Stab-loc Circuit Panels

By Joe Lundequam / April 27, 2019 / General / No Comments

Federal Pacific Electric was a company that make circuit panels. They developed a new type of breaker, and applied for approval from the United Laboratories. The UL turned them down. They then built a different breaker and sought approval for that. That one did get approval. The problem was, the ...

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No time to be a perfect homeowner? Kura to the rescue!

By Joe Lundequam / April 11, 2019 / General / No Comments

Kura Home Maintenance isn’t paying me to talk about them. I just love the company! About half of the items I note in a home inspection has to do with the lack of regular maintenance. I note when the furnace filter is dirty and if the water softener is out of salt. If the occupant […]

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How to inspect a chimney

By Joe Lundequam / April 1, 2019 / General / No Comments

Here’s what to look for when inspecting a chimney Nearly 75% of the chimneys built before 1990 are in need of some kind of repair. That’s according to Randy Sloss, a mason for Mosby Building Arts Randy also advises that nearly half of them should be torn down and rebuilt. I was a litt...

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Let’s not attach a deck to a cantilevered joist

By Joe Lundequam / March 13, 2019 / General / No Comments

Deck safety starts with a good design, and that starts with understanding building codes. The 2015 IRC (International Building Code) states clearly that decks are not to be attached to cantilevered joists “Band joists attached by a ledger in accordance with Section R507.2 shall be fully supported...

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Frost heaves

By Joe Lundequam / March 13, 2019 / General / No Comments

At an inspection in Woodbury, I saw that the deck sloped toward the house. Was it built that way? Nope. The footings had been pushed up by frost heave. Every spring, farmers head into the fields and pick up rocks that appeared after the snow melts. They weren’t there in the fall. Where did ...

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Sewer vent frost plug

By Joe Lundequam / February 6, 2019 / General / No Comments

Sewer pipes are on the roof s of homes, and are usually PVC (white plastic) or cast iron. They allow air to enter or leave the sewer system in the house as needed for the drains and toilets to work properly. When it’s very cold out, water vapor can freeze on the end, plugging it. […]

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Is it raining in your attic? In a way, yes.

By Joe Lundequam / January 27, 2019 / General / No Comments

At a home inspection in Stillwater, MN, I found evidence of frost. Finding it is easy during the winter because the frost forms on the nails from the shingles. In the summertime I look for rust on those nails, as well as darkened wood where the moisture has caused damage. Moist air in the attic [...

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Saddle valves; what could possibly go wrong?

By Joe Lundequam / October 6, 2018 / General / No Comments

You need to install a water line for your ice maker, but you don’t consider yourself a plumber. The idea of sweating  joints is a bit intimidating to folks without any experience. And what about the equipment; torch, solder, flux etc. that you need- when are you going to use that stuff agai...

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Tree branches are touching my power lines!

By Joe Lundequam / October 3, 2018 / General / No Comments

Who’s gonna cut the trees around the power lines? According to Excel Energy, the person who owns the land that the tree is on is expected to keep the tree branches from touching the power lines. That means that if your lines cross your neighbor’s yard and your neighbor’s tree ne...

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Missing Ground Jumper

By Joe Lundequam / October 3, 2018 / General / No Comments

What’s a missing ground jumper? A long time ago, water pipes were used for grounding electrical components in the house. The idea had merit; the pipes were metal, and came to the house through the ground. Any stray voltage would be safely diverted. Nope. Back up. Explain “Stray Voltag...

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