Inspection Report TREC Category Descriptions

I. STRUCTURAL SYSTEMS
A. Foundations
According to The Texas Real Estate Commission “TREC” an “opinion” on the foundation performance is mandatory. The inspector will describe the type of foundation and floor structure and visually inspect the foundation, related structural components and slab surfaces.
The professional “TREC” inspector is not a structural engineer. The professional “TREC” inspector is defined as a “generalists” with respect to foundation inspections. If the inspector believes in his opinion that foundation movement is evident then the foundation performance will be defined as “inadequate and in need of repair” according to TREC rules.
The inspector will render a “written opinion” as to the performance of the foundation.
In the event or should the client have any concerns about foundation systems as to performance, existing defects or potential movement in the future refer to (www.houston-slab-foundation.info) or consult with a competent professional engineer.
B. Grading & Drainage Exterior
Comments: The inspector will inspect retaining walls and site drainage around the structure and report any visible conditions or symptoms that may indicate water penetration, retention of water or water that does not properly flow away from the structure. He will report any visible conditions that are adversely affecting the foundation performance
C. Roof Covering
(If the roof is inaccessible, report the method used to inspect)
Comments: The inspector will identify and inspect the roof covering. He will report his inspection point. He will report roof coverings that are not appropriate for the slope of the roof and fasteners that are not present or are not appropriate (where it can be reasonably determined). He will not make a determination regarding the remaining life expectancy of the roof covering. If any concerns exist about the roof covering life expectancy or the potential for future problems, a roofing specialist should be consulted.
The inspector will inspect the roof jacks, flashing and counter flashing and report those that are not installed properly. He will inspect the general condition of the flashing, skylights and other roof penetrations and report any deficiencies or evidence of previous repair.
D. Roof Structure and Attic
(If the attic is inaccessible, report the method used to inspect)
The inspector will enter the attic space unless it is inaccessible or a hazardous condition exists, as reasonably determined by the inspector. He will report his attic inspection point. He will describe the insulation and vapor retarders visible in unfinished areas. He will inspect the structure and sheathing and report any visible evidence of water penetration. He will report inadequate attic space ventilation. He will report the lack of components such as purlins, struts, collar ties or rafter ties or the inappropriate installation of those components. He will report excessive deflections or depressions in the surface of the roof as it relates to structural performance. He will inspect for the visible presence of attic insulation and report the approximate depth.
E. Walls (Exterior)
Comments: The inspector will identify the type of wall structure and coverings of the exterior walls. He will report any visible evidence of water penetration. He will report visible deficiencies of the surfaces of walls as related to structural performance. The inspector will not determine the condition of wall coverings unless such conditions affect structural performance or indicate water penetration.
E. Walls (Interior)
Comments: The inspector will identify the type of wall structure and coverings of the interior walls. He will report any visible evidence of water penetration. He will report visible deficiencies of the surfaces of walls as related to
structural performance. The inspector will not determine the condition of wall coverings unless such conditions affect structural performance or indicate water penetration.
F. Ceilings
Comments: The inspector will inspect the ceilings and report visible deficiencies of the surfaces as related to structural performance. He will report any visible evidence of water penetration. The inspector will not determine the condition of the ceiling coverings unless such conditions affect structural performance or indicate water penetration.
E. Floors
Comments: The inspector will identify the type of floor covering(s). He will report any visible evidence of water penetration. He will report visible deficiencies of the surfaces of the floor(s) as related to structural performance. The inspector will not determine the condition of the floor coverings unless such conditions affect structural performance or indicate water penetration.
G. Doors (Interior & Exterior)
Comments: The inspector will inspect interior doors, exterior doors and overhead garage doors. He will report any deficiencies in the condition of the doors including locks and latches on exterior doors. He will not inspect locks and latches on interior doors. He will report doors that do not operate properly, doors with damaged glazing and damaged or missing door screens.
H. Windows
Comments: The inspector will inspect the windows and report damaged glass, damaged glazing and damaged or missing window screens. He will report insulated windows that are obviously fogged or display other evidence of broken seals. He will also report the absence of safety glass in hazardous locations.
I. Fireplace / Chimney
Comments: The inspector will describe and inspect each fireplace or solid fuel burning appliance and chimney. He will report the build up of creosote and any deficiencies in the interior of the firebox and visible flue area. He will report dampers that do not operate.
