insurance company about the manufacture and the ser.# and wants me to go back out to write this down, who does this from the get go or is this a odd ball instance.

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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    Quote Originally Posted by mike huntzinger View Post
    I finnished a moble home inspection and the buyer was asked by his insurance company about the manufacture and the ser.# and wants me to go back out to write this down, who does this from the get go or is this a odd ball instance.
    Where I live in BC, Canada, any mobile (or what they like to call "manufactured") home built after '74 has a registration #. It is an important # to some bureaucrats.

    You can't get a permit to move the home, for example, if it doesn't have a #.

    I imagine the Golden State, land of "The Long, Long Trailer" has similar rules.

    The sticker will be on the outside and/or on the Elec. panel.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    I always record SN's on Furnaces, Boilers, WHs and ACs, via a photograph if possible.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  4. #4
    mike huntzinger's Avatar
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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    there is no need to relocate them, just for insurace they wont insure them for some reason


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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    Quote Originally Posted by mike huntzinger View Post
    .
    I finnished a moble home inspection and the buyer was asked by his insurance company about the manufacture and the ser.# and wants me to go back out to write this down, who does this from the get go or is this a odd ball instance.
    .
    Mike,

    I take a picture of Appliance Tags and such using the Macro Mode on the digital camera.

    Doing The Report I can pull up Serial Numbers form Data Plates for age and so forth.
    .
    Using your digital camera's macro mode
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    I always record SN's on Furnaces, Boilers, WHs and ACs, via a photograph if possible.

    My contract specitically states that I am not performing an inspection for the purpose of determining if a property meets the requirements to obtain insurance of any kind, and that my report may not contain all the information required by an insurance company to make such a determination.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    With a manufactured home I do take a photo of the ID/Data plate and put it in the report, it is important and required by some lenders. I learned the hard way that my clients would need a photo and or the information on the data plate.

    As for serial numbers and even the dates of appliances, HVAC, water heaters, etc., I have never copied down or put them in my reports. I have never seen the need or ever been asked to provide them. If an item looks old or it does have an older date of manufacturer, I note it is older and will need replacing soon.

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

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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    Quote Originally Posted by mike huntzinger View Post
    I finnished a moble home inspection and the buyer was asked by his insurance company about the manufacture and the ser.# and wants me to go back out to write this down, who does this from the get go or is this a odd ball instance.
    This request is getting common here. If the unit is being sold by a MH resale company or Realtor they usually have this info from the sales tax records.

    If it's a multi unit there will be a different # for each section.
    The tags are usually located on the rear.
    The ser. #s will often be located on unit spec sheet, that is often located on an utility room cabinet door, or closet.

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    Quote Originally Posted by mike huntzinger View Post
    there is no need to relocate them, just for insurace they wont insure them for some reason
    As I said, it is a bureaucrat requirement, and if you need a better reason, the registration # gives them a way to trace the home back to its origin, the factory where it was built. Then they can check the specs out on the home without having to go see it with their own eyes. Same thing if you buy a car.

    And yes, the chances of it ever moving again get pretty slim after 30 years in the same dirt hole they call a "pad".

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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    I always write down the S# but never put it in the report. I like to have it just in case someone tries to pull a slick one.

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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    I always write down the S# but never put it in the report. I like to have it just in case someone tries to pull a slick one.
    I think he's talking about a mobile home registration or serial number. Some other guys are talking about appliances.

    I record serial #'s of appliances in the report. They are of no use to me, but it forces me to check the unit out a bit, and I find loose hinges, rust, bad gaskets, etc.
    The client can check serial #'s again when he takes possession. It's a service.
    Number two, if there's been a factory recall on that model appliance, you need the serial #.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    I've never documented a serial number. I also don't inspect mobile homes.

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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    I believe they are talking about the number on the HUD tag which must be attached to the exterior of the mobile home.

    James Bohac

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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    I record the serial numbers and model numbers of all appliances as well as manufactured homes.

    Some service companies like to have the numbers when clients call in for repairs or servicing. It allows the service company to know what type of appliance they are dealing with.


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    Cool Re: who writes down ser #

    I don't write down measurements, or appliance rating plate data--I photograph it. Macro w/o flash and use a sidelight. Rub a lumber crayon over stampings to contrast shiney metal.

    That way, I have all that data in my computer.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    If the insurance company wants the info, maybe they should send a rep of their own to go gather the info. I love it how insurance providers and mortgage companies request specific info after the inspection and tell the buyer to ask the home inspector to do this or provide that or give square footage numbers or something else.


