Hide and Seek

By
Home Inspector with JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC HOI 394

I used to love to play hide and seek as a kid. It was one of my favorite games. As a home inspector there are times where I have to play hide and seek with building components.

a little seatPeople absolutely hate those gaudy pipes and unsightly wires that make our modern conveniences possible. They hide them behind things like walls for example.

Now I'm not against hiding pipes and wires all together, but there are certain devices that need to be readily accessible. Often in the pursuit of form over function people will do some silly things. I would assume without understanding the potential consequences of their choices for décor.

Take for example this little seat in the first photo. That's what it looks like a small chair built into the wall. What in fact is inside the box, no it's not Jack, is the main plumbing waste clean out. The top was not hinged and the sides do not come away to allow a plumber to get to the pipe. That little chair will be torn apart if needed someday and the homeowner will be paying extra for the plumber's time.

The next photo is two electric panels in a finished basement. This is wrong on many levels. The person who installed it had outfitted the enclosure with doors, but the framing blocks clear access. Additionally the white thing at the right is wall built around, yep the plumbing. There was barely enough room to sort of lean into the cubby hole and examine the panel. It was an interesting exercise removing the panel cover.

no accessPlaying hide and seek is a fun past time, but a plumber or an electrician will not be amused having to seek out important piping or wiring when coming to repair a problem.

Think before you hide. The money and aggravation you save could be your own.

 

 

 

 

 

James Quarello
SNEC-ASHI President
NRSB #8SS0022
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

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Posted by

James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
Former SNEC-ASHI President
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

 ASHI Certified Inspector

To find out more about our other high tech services we offer in Connecticut click on the links below:

Learn more about our Infrared Thermal Imaging & Diagnostics services.

Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.

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Ambassador
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Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Jim, I love that little chair, how handy! However you are right, it won't be cute and handy when there is a problem. These things are very frustrating and cause so many problems down the road.

Feb 27, 2010 11:24 PM #1
Rainmaker
233,455
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

What about when the access panels aren't really access panels?  I've started seeing a number of these.  It's a not a big deal, but I always chuckle when I see this.

False Access Panel

 

Feb 27, 2010 11:27 PM #2
Rainmaker
1,840,005
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Very right Jim.  The plumbing clean-out covers are sometimes really interesting!  I love that post-facto installed GFI in the left panel.  For the post-facto installed Jacuzzi?

Feb 27, 2010 11:39 PM #3
Rainmaker
683,909
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Andrea, Cute now, ugly later :)

Reuben, What??? A cover that covers nothing? That is strange.

Jay, The GFCI is for the waste ejection pump for the basement bathroom.

Feb 27, 2010 11:46 PM #4
Rainmaker
1,244,485
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

James,

I hate it when I have to spend long periods of time trying to figure out where the electrical panel is hidden, where is the water shutoff, that kind of thing.

Feb 28, 2010 12:42 AM #5
Ambassador
1,333,480
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

James, I had an almost identical "seat" at my last inspection----totally caulked in place with the sewer scope guy on the way :)

Feb 28, 2010 02:23 AM #6
Rainer
93,755
Mike Gillingham
Eastern Iowa Inspection Services LLC - Walker, IA

I have to play that game all the time, especially with the water main shutoff. I have found it in some of the strangest places...

Mar 01, 2010 04:10 AM #7
Rainmaker
683,909
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Steve, That gets under my skin too.

Charlie, Did you get to watch the guy pull apart the seat?

Mike, I have found water shut offs, electric panels and other important stuff hidden away in weird places as well.

Mar 01, 2010 09:30 AM #8
Rainmaker
1,244,485
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Mr James,

I love hide and seek. We will play when you visit. I hope Mr Charles will not make me bunk with you.

Nutsy

Mar 01, 2010 03:57 PM #9
Rainmaker
683,909
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

I hope not either, I hate squirrel fur on my clothes.

Mar 01, 2010 09:54 PM #10
Rainmaker
1,244,485
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Then it is for sure that we will want separate rooms and neither of us wants to bunk with Mr Charles either.

Nutsy

Mar 02, 2010 02:24 AM #11
Rainmaker
174,893
Kate Kate
San Diego, CA

James, what ever happened to the art of concealing eye sores behind a silk plant or a large mirror?

Mar 06, 2010 12:29 PM #12
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James Quarello

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