J. Exterior Walkways, Driveways, Porches, Decks, and Carports (Attached)
Comments: The inspector will inspect walkways, patios and driveways leading to the dwelling entrance and report any deficiencies. The inspector will inspect porches, decks, steps and balconies. He will report any structural deficiencies.
K. Interior Walkways, Balconies, Stairs, Steps, Handrails, and Balusters.
Comments: The inspector will inspect interior walkways, balconies, stairs, steps, railings and balusters. He will also inspect and report any visible deficiencies in interior steps, stairways, balconies and railings.
II. ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS
A. Service Entrance & Panels
Comments: The inspector will describe the visible wiring type, the amperage and voltage rating of the service and the locations of the main disconnect and sub panels. He will inspect the service entrance cables and report deficiencies in the insulation, drip loop, service line clearances and separation of conductors at weather heads. He will report a drop, weather head or mast that is not securely fastened to the structure or support. He will report electrical gutters and sub panels that are not properly bonded and grounded. He will also report the lack of a visible grounding electrode conductor in the service or the lack of a secure connection to the grounding electrode or grounding system.
The inspector will report deficiencies in the type and condition of the wiring in the panels, the compatibility of over current protectors for the size of conductor being used and the sizing of listed equipment of over current protection and conductors (when power requirements for listed equipment are readily available and breakers are labeled). He will report a panel that is installed in a hazardous location, such as a clothes closet. He will report the lack of a main disconnect. He will report accessible main or sub panels that are not secured to the structure or are not appropriate for their location. He will report panels that do not have dead front covers in place and those that use improper fasteners or have knockouts that are not filled. He will report conductors that are not protected from the edges of metal panel boxes and trip ties that are not installed on labeled 240-volt circuits. In homes that have aluminum wiring, the inspector will report the absence of appropriate connections and anti-oxidants on aluminum conductor terminations.
B. Branch Circuits
Comments: The inspector will describe the type of branch circuit wiring and inspect the system. He will report deficiencies in exposed wiring, wiring terminations, junctions and junction boxes. He will report conduit that is not terminated securely or the absence of conduit in appropriate locations. If there is branch circuit aluminum wiring discovered in the main or sub panels, he will inspect a random sampling of accessible receptacles and switches and report inappropriate connections.
The inspector will inspect all accessible receptacles and report receptacles without power, receptacles with incorrect polarity or three-prong receptacles that are not grounded. He will report evidence of arcing or excessive heat. He will report receptacles that are not secured to the wall or covers that are not in place. He will report if Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) devices are not properly installed or do not operate properly.
The inspector will operate all accessible wall and appliance switches and report switches that do not operate. He will also report switches that are damaged, switches that display evidence of arcing or excessive heat and switches that are not fastened securely with cover in place. He will report the lack of disconnects in appropriate locations.
III. HEATING, VENTING, and AIR-CONDITIONING SYSTEMS
A. Heating Equipment
Comments: The inspector will describe the type of heating system and its energy sources and inspect each unit. He will operate the system using normal control devices and report any deficiencies in the controls and accessible operating components of the system. He will not operate a unit outside its normal operating range.
He will inspect and report electric furnaces that do not operate and plenums that are not free of improper and hazardous conditions. The inspector will report a furnace that he determines to be inaccessible.
The inspector will inspect gas furnaces and report the general condition of the burner compartment and any deficiencies in the burner, draft and termination of the vent pipe. He will also report units that display flame impingement, uplifting flame, improper flame color or excessive scale buildup. He will report inadequate clearance from combustible material, the lack of combustion and draft air, an inappropriate location or evidence of forced air in the burner compartment. The inspector will not evaluate of the integrity of a heat exchanger. This requires dismantling of the furnace and is beyond the scope of a visual inspection.
The inspector will report gas furnaces that are using improper materials for the gas branch line or the connection to the appliance. He will report the absence of a shut-off valve, an inaccessible valve or a valve that leaks.
