What’s that thing under my sink? You may have noticed a little extra plumbing under your bathroom sink and wondered what its purpose was. Anti-scald valves, which are also known as tempering or mixing valves, mix cold water into the outgoing hot water supply to reduce the water temperature and prevent scalds or burns. Most people have probably experienced the sudden temperature fluctuations when showering and someone flushes a toilet. This is caused by the filling of the toilet tank reducing the available cold-water supply pressure to your shower. A sudden burst of 160-degree hot water can cause severe burns and scalding, especially in young children within 0.5 second and hot or cold bursts may cause falls or even heart attacks in the elderly. Anti-scald valves help mitigate this danger by balancing the incoming hot and cold-water pressures to maintain a set temperature within a few degrees and temperature output can be fine-tuned with an adjustment knob. Installation of ant-scald valves is typically simple and inexpensive and can be installed at the water heater to protect all plumbing fixtures or they can be installed to protect a specific fixture. If you have an active home with young children or elderly persons, consider having an anti-scald valve installed by a qualified plumbing contractor to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Acoustic ceilings or popcorn ceilings, as they are commonly known, were very popular in homes from the 1950’s to the 1980’s primarily for the ability to quickly and easily cover minor imperfections in ceilings compared to other surface finishes. The “acoustic” name refers to the ability to reduce noise levels because of the increased surface area and irregular shapes that redirect sound. Acoustic ceilings also have some downsides as well, such as being difficult to clean and difficult to match the same size, pattern and texture of the original application when a repair is required and most notably that it can contain asbestos. The Clean air Act of 1978 banned spray-on asbestos products, but it continued to be installed into the 1980’s to allow distributors to use existing supplies. The amount of asbestos contained in a product or application can vary however, the most important aspect is how friable it is. Friability refers to how crumbly it is and how easily the asbestos fibers can become airborne. Asbestos causes damage when inhaled into the lungs so care must be taken during repairs or removal. These ceilings are best left well encapsulated in paint or if they are removed they should be done by a professional that is trained and experienced in this type of work to minimize contamination and health concerns. Many home products can be health hazards and we work hard to inform you of any potential concerns.
Zinsco and/or Zinsco-Sylvania is a brand of electrical panel that was commonly installed in the United States until the mid-1970’s. Production was halted when it was discovered that design flaws caused failures and an increased risk in fires and electrocution. As is typical, stocks of panels already in distributors warehouse continued to be installed until supplies were depleted. Zinsco panels can be identified by their name and diamond shaped logo as well as the color-coded breaker toggle levers. These panels utilize aluminum bus bars, to distribute power to the breakers, which forms an oxide layer due to contact with the atmosphere which acts as an insulator rather than a conductor. This oxide layer can create poor connections between the bus bar and breakers which can cause arcing between the two and ultimately lead to the breaker melting to the buss bar. A similar scenario has also been observed to occur within the breakers causing the contacts to fuse together resulting in overheating and melting of the breakers. These breakers have been found to not trip properly and continue to supply power to downstream circuits even when they appear to be off. The best course of action if your home has this brand of electrical service equipment is replacement. In Florida, the presence of this type of electric service panel may limit the available options for homeowner’s insurance until it has been replaced by a licensed electrical contractor. If you are uncertain or concerned about the condition of your home’s electrical system, contact us today to schedule your home inspection.
Polybutylene is a type of plastic resin water supply piping that was commonly used from 1978 to about 1995 in residential and manufactured homes. These plumbing systems were thought to be a revolutionary product that was inexpensive to manufacture and easy to install as a substitute to copper piping. Polybutylene piping is typically gray or black and stamped with “PB2110” when used inside homes for water distribution but was also produced in blue for exterior service lines and is typically ½” to 1” in diameter. Sections of piping are connected using plastic or copper fittings with copper compression bands to secure the fittings to the piping. This type of plumbing system has become known for being susceptible to failure that may result in significant water damage to a home. It is believed that oxidizers such as chlorine that are added to public water supplies, and possibly other factors, react with the polybutylene piping and acetal fittings causing internal deterioration, flaking and brittleness. This results in micro-fractures and a significantly reduced structural integrity which ultimately leads to failure and subsequent water damage. In Florida, the presence of this type of plumbing may limit the available options for homeowner’s insurance until it has been replaced by a licensed plumbing contractor. If you are uncertain or concerned about the condition of your home’s plumbing system, contact us today to schedule your home inspection.
Cornerstone Home Inspection Group, LLC also offers commercial property inspections for all types of commercial properties; including Offices, Retail, Industrial, Multi-Family and Special Purpose. We understand that the needs of a commercial property investor and the use of commercial properties can be highly varied and so we are able to customize your commercial property inspection to provide the information you require to make a solid investment decision. Contact us for a property consultation and quote today.
Tinned copper rubber insulated cloth wiring was commonly used for home wiring between the 1930’s to 1950’s and is frequently misidentified by home inspectors. The copper was “tinned” which gives it a silver or aluminum like appearance to prevent corrosion of the wiring due to the high sulfur content of the rubber insulation. As this wiring ages the insulation becomes very brittle and prone to cracking and deterioration, potentially exposing live electrical conductors which could create a fire or electrocution hazard. In Florida, the presence of this type of wiring may limit the available options for homeowners insurance until it has been replaced by a licensed electrician. If you are uncertain or concerned about the condition of your home’s electrical system, contact us today to schedule your home inspection.
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