Relief valve discharge

By Joe Lundequam / August 14, 2019 / General / No Comments

“Relief valve discharge.” Just try to work that phrase into everyday conversation. It’s not easy! As a home inspector in the Stillwater, MN area, I often come across a small water stain just below the discharge pipe on the water heater. To be clear; that pipe is not the hot wate...

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Reversed polarity

By Joe Lundequam / July 17, 2019 / General / No Comments

Why home inspectors check every. single. outlet. At a home inspection in Hastings, I found one outlet that had reversed polarity. It’s not unusual to one or two in a home, especially in an older home. That’s why I always test every available outlet. The one I found was at the back of ...

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Whole house surge protectors to the rescue!

By Joe Lundequam / July 3, 2019 / General / No Comments

Do you have an old house and a new TV? Consider a simple upgrade to protect expensive electrical components. I was at a home inspection in Red Wing. Many of the outlets were three-prong. (That means there were three wires to the outlet; Black, white and green. The green wire is “ground”, and is o...

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What is a dirt tee and why should I care?

By Joe Lundequam / June 19, 2019 / General / No Comments

It is a sediment trap, and actually, you shouldn’t. A long time ago, The natural gas that came to the house had a fair amount of sediment and moisture. At least I think it did, because plumbing codes required a method of removing said sediment before every gas appliance in the house. Want t...

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How safe is your sump pump basket cover?

By Joe Lundequam / June 10, 2019 / General / No Comments

A sump pump can keep water in your basement from thousands of dollars in damages. But there are some things to consider. In a perfect world, melting snow and rain would be directed away from your house via gutters, downspouts and drainage. In a world where water gets into the building, an interna...

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Proper landscaping slope

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

Here is a straightforward way to determining the proper slope for the ground around your house. As a home inspector in the Stillwater, MN area, I know how hard it is to keep a dry basement. My friend Roger Bovee is also a home inspector. He says that one of his report defaults says “evidenc...

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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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