B. Cooling Equipment
Type and Energy Source: Electric – Freon
Comments: The inspector will describe the type of cooling system and its energy sources and inspect each unit. He will operate the system using normal control devices (except when the outdoor temperature is less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit) and report deficiencies in performance. He will report any noticeable vibration of the blower fan and any deficiencies in the drainage of the condensate drain line and secondary drain line. He will report pipes made of inadequate material and primary drainpipes that visibly terminate in a sewer vent. He will also report safety pans that are blocked with debris or are not appropriately sized for the evaporator coil. The inspector will inspect return chases and plenums for hazardous conditions and report the lack of insulation on refrigerant pipes and primary condensate drain lines. He will report a condensing unit that does not have adequate clearance and air circulation. He will report deficiencies in the condition of the fins, location, levelness and elevation above ground surfaces. He will also report conductors and over-current protective devices that are not appropriately sized for the cooling system. The inspector will not program digital-type thermostats or controls or operate setback features on thermostats or controls. He will not inspect the pressure of the system coolant or determine the presence of leaks in the system.
C. Ducts and Vents
Comments: The inspector will inspect the visible components of the duct system and report improper materials or improper routing of ducts. He will report the absence of airflow at all accessible supply registers in the habitable areas of the structure and report deficiencies in accessible duct fans, filters, ducting and insulation. The inspector will report deficiencies in the installation and visible components of the flue system. He will report improperly sealed ducts and flue or vent pipes that do not terminate properly. He will report deficiencies in materials used for the flue and vent systems. The inspector will not determine the efficiency, adequacy or capacity of the systems. He will not determine the uniformity of the supply of conditioned air to the various parts of the structure nor determine the types of materials contained in insulation.
IV. PLUMBING
A. Water Supply System and Fixtures
Comments: The inspector will describe the supply system piping and inspect the plumbing system, including drain and sump pumps. He will report deficiencies in the type and condition of all accessible and visible water supply line components. He will report the location water shut-off valves. He will report incompatible materials visible in the connecting devices between differing metals in the supply system. He will report deficiencies in the water supply system by viewing functional flow in two fixtures operated simultaneously. The inspector will not operate any main valves, branch valves or shut-off valves. He will not inspect any system that has been shut down or otherwise secured. He will not determine the potability of the water supply.
The inspector will report deficiencies in the operation of all fixtures and faucets if the flow end of the faucet is accessible or not connected to an appliance. He will report deficiencies in the installation and identification of the hot and cold faucets. He will report the lack of back-flow devices, anti-siphon devices or air gaps on all fixtures. He will not determine the effectiveness of any anti-siphon devices. He will inspect any exterior faucet that is attached to the structure or immediately adjacent to the structure and report if it does not operate properly.
B. Drain, Wastes and Vents
Comments: The inspector will describe the waste and vent system piping and report deficiencies in the type and condition of all accessible and visible wastewater lines and vent pipes. He will report drainpipes that leak as well as any deficiencies in the functional drainage at all accessible plumbing fixtures. He will not inspect for sewer clean-outs. He will inspect the shower enclosure for leaks. He will report commodes that have cracks in the ceramic material, commodes that are improperly mounted on the floor or commodes that leak or have tank components that do not operate. He will also report mechanical drain stops (if installed) that are missing or do not operate on sinks, lavatories and tubs. The inspector will report the lack of a visible vent pipe system to the exterior of the structure and any improper routing or termination of the vent system. This inspection does not include fire sprinkler systems, water-conditioning equipment, waste ejector pumps, water mains, private sewer systems, water wells, sprinkler systems swimming pools or solar water heating systems.
C. Water Heating Equipment
Comments: The inspector will describe the type of water heater and its energy source and inspect each unit. He will report fittings that are leaking or corroded. He will report broken or missing parts, covers or controls. He will also report the lack of a safety pan and drain line, where applicable. The inspector will report an unsafe location or installation.
The inspector will report deficiencies in the burner, the flame and burner compartment, the operation of heating elements and the condition of wiring. He will report any deficiencies the condition of the draft, draft diverter, draft hood, and vent pipe, proximity to combustibles and vent termination point. He will report inadequate combustion and draft air. He will report gas water heaters that are using improper materials for the gas branch line or the connection to the unit. He will report the absence of a shut-off valve, an inaccessible valve or a valve that leaks. The inspector will inspect water heaters located in the garage and report those without protection from physical damage. He will report burners, burner ignition devices, heating elements, switches and thermostats that are not a minimum of 18 inches above the lowest garage floor elevation on water heaters that are located in the garage or in rooms or closets that open into the garage.
