With the building boom we have going on in the greater Nashville area we also have a boom on builder screwup's that are not being caught by our municipal code inspectors! For the most the city inspectors do a good job but they just do not have the time to look at every little thing in a home, but what I found the other day is not what I would consider to be a little problem!
Water heaters have a safety device that is called a TPR, this stands for Temperature Pressure Relief valve. It is designed to keep the water heater from blowing up in the event of a problem with the thermostat or burner by discharging very hot water under high pressure through a pipe. This discharge pipe should terminate to no less than 6" from the ground so the hot water/steam will not hurt anyone. Well on this particular home I noticed that the discharge line from the second floor water heater disappeared down through the wall, which itself is not a good thing! Anyway, after a stroll around the home I could not locate the same size pipe near the ground. But about eight to ten feet above my head I did see a 2" pipe sticking out the side of the home.
Surely it was not the end of the TPR discharge line! No way the city inspectors would miss this, but then we are all human. So I went back to the water heater and tripped the TPR (something that I seldom due because the valve does not always seal afterwards, but this was a new home still owned by the builder) and guess what I found! Water shooting out that 2" pipe and almost hitting the house next door!
So if you are buying a new construction home do yourself a favor and have it inspected before you close on it!
Scott Patterson has been a professional home inspector since 1995. Scott works out of the Greater Nashville TN area. Contact his team at Trace Inspections for all of your inspection needs.