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Defective afci breaker

AFCI protection is sooo important.We often recommend GFI protection and forget to recommend AFCI's.
Testing one inside a sub panel recently it did not trip as required leaving the bedroom circuit unprotected. If you have one in your panel you should check it per manufacturers recommendations, typically once per month.




An arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) also known as an arc-fault detection device (AFDD)[1] is a circuit breaker that breaks the circuit when it detects an electric arc in the circuit it protects to prevent electrical fires. An AFCI selectively distinguishes between a harmless arc (incidental to normal operation of switches, plugs, and brushed motors), and a potentially dangerous arc (that can occur, for example, in a lamp cord which has a broken conductor). AFCI breakers have been required for circuits in residential bedrooms by since 1999

Thermal bridging

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Now that we use infrared cameras with some frequency, it's amazing to see things almost like a TSA agent might. The following view was taken in a living room looking up toward the ceiling/attic area



Instead of seeing a skeleton of sorts when someone walks through the security camera, we can see framing behind the drywall. We are actually seeing a temperature difference, and in this case it's "Thermal Bridging"
Thermal Bridging is the movement of heat across an object that is more conductive than the materials around it. The conductive material creates a path of least resistance for heat. Thermal bridging can be a major source of energy loss in homes and buildings, leading to higher utility bills

New home concerns

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This is a brand new home in an elite neighborhood. Apparently the cost of the home doesn't matter. This builder didn't bother putting in 2 kick out flashings where the roof & wall meet over the back porch.



Already water is staining the wood below

Missing flashing results in thousands $$$$$$$$

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This home I inspected was missing some "End Dam" flashing details. Less than $100. worth of material will leave this home owner paying thousands of dollars in repairs.







Make sure you get your home inspected

Dishwasher energy tip

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Dishwasher Tip
Let dishes air-dry instead of using the drying feature of your dishwasher. Not using the drying feature of your dishwasher reduces its energy usage by about 50%

"DO NOT USE SCREWS"

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The manufacturers installation instructions on most attic pull down stairs that I see state "Drive nail through hole in metal bracket"






A huge majority of the time I see them installed with drywall screws, just as the set in this photograph show. This can lead to sudden failure resulting in serious injury.

Outdated smoke detectors & some different types

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In the recent past months I have found a very  high percentage of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are outdated. A majority of detectors require replacement every 10 years or if they "chirp" even after replacing the battery. Our state home inspection standards require us to:
"Check the presence or absence of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms"
So, we are not required to test these devices, though it's very rare that we do not. I came across this article recently and felt it worth sharing. In short, the article is stating several states now require combination units to be installed in new homes, which I think is a huge step in the right direction.
The full article is in the Columbus Dispatch
http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/home_and_garden/2016/03/27/01-state-code-embraces-photoelectric-smoke-alarms.html





Prices on these units are typically less than $25. each. Certainly not worth waiting until it's too late