The inspector will operate the temperature and pressure relief valve when the operation will not cause damage to persons or property as reasonably determined by the inspector. He will report a temperature and pressure relief valve that does not operate when the valve is of an operable type. He will also report deficiencies in piping material; piping that lacks gravity drainage, improperly sized piping or piping that lacks a correct termination.
D. Hydro-Therapy Equipment
Comments: The inspector will inspect the unit and report if it does not operate or is inaccessible. He will report evidence of leaks under the tub if the access cover is available and accessible. He will report an inaccessible or absent cover. He will report deficiencies in the ports, valves, grates and covers. He will report switches that are not in a safe location or do not operate. He will also report a unit that lacks a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) or has an interrupter that does not operate. The inspector will not determine the adequacy of self-draining features of the circulation system.
V. APPLIANCES
A. Dishwasher
Comments: The inspector will operate the unit in the normal mode with the soap dispenser closed and report any deficiencies in the door gasket, control knobs and interior parts, including the dish tray, rollers, spray arms and soap dispenser. He will report spray arms that do not turn, soap dispensers that do not open and drying elements that do not operate. He will report units that are not securely mounted to the wall and door springs that do not operate properly. He will report any interior signs of rust or water leaks. He will report the lack of back flow prevention and any deficiencies in the discharge hose or piping.
B. Food Waste Disposer
Comments: The inspector will operate the unit and report any unusual noise or vibration. He will report a unit that is not securely mounted. He will also report signs of water leaks and any deficiencies in the splashguard, grinding components, wiring or exterior.
C. Range Hood
Comments: The inspector will report as in need of repair the absence of a range exhaust vent. He will operate any unit present and report any unusual noise or vibration. He will report a blower that does not operate at all speeds. He will also report any deficiencies in the filter; vent pipe, light and switches. He will report if the vent pipe is made of inadequate material or if the vent pipe does not terminate outside the structure when the unit is not of recirculation type or configuration.
D. Ranges / Ovens / Cook tops
Comments: The inspector will operate each range or cook top and report any broken or missing knobs, elements, drip pans or other parts. He will report deficiencies in the signal lights and elements or any burners that do not operate at low and high settings. He will report inadequate clearance from combustible material and the absence of applicable anti-tip devices.
The inspector will operate each oven and report any broken or missing knobs, handles, glass panels, door hinges, door springs, lights, light covers or other parts. He will report an oven that is not securely mounted. He will report heating elements and thermostat sensing elements that are not properly supported. He will report inadequate clearance from combustible material. He will also report deficiencies in lighting, door gasket, and tightness of closure, operation of the latch and operation of the heating elements or burners. He will inspect the operation of the clock, timer and thermostat and report any inaccuracy of the thermostat more than 25 degrees plus or minus of a 350 degree setting.
The inspector will report gas units that are using improper materials for the gas branch line or the connection to the appliance. He will report the absence of a shut-off valve, an inaccessible valve or a valve that leaks. The inspector will not operate or inspect self-cleaning functions.
E. Microwave Cooking Equipment
Comments: The inspector will operate the unit and report any broken or missing knobs, handles, glass panels or other parts. He will report a unit that is not securely mounted or does not operate. He will report any deficiencies in the lights, door or door seal. The inspector will not test for radiation leakage.
F. Trash Compactor
Comments: The inspector will operate the unit and report a unit that is not securely mounted or does not operate. He will also report any unusual noise or vibration.
G. Bathroom Exhaust Fans and/or Heaters
Comments: The inspector will operate each unit and report any unusual noise or vibration. He will also report visible vent pipes that do not terminate outside the structure.
H. Whole House Vacuum Systems
Comments: The inspector will operate the unit and inspect all accessible outlets throughout the house. He will report if the unit does not operate.
I. Garage Door(s) and Automatic Operators
Comments: The inspector will operate the overhead garage door both manually and by an installed automatic door control. He will report deficiencies in the installation, condition and operation of the garage door operator. He will report a door that does not automatically reverse during closing cycle or any installed electronic sensors that are not operable or not installed at the proper heights above the garage floor. He will also report door locks or side ropes that have not been removed or disabled.
J. Door Bell and Chimes
Comments: The inspector will inspect the doorbell components and report if the unit does not operate. He will also report any deficiencies in visible and accessible parts.
