WATER In the Frame and on Display. (A hidden defect in prior form?) POP QUIZ

Home Inspector with Aspect Inspection

water shut off valve

WATER In the Frame and on Display.

Most people put up framed photos or art work of some kind, under glass to protect it. Photos are usually people, places or events  that are memorable to the residents.

Art is put up for decor, colour or effect.

This sort of framed wall decor is rarer. In fact it's the only one I've seen to date. 

This 'picture' is memorable to the owners here because they had a plumbing accident and needed to shut off the water.

But they couldn't find the valve!. Somebody had enclosed it in the wall!

Now its been located, framed and on display 'under glass'. So it's art to those who live there.

As it was, it was hidden and because this hardware has a necessary function and was hidden, it was a kind of 'hidden defect'.

Most hidden defects are more complex and do not involve obstructed hardware controls, but the consequences of not being able to shut off the water in an emergency can be quite extensive.



What two other details are revealed in the 'frame' that will be noted by inspectors in this case? (not the size and type of plumbing)

(1) One is present to observe.   The presence of the b______ w___ indicates the location and existence of the e_________ g_____ c______ to the plumbing, before the valve.

(2) The other is conspicuously absent. The lack of v_____ b______ is notable because the 'covered frame' a_____ h____is not a__ t____.


I'll revisit this in 24 hours to give you a chance to fill in the blanks with your comments.





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Comments (6)

Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

So #1 refers to the Grounding Electrode Conductor who's connection is not apparent and therfore may be "not accessible."

On #2---no clue--and the only thing that comes immediately to mind with VB is vapor barrier.

Mar 24, 2011 06:12 AM
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

Ok it's 25 hours later. Looks like you're the only entrant in the quiz Charles.

You got it!  

(1) The presence of the braided wire indicates the location and existence of the electrical grounding clamp to the plumbing, before the valve. 

You don't actually see the clamp but you know from your tester that the system is properly bonded electrically. Seeing the wire here along with the valve confirms its location before the valve.

Not having direct access does mean it is not accessible, but knowing the system is electrically grounded and the bond to the copper lines occurs before the valve rather than after - that's the important information.


(2)The lack of vapour barrier is notable because the 'covered frame' access hatch  is not air tight.

You were on the right track Charles. This is an insulation bypass in this wall.

Thanks for participating.

Mar 24, 2011 12:42 PM
Dale Ganfield
Leland, NC

Hi Robert, way behind on blogs this week.  Been awfully busy.  I had started twice to reply.  Sorry I missed the opportunity.

Mar 24, 2011 12:54 PM
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

Did you figure out the pop quiz questions Dale? Maybe you saw the answer first.

Mar 24, 2011 03:25 PM
Dale Ganfield
Leland, NC

Hi Robert, I was headed down the correct path.  Did not have time to put it all together.  Thanks

Mar 25, 2011 03:48 AM
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Oh how I dislike quizzes. I graduated from college back in 1977 and I’m not going back to school or taking quizzes. JJJJ I do, however, love the modern art!

Apr 06, 2011 09:36 PM