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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9May

DYI roof vent repair

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

You can repair your leaky roof vent boot yourself. It’s easy!  As a home inspector in the Stillwater, MN area, one of the reasons that I make a point of getting up on a roof is because it’s important to look for leaks and potential leaks, and some problems are hard to see unless you [...

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More about ungrounded 3-prong outlets

By Joe Lundequam / March 30, 2018 / General / No Comments

In 1962, house builders started installing outlets with ground wires attached. Grounded 120-volt receptacles in the United States have a small, round ground slot centered below two vertical hot and neutral slots, and it provides an alternate path for electricity that may stray from an appliance. ...

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Wood Burning Fireplaces

By Joe Lundequam / March 5, 2018 / General / 2 Comments

Why don’t chimney sweeps wear top hats anymore? They keep falling off. Boring but true. Nothing about a chimney sweeps’s job can be described in breathless narrative. Well, until there’s a house fire. When that happens, folks want to know all about who  did what, when, why and h...

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Leaking bathtub overflow tube

By Joe Lundequam / February 22, 2018 / General / No Comments

An easy fix that doesn’t involve tearing out the ceiling in the room below the bathtub As a home inspector in the Stillwater area, I make it a point to check the overflow tube for leaks. It used to involve filling the tub all the way to the rim, and checking for leaks behind the […]

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A new way to heat water

By Joe Lundequam / February 18, 2018 / General / No Comments

Do you remember heating up water on the stove to take a bath? Me neither. But that’s how my mom took a bath when she was a little girl in a farm near Hastings. Of course, that was a million years ago. Still, the technology hasn’t changed much; Start a fire (or plug in an […]

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Attic bypass – a term you’re going to hear more often

By Joe Lundequam / February 7, 2018 / General / 1 Comment

Illustration credit: GreenBuildingAdvisor Chances are, you have the equivalent of a 2 – foot hole in your ceiling, letting heat out of the house. It doesn’t look like a 2 – foot hole, but it’s the equivalent of one, because there are a lot of small spaces around plumbing s...

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Rim joist insulation

By Joe Lundequam / January 17, 2018 / General / No Comments

Did you ever forget to winterize you hose bibbs and NOT have a split water pipe due to freezing? I bet I know why. You either have a newer house, which has frost-free faucets, or your rim joists are poorly insulated. Frost free hose bibbs  are pretty easy to understand. The valve itself is not [&...

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Tankless water heater maintenance

By Joe Lundequam / December 18, 2017 / General / No Comments

Insert bad pun about tankless jobs My job as a home inspector is not at all what the realtor does. The real estate agent is a lot like a matchmaker; I’m more of a marriage counselor. I tell the buyer that neglect of the home is like neglect of a pet or partner; It can […]

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