K. Dryer Vents
Comments: The inspector will inspect the visible components of the system and report deficiencies in materials or installation. He will report improperly sealed ducts or other deficiencies in the vent system components. He will report vent pipes that do not terminate properly. The inspector will not determine the types of materials contained in insulation, wrapping of pipes, ducts, jackets, boilers and wiring.
L. Other Built-in Appliances
Comments: The inspector will inspect and report any deficiencies in condition or operation of other built-in appliances that are specifically noted in this section.
M. Gas Lines
Comments: The inspector will inspect and report deficiencies in the condition and type of all accessible and visible gas piping. He will report the location of the gas shut-off valve. He will test the gas lines by using a local or an industry-accepted procedure (TIF Model gas detector). The inspector will not inspect for the existence of the sacrificial anode or its bonding.
§535.228.Standards of Practice: Minimum Inspection Requirements for Structural Systems.
(a) Foundations. The inspector shall:
(1) inspect slab surfaces, foundation framing components, subflooring, and related structural components;
(2) report:
(A) the type of foundation(s); and
(B) the vantage point from which the crawl space was inspected; and
(3) generally report present and visible indications used to render the opinion of adverse performance, such as:
(A) open or offset concrete cracks;
(B) binding, out-of-square, non-latching, warped, or twisted doors or frames;
(C) framing or frieze board separations;
(D) out-of-square wall openings or separations at wall openings or between the cladding and window/door frames;
(E) sloping floors, countertops, cabinet doors, or window/door casings;
(F) wall, floor, or ceiling cracks;
(G) rotating, buckling, cracking, or deflecting masonry cladding;
(H) separation of walls from ceilings or floors; and
(I) soil erosion, subsidence or shrinkage adjacent to the foundation and differential movement of abutting flatwork such as walkways, driveways, and patios;
(4) report as Deficient:
(A) exposed or damaged reinforcement;
(B) a crawl space that does not appear to be adequately ventilated;
(C) crawl space drainage that does not appear to be adequate;
(D) deteriorated materials;
(E) damaged beams, joists, bridging, blocking, piers, posts, pilings, or subfloor;
(F) non-supporting piers, posts, pilings, columns, beams, sills, or joists; and
(G) damaged retaining walls related to foundation performance; and
(5) render a written opinion as to the performance of the foundation.
(b) Specific limitations for foundations. The inspector is not required to:
(1) enter a crawlspace or any area where headroom is less than 18 inches or the access opening is less than 24 inches wide and 18 inches high;
(2) provide an exhaustive list of indicators of possible adverse performance; or
(3) inspect retaining walls not related to foundation performance.
(c) Grading and drainage. The inspector shall report as Deficient:
(1) improper or inadequate grading around the foundation (including flatwork);
(2) erosion;
(3) water ponding; and
(4) deficiencies in installed gutter and downspout systems.
(d) Specific limitations for grading and drainage. The inspector is not required to:
(1) inspect flatwork or detention/retention ponds (except as related to slope and drainage);
(2) determine area hydrology or the presence of underground water; or
(3) determine the efficiency or operation of underground drainage systems.
(e) Roof covering materials. The inspector shall:
(1) inspect the roof covering materials from the surface of the roof;
(2) report:
(A) type of roof covering(s);
(B) vantage point from where the roof was inspected;
(C) any levels or surfaces that were not accessed;
(D) evidence of previous repairs to roof covering materials, flashing details, skylights, and other roof penetrations; and
(E) evidence of water penetration; and
(3) report as Deficient:
(A) a roof covering that is not appropriate for the slope of the roof;
(B) deficiencies in:
(i) fastening of roof covering material, as determined by a random sampling;
(ii) roof covering materials;
(iii) flashing details;
(iv) skylights; and
(v) other roof penetrations.
(f) Specific limitations for roof covering. The inspector is not required to:
(1) determine the remaining life expectancy of the roof covering;
(2) inspect the roof from the roof level if, in the inspector’s reasonable judgment, the inspector cannot safely reach or stay on the roof or significant damage to the roof covering materials may result from walking on the roof;
(3) determine the number of layers of roof covering material;
(4) identify latent hail damage; or
(5) provide an exhaustive list of locations of water penetrations or previous repairs.
