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Home Inspector with Sweetwater Home Inspection 7038

On Monday I did an inspection on four townhouses at a beach resort. The structures were done at or better than code compliance.

Because each of the townhouse is insulated with a foam type of insulation the gas operating water heaters in each unit do not conform to the International Residential Code because of a couple of reasons:

1.) The flue vents for each gas operating water heater cannot be in contact with the foam insulation (this is explicit in the flue vent manufacturers specifications and should be a minimal of 3 inch clearance or what the manufacturer of the foam insulation requires.

2.) Each of the water heaters need a vent to the interior of the attic space because with the foam insulation the free air for combustion is now limited. 

There were other problems with the water heater plumbing techniques in each of the townhouse units. The minimum size of the drain line for the safetypan under each water heater did not meet today's standards of 1" pipping.

In addition, all Temperature and Pressure Relief (T&P) valve pipping that is supposed to lead to a drain or exterior were all to small and have more than 4 elbows. If a T&P valve were to operate, which I would hope never happens, the pressure and temperature of the water will be so much that the pipe from the T&P valve would rupture and possibly cause damage. That is why the manufacturers of the T&P valve specifically state that no more than 4 elbows should be used in the T&P drain line. 

The electrical systems were lacking Arc Fault breakers for bedrooms and living spaces in each unit. In addition, some walls that require electrical plugs were not visibly installed.       

There were other problems in each unit that can be taken care of. The townhouses are close to the beach and have quite a few bells and whistle. Once everything is corrected, they can sustain plenty of people who will want to get away from the "City" and relax at or near the beach.