If you have sent your kids to public school you know what I am talking about. Sooner or later parents become nit pickers. So----sooner or later----as an inspector, I am going to be a "nit picker" as well----well not the same kind----hopefully.
I don't go out of my way to be a nit picker----sometimes it just happens. I think the kind of nit picker that most agents have a problem with is when those seemingly unimportant items end up in the "Summary of Significant Findings" section of the report. This is "bad form"----as Captain Hook would say. While this stuff should be mentioned in the context of general "information" about the home, placing it in the Summary gives it "weight" that it doesn't deserve.
Take for example this P-trap connection on a Garbage disposal.
At first glance it looks sort of normal. But actually it is installed backwards.
The next couple of pictures will help explain what is wrong with this installation. Traps are engineered to be self scouring (cleaning) by virtue of their shape. Note how in the top picture the flow of water enters from the sink (disposal in this case) at Point C and the blue arrow. The force of the flow of water accelerates when it hits the bottom helping it flow up and over the hill and down the drain at the left blue arrow. In the bottom picture we can see that when the trap is installed "backwards" the distance labeled "B" is much greater than distance "A"-----a much higher hill for the water to get over. It also doesn't have the help of acceleration provided by its being installed the other way. The flow of water is actually reduced because the flow of water runs into a more vertical wall in the lower installation.
So what will happen if this is not fixed? Well eventually the trap will clog up with debris and water will just not drain properly. It isn't a difficult fix---something any plumber can do when they are at the home for other reasons or something that even a knowledgeable homeowner or other qualified repair person can fix.
I think I won't be putting this on the summary.
PS, for those of you that are new to my blog (or for some other "unexplained" reason have never noticed)all pictures and smiley-face inserts (emoticons) (when I use them) have messages that show up when you point at them with your cursor.