(g) Roof structure and attic. The inspector shall:
(1) report:
(A) the vantage point from which the attic space was inspected;
(B) the presence of and approximate average depth of attic insulation and thickness of vertical insulation, when visible; and
(C) evidence of water penetration; and
(2) report as Deficient:
(A) attic space that does not appear to be adequately ventilated;
(B) deficiencies in installed framing members and decking;
(C) deflections or depressions in the roof surface as related to the adverse performance of the framing and the roof deck;
(D) missing insulation;
(E) deficiencies in attic access ladder and access opening; and
(F) deficiencies in attic ventilators.
(h) Specific limitations for roof structure and attic. The inspector is not required to:
(1) enter attics or unfinished spaces where openings are less than 22 inches by 30 inches or headroom is less than 30 inches;
(2) operate powered ventilators; or
(3) provide an exhaustive list of locations of water penetrations.
(i) Interior walls, ceilings, floors, and doors. The inspector shall:
(1) report evidence of water penetration; and
(2) report as Deficient:
(A) doors and hardware that do not operate properly;
(B) deficiencies related to structural performance or water penetration; and
(C) lack of fire separation between the garage and the residence and its attic space.
(j) Specific limitation for interior walls, doors, ceilings, and floors. The inspector is not required to:
(1) report cosmetic damage or the condition of floor, wall, or ceiling coverings; paints, stains, or other surface coatings; cabinets; or countertops, or
(2) provide an exhaustive list of locations of water penetrations.
(k) Exterior walls, doors, and windows. The inspector shall:
(1) report evidence of water penetration; and
(2) report as Deficient:
(A) the lack of functional emergency escape and rescue openings in all sleeping rooms;
(B) the lack of a solid wood door not less than 1-3/8 inches in thickness, a solid or honeycomb core steel door not less than 1-3/8 inches thick, or a 20-minute fire-rated door between the residence and an attached garage;
(C) missing or damaged screens;
(D) deficiencies related to structural performance or water penetration; and
(E) deficiencies in:
(i) claddings;
(ii) water resistant materials and coatings;
(iii) flashing details and terminations;
(iv) the condition and operation of exterior doors, garage doors, and hardware; and
(v) window operation and components.
(l) Specific limitations for exterior walls, doors, and windows. The inspector is not required to:
(1) report the condition or presence of awnings, shutters, security devices, or systems;
(2) determine the cosmetic condition of paints, stains, or other surface coatings; or
(3) operate a lock if the key is not available.
(m) Exterior and interior glazing. The inspector shall:
(1) inspect the window and door glazing; and
(2) report as Deficient:
(A) insulated windows that are obviously fogged or display other evidence of broken seals;
(B) deficiencies in glazing, weather stripping, and glazing compound in windows and exterior doors; and
(C) the absence of safety glass in hazardous locations.
(n) Specific limitation for exterior and interior glazing. The inspector is not required to:
(1) exhaustively observe insulated windows for evidence of broken seals;
(2) exhaustively observe glazing for identifying labels; or
(3) identify specific locations of damage.
(o) Interior and exterior stairways. The inspector shall report as Deficient:
(1) spacing between intermediate balusters, spindles, or rails for steps, stairways, guards, and railings that permit passage of an object greater than 4 inches in diameter, except that on the open side of the staircase treads, spheres less than 4-3/8 inches in diameter may pass through the guard rail balusters or spindles; and
(2) deficiencies in steps, stairways, landings, guardrails, and handrails.
(p) Specific limitation for stairways. The inspector is not required to exhaustively measure every stairway component.
(q) Fireplace and chimney. The inspector shall report as Deficient:
(1) built-up creosote in visible areas of the firebox and flue;
(2) the presence of combustible materials in near proximity to the firebox opening;
(3) the absence of fireblocking at the attic penetration of the chimney flue, where accessible;
(4) an inoperative circulating fan; and
(5) deficiencies in the:
(A) damper;
(B) lintel, hearth, hearth extension, and firebox;
(C) gas log lighter valve and location;
(D) combustion air vents; and
(E) chimney structure, termination, coping, crown, caps, and spark arrestor.
(r) Specific limitations for fireplace and chimney. The inspector is not required to:
(1) verify the integrity of the flue;
(2) perform a chimney smoke test; or
(3) determine the adequacy of the draft.
