Drip loop- Really do you need it? Wenatchee and Leavenworth Home Inspection

By
Home Inspector with NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Drip loop- Really do you need it? Wenatchee and Leavenworth Home Inspection

A home inspector can be a real drip at times. But we do so for good reason. Sometimes things just do not seem to be a very big deal and we shrug them off and most of the time they are not a big deal.

But here is a case of why pointing out something that maybe diminutive could be more than it seems at first glance.

Standard practice is that all exterior cables should be installed with a drip loop before entering your home. The reason for the drip loop is that water can follow the cable into the hole.  (Also ground blocks/switches should always be mounted with the terminals positioned horizontal, never vertical.)

A drip loop is formed in a “U” shape or circle that will be below the entry point into the home.  When the cable is rising to the point of entry, there is no need to put an actual loop in the cable before the cable goes through the hole because in essence this is creating a drip loop.

Here is an example of a proper drip loop for cabling.

                                              Proper Cable Drip loop

Here is an example of no drip loop installed. Water is following the cable down and is now entering the wall of the home.

                                                 No drip loop on cable entry

As you can see from this photo below we have elevated moisture levels at the exterior of the home that will lead to rot and potential insect issues. Normal moisture levels should be below 12% (even lower in this part of Washington State). As you can see here we are over 31%.

                                               Moisture Reading over 31 %

This is a simple fix but over time these simple fixes if not corrected can cause some major consequences.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

Albert Einstein



NCW Home Inspections, LLC  is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Orville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…      

Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service

Comments (18)

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

It is actually quite impressive how much water can follow a wire into a building.

Apr 17, 2012 12:29 AM
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Mr. Buell, This shows even over here this can create a pretty significant moisture issue. 

Apr 17, 2012 01:08 AM
Jay O'Brien
RE/MAX Revolution - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate

wow, it's amazing the things we can learn on ActiveRain! Thanks for posting (I'm going out to check my cable lines right now!)

Apr 17, 2012 11:15 AM
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Jay, Sometimes it those little things that can come back to bite you.

Most of the time this is a home owner install issue but I have seen many of "the cable guy" work that is not much better.

I never let the "Cable Guy" touch my home unsupervised or if I know there is more extensive cabling to be done I do it prior to their arrival.

Apr 17, 2012 11:33 AM
AJ Heidmann ~ CRS
McEnearney Associates, Inc. - Alexandria, VA
YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert

Donald - Nice post... and I'll go out and check the cable coming into my hose in the morning!

Apr 17, 2012 02:39 PM
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

AJ, This is one of those items you just do not think that much about but can cause problems. Simple fix for the most part.

Apr 17, 2012 02:53 PM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

There are reasons for proper installation of even the simplest things.  I had a very wet panel box the other day, just from not sealing the gaps where the cable enters the house.

Apr 17, 2012 08:02 PM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Good job, Donald.  It's a pretty simple concept, but it overlooked to many times.  Thanks for reminding us.

Apr 17, 2012 08:34 PM
Anonymous
Jim Sloan

Never too old to learn something...Drip Loop and I thought some people were being cute...

 

Apr 17, 2012 11:06 PM
#9
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Jay, Sometimes those little things can cause lot of issues over time. Sounds like a termite does it not ; )

Mike, So true. It like the small drip in a cabinet that gets overlooked for a long time. It may be small but given time it can do a lot of damage.

Jim, Every day I learn something new, at least I hope so.

Apr 17, 2012 11:45 PM
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

The big difference between a professional instal and an unprofessional one!

Apr 18, 2012 12:23 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Donald, now that you explained it, it makes total sense. Thanks.

Apr 18, 2012 12:25 AM
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Robert, This is true. I should of took a picture of the so called "professional installation" at my house before the new one was done. Sometimes the "Pros" are just as bad as the unknowing homeowner.

Michael, Before I was a home inspector many of these items may have just passed me by also. But when you get to see how all of these items can effect a home it good to at least let someone know and why.

Apr 18, 2012 12:55 AM
Brett Monk
Real Estate Photography Class - Fairfax, VA

Thanks for the post. The diagram and photos really make the point clear. It's amazing how something that looks so insignificant can lead to some serious damage.

Apr 18, 2012 12:59 AM
Wayne Jackson
Lakeshore Realty 208-714-4109 - Hayden, ID
North Idaho Realtor, Serving Coeur dnullAlene and Hayden Lake

Donald, Thanks for the post. I've been watching the power cables but didn't think about the TV cables.

Apr 18, 2012 01:43 AM
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Brett, I know. We are in a part of the country due to our dryer climate that many of these type of practice in the most part do not have too harsh of consequences. But this was a great example that you can not rely on that assumption.

Wayne, You have to watch that cable guy make sure he doing his job right ; )

Apr 18, 2012 02:11 AM
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Drip loops and drip irrigation, Hmm do not see the relationship.

May 18, 2012 11:25 PM
Matt Worthy
Worthy Inspection Services, LLC - Ellensburg, WA
Home inspection services:- Worthy Home Inspections

Thanks a lot for sharing this post. Although, if one want to get more details on home inspection can visit the website recommended below: 

https://www.worthyinspections.com/home-inspection

Oct 22, 2018 02:21 AM
Donald Hester

Matt, Thanks for stopping by.

Really not good form to link your website to a post of mine.

Technically that is spamming. I would reframe from doing that.  Most would not appreciate that kind of responding.

Oct 23, 2018 12:58 PM