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

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 needs to be trimmed, your neighbor is going to have to do ...

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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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Simple home maintenance tip: Bathroom exhaust

By Joe Lundequam / August 9, 2018 / General / No Comments

Take a minute to check your fan Are you sure your bathroom fan is doing it’s job? Here’s a simple way to check; Take a short length of toilet paper and hold it up to the grille on the bathroom fan while it’s running. Does it stay there? Done. Well, almost. Now you know if it [&h...

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The ideal crawlspace

By Joe Lundequam / July 19, 2018 / General / No Comments

The ideal crawlspace DOES exist! AT a home inspection in Minneapolis, I came across a perfect example of should NOT be in a crawlspace, and it occurred to me that I have seen more basements with problems than without, especially on homes that were more than 50 years old. This house had stacked st...

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You get to clean gutters! How cool is THAT?

By Joe Lundequam / July 12, 2018 / General / No Comments

The joys of home ownership! As a home inspector in the Stillwater MN area, I always make a point of looking into the gutters on a house. The gutters perform an important roll in water management, but only if they function properly.  Clearly, the only way for gutters to do their important job is t...

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Aluminum wiring

By Joe Lundequam / June 5, 2018 / General / No Comments

Aluminum branch wiring; the house hasn’t burned down yet, so we’re good, right?  Um, I think the operative word there is “yet“. There are a bunch of reasons why aluminum branch wiring is a concern to home inspectors. But first, a bit of history; In 1960, the price of coppe...

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The bad news about lead contamination

By Joe Lundequam / May 31, 2018 / General / No Comments

Actually, all the news is bad Lead has been around for a long time. The word plumbing comes from the Latin word for lead, plumbum. Lead was used as an inexpensive and reliable material for the vast network of plumbing that supplied Rome and its provincial cities with water. Even the Romans, howev...

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What’s a sump pump check valve?

By Joe Lundequam / May 15, 2018 / General / No Comments

Why is a sump pump check valve important? A check valve is the same diameter as the discharge pipe into which it fits and is usually a different color. A check valve should be installed in order to prevent pumped water in the discharge line from re-entering the sump pit when the device is turned ...

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Sump pump information

By Joe Lundequam / May 15, 2018 / General / No Comments

A lot more than you’d EVER wand to know about sumps First, what IS a sump pump? Sump pumps are self-activating electrical pumps that protect homes from moisture intrusion. They are usually installed below basement or crawlspace floors to remove rising groundwater and surface runoff before i...

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