(s) Porches, Balconies, Decks, and Carports. The inspector shall:
(1) inspect balconies, attached carports, and attached porches and abutting porches, decks, and balconies that are used for ingress and egress; and
(2) report as Deficient:
(A) on decks 30 inches or higher above the adjacent grade, spacings between intermediate balusters, spindles, or rails that permit passage of an object greater than four inches in diameter;
(B) deficiencies in visible footings, piers, posts, pilings, beams, joists, decking, water proofing at interfaces, flashing, surface coverings, and attachment points of porches, decks, balconies, and carports; and
(C) deficiencies in, or absence of required, guardrails and handrails.
(t) Specific limitation for porches, balconies, decks, and carports. The inspector is not required to:
(1) exhaustively measure the porch, balcony, deck, or attached carport components; or
(2) enter any area where headroom is less than 18 inches or the access opening is less than 24 inches wide and 18 inches high.
§535.229.Standards of Practice: Minimum Inspection Requirements for Electrical Systems.
(a) Service entrance and panels. The inspector shall report as Deficient:
(1) a drop, weatherhead, or mast that is not securely fastened to the structure;
(2) the lack of a grounding electrode system;
(3) the lack of a grounding electrode conductor;
(4) the lack of a secure connection to the grounding electrode system;
(5) deficiencies in the insulation of the service entrance conductors, drip loop, separation of conductors at weatherheads, and clearances;
(6) electrical cabinets, gutters, meter cans, and panel boards that:
(A) are not secured to the structure;
(B) are not appropriate for their location;
(C) have deficiencies in clearances and accessibility;
(D) are missing knockouts; or
(E) are not bonded and grounded;
(7) cabinets, disconnects, cutout boxes, and panel boards that do not have dead fronts secured in place with proper fasteners;
(8) conductors not protected from the edges of electrical cabinets, gutters, or cutout boxes;
(9) trip ties not installed on 240 volt circuits;
(10) deficiencies in the type and condition of the wiring in the cutout boxes, cabinets, or gutters;
(11) deficiencies in the compatibility of overcurrent devices and conductors;
(12) deficiencies in the overcurrent device and circuit for labeled and listed 240 volt appliances;
(13) a panel that is installed in a hazardous location, such as a clothes closet, a bathroom, where there are corrosive or easily ignitable materials, or where the panel is exposed to physical damage;
(14) the absence of appropriate connections, such as copper/aluminum-approved devices;
(15) the absence of anti-oxidants on aluminum conductor terminations;
(16) the lack of a main disconnecting means;
(17) the lack of arc-fault circuit interrupting devices serving family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreations rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas; and
(18) failure of operation of installed arc-fault circuit interrupter devices.
(b) Specific limitations for service entrance and panels. The inspector is not required to:
(1) determine present or future sufficiency of service capacity amperage, voltage, or the capacity of the electrical system;
(2) test arc-fault circuit interrupter devices when the property is occupied or damage to personal property may result, in the inspector’s reasonable judgment;
(3) report the lack of arc-fault circuit interrupter protection when the circuits are in conduit;
(4) conduct voltage drop calculations;
(5) determine the accuracy of overcurrent device labeling;
(6) remove covers where hazardous as judged by the inspector;
(7) verify the effectiveness of overcurrent devices; or
(8) operate overcurrent devices.