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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post
    I don't write down measurements, or appliance rating plate data--I photograph it. Macro w/o flash and use a sidelight. Rub a lumber crayon over stampings to contrast shiney metal.

    That way, I have all that data in my computer.

    I like the lumber crayon idea. I'll have to try it.

    I too photograph labels and store on computer.


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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post
    I don't write down measurements, or appliance rating plate data--I photograph it. Macro w/o flash and use a sidelight.
    That way, I have all that data in my computer.
    A client called last week, insurance co. wants the make and serial # of the woodstove? I said there was no nameplate on the front anywhere, but there's a pic of the CSA/UL sticker, which is on the back of the stove, make and registration is on there. "It's on the disc I gave you".


  19. #19
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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post
    I don't write down measurements, or appliance rating plate data--I photograph it. Macro w/o flash and use a sidelight. Rub a lumber crayon over stampings to contrast shiney metal.

    That way, I have all that data in my computer.
    Haven't used the crayon but I do hold a business card over the flash to prevent the reflection.


  20. #20
    Andrew Christel's Avatar
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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    I always document the model and serial #s on water heater/ac/sump pumps/furnaces
    I turn off the flash and hold flashlight at an angle.that works well most of the time.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    how many of you know there is a flash off button,


  22. #22
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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    I guss ther are those inspectors that still use the cheep cameras


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    Post Re: who writes down ser #

    Serial numbers and model numbers are recorded on all major appliances, if possible. I saved one client a few thousand this way. Seems there was a plan concocted to switch out a dishwasher. That data in the report allowed my client to pop the bubble. As for mobile homes, they aren't titled like site-built structures. Having that data allows tracking the history of the home. It's always useful to write down the data for the client, in my opinion.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    Even though not required to do so in North Carolina I used to write down the serial numbers of HVAC unit s and water heaters. I had a few issues with water heater being changed out to an older model after the inspection. In one case the compressor unit was taken after the inspection and was able to supply model and serial number to the law. I stopped writing them down and now I just take photos. I must try the lumber crayon idea.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Christel View Post
    I turn off the flash and hold flashlight at an angle.that works well most of the time.

    As usually does does holding the camera at a light angle to the nameplate so the flash reflects away from the camera, not back to it.

    Yes, sometimes the flash does need to be switched to 'flash off' to avoid the bright spot, and sometimes no additional light is needed with the flash off.

    Before I started taking photos of nameplates, and before digital cameras, I had taken a photo of a high end dishwasher on which the control panel burned through the front of the control panel when I tried to operate it. The seller replaced the dishwasher with a cheap-as-dirt model instead of repairing the high end model, but I had included the photo (35 mm print) with the report and my client was able to get the seller to put in a brand spanking new high end dishwasher as they had already thrown the bad one away. Then ended up spending a lot more than if they had just repaired the first one.

    That was when I realized the benefits of photos, and, when digital cameras came out shortly thereafter I bought my first digital camera and started using it for inspections.

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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    Quote Originally Posted by mike huntzinger View Post
    how many of you know there is a flash off button,
    I found that if I turn off the flash it makes the camera use a slow shutter speed unless the subject is well lit by side lighting with a flash light. Many times the s/n tag is off to the side where a straight on view is not possible. If I use a business card to defuse the light it uses a fast shutter speed and is a one-handed operation that can be done blind. I keep business cards in the camera pouch so its handy and I don't have to turn the flash back on for the next pic. Works best for me.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    Jerry. The good thing with digital camera is the SD card loading your pictures to your computer and loading them to your reports.
    With the one that I have HP The batters don't last very long.
    It does take very good pictures though.


  28. #28
    David Spann's Avatar
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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    Quote Originally Posted by mike huntzinger View Post
    I finnished a moble home inspection and the buyer was asked by his insurance company about the manufacture and the ser.# and wants me to go back out to write this down, who does this from the get go or is this a odd ball instance.
    Beyond the insurer's request, its possible that your client has had an inspector in the past disclose this information. However I always attempt to include this information in the report for the benefit of the client. Whether it maybe used for insurance purposes, the verification of manufacturer's recalls, or just to confirm operation maximums; disclosing this level of information demonstrates a quality that I would expect from someone inspecting my properties.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    No state requirement but I take photos of #s for HVAC and water heater. I include the numbers in the report just because I can.

    The few manufactured homes I have inspected I take a photo of the house data plate. Don't believe I put the numbers in the report but I have them if the client asked.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  30. #30
    Alan Trauger's Avatar
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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    I always write down ser# for HWH, HVAC equpt, mobiles, and any type of equipt or unique person property. I think it shows attention to detail.


