Remember that. It's like, "Lefty loosey, righty tighty." Universal. It works every time. Well, maybe not EVERY time.
I got a call from a frantic Realtor. We had an inspection about 2 months ago. She asked if I could call the clients who could not seem to get the gas range to work. "It worked during the home inspection and again the other day during our walk through. Now it does not work. Could you PLEEEZE call the clients?" They had apparently been screaming at her for its failure.
She was on a meat hook in the freezer. "Sure, of course I'll call."
No answer. I got the machine. My message gave them all the things to check, but especially to make SURE they had turned on the gas to the house. I mentioned that if often gets turned off when the seller no longer has the responsibility to keep it on. Like after settlement. He never got back to me.
In the meantime, two weeks, he had ripped the agent some more, both brokers, the settlement company and me, though not to MY face. They were so frazzled the settlement company actually gave them a rebate of over $200 to buy a new range! But finally tonight I got a call from him!
With his wife obviously talking to him in the background, he began pleasantly enough, but as I tried to walk him through various things to check solutions to I noticed he is not a good listener. I had to repeat everything.
One thing on my list was to check the hot water heater - was it gas or electric. "Yes, I see an electric cable going into it," he says. "So it is an electric water heater."
Finally, exhausting my checklist, I asked him to go to the back yard and check the gas meter.
"Do you see the pipe going into it?"
"There is a valve on it. Is the valve parallel to the pipe or perpendicular?"
"It's perpendicular, with a lock through it."
"The gas company put that lock on it. Perpendicular is the OFF position. Parallel is on. Perpendicular is off. They will remove that lock when you call them and set up an account. This is something I said on my first message weeks ago, as has the Realtor, many times. To date you have not called them. So there is no gas to the house. That's why the range doesn't work."
"But we called Dominion Electric! We already have an account!"
"Um, Dominion is an ELECTRIC company."
He apologized and we hung up on good terms. Thirty seconds later my phone rings.
"WE THINK YOU'RE WRONG!! WE HAVE HOT WATER!!"
"Cerebellum (not his real name), remember how we established that you have ELECTRIC hot water?" Like I said, he doesn't listen very well.
My recommendation: If gas appliances don't work, check the meter! Look at the valve position. And remember the little trick - parallel is on, perpendicular is off. That may save you a lot of aggravation in the long run! And LISTEN to your home inspector! He's probably a really good guy...
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia