Out of Sight, Out Of Mind

Home Inspector with JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC HOI 394

Out of sight, out of mind, that's a very old cliché meaning what we don't see, we don't think about...until it's thrown up in our face. Yesterday I wrote about homes where owners prioritize aesthetics over function. In so doing create difficulties in maintaining important systems and even hazards. The interesting twist to this mind set is there also seems to be little concern or caution on the part of the homeowner. The practice of modifying the home or an important system in what might be a potentially detrimental condition appears to never occur to homeowners who are aesthetically inclined.

A drain into the yardThe one aspect of the home I spoke of previously that really epitomizes this lack of concern or perhaps a better phrase; head in the sand attitude was the washer drain. The drain is plumbed out the foundation wall into the yard below grade. This simply can not be done.

To be fair the current homeowner did not have the work done, he bought the house with the drain installed the way I found it during the home inspection. My understanding was the current owners lived in the home for 21 years. Let me repeat, 21 years. Never was a question raised? Or if so was the thought process, out of sight, out of mind. Perhaps they never had a home inspection. They weren't as prevalent as today. Yet at some point it seems logical a question would have been raised, but that's just my thought process.

In the end when the house gets sold, they all eventually get sold, the issue is brought into the spotlight or should I say the inspector's flashlight. The ignored becomes illuminated and the ugliness that was a priority to hide is now on display for all to see.



James Quarello
Connecticut Licensed Home Inspector
2010 - 2011 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.


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Dan Edward Phillips 01/31/2011 02:55 AM
  2. Dan Edward Phillips 10/16/2011 09:57 PM
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Dan Edward Phillips
Dan Edward Phillips - Eureka, CA
Realtor and Broker/Owner

Good Morning James, very interesting photo and great input on the problem. 

Jan 27, 2011 12:06 AM #1
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Good morning James it was working all this time with no problems amazing

Jan 27, 2011 12:06 AM #2
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

Hey James  it's not uncommon in this area also.  Good post.  Thanks

Jan 27, 2011 12:20 AM #3
Gary Pike
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers - Powder Springs, GA

Great post James.  I'll use it in the future when buyer's, and seller's, bulk at doing home inspections.

Jan 27, 2011 12:34 AM #4
Patrick White
Home Driven Realty, Inc - Baldwin, NY
Driven to bring New Yorkers home

Good Morning James

Thanks for another excellent post. Have a great day

Jan 27, 2011 12:38 AM #5
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

Kinda like sleeping dogs. They're okay until someone wakes them...

Jan 27, 2011 12:39 AM #6
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

James that is not that uncommon, to have a washer drain out to a dry well and keep all that suds away from the septic system. Within this past year I had a client remove something similar.

Jan 27, 2011 01:52 AM #7
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Jim, we see so much of this type of thing, seems to me that people either... make it a family project which is usually a disaster, or count on professionals... who as we know can be a huge disappointment too.

Jan 27, 2011 02:24 AM #8
Suesan Jenifer Therriault
JTHIS-Professional Home Inspection Team - Blakeslee, PA
"Inspecting every purchase as if it were my own".

I’ve run into this as well with the exception that the drain was run into a dry well. The problem is that most communities here do allow for the use of dry wells.

Jan 27, 2011 01:12 PM #9
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

If it's below grade it doesn't have very far to go!  I like the stud beside the drain too!  Like a sectional sofa!

Jan 27, 2011 01:26 PM #10
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

"This simply can not be done." 

Apparently it can :)

Jan 27, 2011 01:54 PM #11
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector


Nutsy is out of sight, stranded in Guatamala, but he is not out of my mind. I think about his plight on a minute by minute basis.

Jan 27, 2011 02:17 PM #12
Dale Ganfield
Leland, NC

Hi James, I can accept ignorance, the state of just not knowing any better.  After all the knowledge of a home inspector is obtained through years of study, training, and ojt.  The one's that are hard to swallow are those who knowingly take the easy way to avoid the effort or expense. 

Jan 28, 2011 03:56 AM #13
Joe Kenny
Realty Executive Midwest - Darien, IL
Better Than Your Average Joe

James this reminds me of when I was a shop foreman and a defect would pop up on a bus that had just been in for service.  You would ask the mechanic about it and the standard answer always was, "It was ok when I had it."

Jan 28, 2011 05:21 AM #14
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Dan, Thanks. I have lots of interesting photos :)

James, Electricity works when its done wrong too :)

Rose Mary, I'm this kind of thing goes on every where.

Gary, Amazing that some buyers don't get it.

Patrick, Thanks, you too.

Michael, And then they get bit.

Ed, This is city sewers, not septic. I don't know if there is a dry well, just that the pipe drains to the yard. VERY unlikely a dry well would have been permitted with city connected waste drains in the home.

Andrea, The family projects I think have the most amusement factor when inspecting :)

Suesan, The same goes here, but I still find them.

Jay, The question is how far?

Reuben, Wise guy :)

Steve, You need to focus your attention else where.

Dale, Yes ignorance can be easier to forgive than a louse who deliberately takes short cuts.

Joe, I think I've heard that one myself a few times.

Jan 28, 2011 08:40 AM #15
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector


Charlie has arranged a rescue mission to Central America. I hope we can count on you to ride along. I wrote about this today.

Jan 29, 2011 06:42 AM #16
Jeremy Wrenn
Winslow Homes - Youngsville, NC
C.O.O., Winslow Homes

I saw this done at a friend's parents' house in MN back in the 90s.  I was shocked!

And I wasn't even in construction at the time and had no clue.  But I knew it couldn't be right.

Jan 29, 2011 01:57 PM #17
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector


Glad to see that you and your grill are on-board, so to speak.

Jan 30, 2011 03:00 PM #18
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Jeremy, I'm almost 100% certain this drain was not done correctly.

Steve, I packing and ready to roll.

Jan 31, 2011 08:31 AM #19
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