  31. #31
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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    Quote Originally Posted by mike huntzinger View Post
    I finnished a moble home inspection and the buyer was asked by his insurance company about the manufacture and the ser.# and wants me to go back out to write this down, who does this from the get go or is this a odd ball instance.
    Mike:
    Some landlords have been known to "switch" some appliances etc.
    So a good way to combat that is to note the make model number and/or serial number. This occurs more in older rental units. CYA with pix.

    Insurance co.s are very poor in sending an agent to collect s/ns.
    We do it as a company poilcy and service to our clients.
    More often than not the information is usually located inside a kitchen cupboard and/or the electrical service panel. Some early 1970's units
    might have paint applied, remodeled or simply missing.
    Then it becomes a guessing game. In that cace it might be time for a
    new unit. There are not too many older units that are properly maintained.

    T.Neyedli CHI
    www.alphahomeinspections.ca


  32. #32
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    Hmmm

    So, now we are the guard on watch for what might happen after our inspection is completed.

    The chances that an appliance is going to be switched out at the last minute are slim to none or should I say.....one in hundreds or is it thousands and if they are your general pics of the WH, HVAC system, overall kitchen etc will simply show that it is not the same item.

    I think most of you that are talking of saving the client from the bad guys are just a little deep into thought on the subject.

    As far as needing the numbers for service, almost everyone you inspect for is simply going to call the appropriate service tech to service the appliance etc.

    Is it just a nice thing to do.....sure. Is it just about absolutely useless in almost all cases...yes.

    Just my humble opinion.


  33. #33
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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Hmmm



    I think most of you that are talking of saving the client from the bad guys are just a little deep into thought on the subject.


    Just my humble opinion.
    .
    Ted,


    I record serial # as part of the on site data collection.
    .
    * reports done off site.

    ** btu, capacity, type, recall info, Manufactures Installation questions I may have can usually be determined from a simple snap shot & I'm standing there anyway.
    .
    *** Why not Take The Photo ?
    .
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
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  34. #34
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    .
    Ted,


    I record serial # as part of the on site data collection.
    .
    * reports done off site.

    ** btu, capacity, type, recall info, Manufactures Installation questions I may have can usually be determined from a simple snap shot & I'm standing there anyway.
    .
    *** Why not Take The Photo ?
    .
    .
    Now that you say that Mr Bill. I do take lots of photos. I did not say that I did not. As a separate task for a list for the home owner printed out and stuck some where for them to find has about less than a fraction of one percent to be meaningful.. Major items are all pictured so I can read them when doing the report for ..who knows...breaker sizes, age, volume, whatever. Installation instructions.....needed on a very rare occasion. If you have seen a 1999 Trane gas fired HVAC systems install once I can bet you have seen it hundreds of times. The only thing you should be needing, and probably not, for installation instructions is a new unit you never ran into before.

    DO I list them on my report???? I take a pic of many items and have them on my report such as AC tags, water heater tags etc. The only reason they are on there is for my convenience while writing what I have to in the report about the item. It beats looking back and forth at another screen.


  35. #35
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    A couple, not all, pics of todays goodies

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  36. #36
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    Sorry, I did not feel like resizing anymore right now. I take 3 meg pics and a long AC tag won't upload unless re sized. You get the point.


  37. #37
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    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post

    . The only reason they are on there is for my convenience while writing what I have to in the report about the item.
    .
    It beats looking back and forth at another screen.
    .
    Bingo!
    * and if any concerns are raised at a later date they are already on file.
    .

    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.

  38. #38
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    Post Re: who writes down ser #

    Excellent point, Alan. I completely agree.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
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  39. #39
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    Cool indirect lighting

    If you practice, you will quickly learn how to use your flashlight for indirect lighting so:
    it does not wash out the image
    it does not slow the shutter to the point your pic is blurred
    it does contrast the markings on the rating plate better

    Often, bouncing the light off another panel or object gives the best light.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  40. #40
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: who writes down ser #

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    A client called last week, insurance co. wants the make and serial # of the woodstove? I said there was no nameplate on the front anywhere, but there's a pic of the CSA/UL sticker, which is on the back of the stove, make and registration is on there. "It's on the disc I gave you".

    Obviously he must have been under the impression that you log "all" model and serial number in every inspection.

    Besides, if the insurance company wanted names and model numbers why on earth would he be calling you to get them. A wood stove...maybe. Microwaves, ovens, disposals, refrigerators all get no picture or remembrance of any kind that anyone could call me to get a number for.

    I have also never had anyone ever call me for a model or serial number for anything and considering it was so long ago that I did my first inspection (somewhere back in the mid 70s) the idea that no one ever asked me says quite a bit to this thread.


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