(c) Branch circuits, connected devices, and fixtures. The inspector shall:
(1) report the type of branch circuit conductors;
(2) manually test the accessible smoke alarms by use of the manufacturer’s approved test or by the use of canned smoke; and
(3) report as Deficient:
(A) the lack of ground-fault circuit interrupter protection in all:
(i) bathroom receptacles;
(ii) garage receptacles;
(iii) outdoor receptacles;
(iv) crawl space receptacles;
(v) unfinished basement receptacles;
(vi) kitchen countertop receptacles; and
(vii) laundry, utility, and wet bar sink receptacles located within 6 feet of the outside edge of a laundry, utility, or wet bar sink; and
(B) the failure of operation of ground-fault circuit interrupter protection devices;
(C) receptacles that:
(i) are damaged;
(ii) are inoperative;
(iii) have incorrect polarity;
(iv) are not grounded, if applicable;
(v) display evidence of arcing or excessive heat;
(vi) are not securely mounted; or
(vii) have missing or damaged covers;
(D) switches that:
(i) are damaged;
(ii) are inoperative;
(iii) display evidence of arcing or excessive heat;
(iv) are not securely mounted; or
(v) have missing or damaged covers;
(E) deficiencies in or absences of conduit, where applicable;
(F) appliances and metal pipes that are not bonded or grounded;
(G) deficiencies in wiring, wiring terminations, junctions, junction boxes, and fixtures;
(H) the lack of equipment disconnects;
(I) the absence of appropriate connections, such as copper/aluminum approved devices, if branch circuit aluminum conductors are discovered in the main or sub-panel based on a random sampling of accessible receptacles and switches;
(J) improper use of extension cords;
(K) deficiencies in smoke alarms that are not connected to a central alarm system; and
(L) the lack of smoke alarms:
(i) in each sleeping room;
(ii) outside each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the sleeping rooms; and
(iii) on each additional story of the dwelling, including basements but excluding crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics (in dwellings with split levels and without an intervening door between the levels, a smoke alarm installed on the upper level and the adjacent lower level shall suffice provided that the lower level is less than one full story below the upper level).
(d) Specific limitations for branch circuits, connected devices, and fixtures. The inspector is not required to:
(1) inspect low voltage wiring;
(2) disassemble mechanical appliances;
(3) verify the effectiveness of smoke alarms;
(4) verify interconnectivity of smoke alarms;
(5) activate smoke alarms that are being actively monitored or require the use of codes; or
(6) verify that smoke alarms are suitable for the hearing-impaired.
§535.230.Standards of Practice: Minimum Inspection Requirements for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Systems.
(a) Heating equipment. The inspector shall:
(1) report:
(A) the type of heating system(s); and
(B) the energy source(s);
(2) report as Deficient:
(A) an inoperative unit;
(B) deficiencies in the controls and operating components of the system;
(C) the lack of protection from physical damage;
(D) burners, burner ignition devices or heating elements, switches, and thermostats that are not a minimum of 18 inches above the lowest garage floor elevation, unless the unit is listed for garage floor installation;
(E) inappropriate location;
(F) inadequate access and clearances;
(G) deficiencies in mounting and operation of window units; and
(H) deficiencies in thermostats;
(3) in electric units, report as Deficient deficiencies in:
(A) operation of heating elements; and
(B) condition of conductors; and
(4) in gas units, report as Deficient:
(A) gas leaks;
(B) the presence of forced air in the burner compartment;
(C) flame impingement, uplifting flame, improper flame color, or excessive scale buildup;
(D) the lack of a gas shut-off valve; and
(E) deficiencies in:
(i) conditioned, combustion, and dilution air;
(ii) gas shut-off valves and locations;
(iii) gas connector materials and connections; and
(iv) the vent pipe, draft hood, draft, proximity to combustibles, and vent termination point and clearances.
(b) Cooling equipment other than evaporative coolers. The inspector shall:
(1) report the type of system(s); and
(2) report as Deficient:
(A) inoperative unit(s);
(B) inadequate cooling as demonstrated by its performance in the reasonable judgment of the inspector;
(C) inadequate access and clearances;
(D) noticeable vibration of the blower fan or condensing fan;
(E) deficiencies in the condensate drain and auxiliary/secondary pan and drain system;
(F) water in the auxiliary/secondary drain pan;
(G) a primary drain pipe that terminates in a sewer vent;
(H) missing or deficient refrigerant pipe insulation;
(I) dirty evaporator or condensing coils, where accessible;
(J) damaged casings on the coils;
(K) a condensing unit lacking adequate clearances or air circulation or that has deficiencies in the condition of fins, location, levelness, or elevation above ground surfaces;
(L) deficiencies in mounting and operation of window or wall units; and
(M) deficiencies in thermostats.
(c) Evaporative coolers. The inspector shall:
(1) report:
(A) type of system(s) (one- or two-speed);
(B) the type of water supply line; and
(C) winterized units that are drained and shut down; and
(2) report as Deficient:
(A) inoperative units;
(B) inadequate access and clearances;
(C) corrosive and mineral build-up or rust damage/decay at the pump, louvered panels, water trays, exterior housing, or the roof frame;
(D) less than a one-inch air gap between the water discharge at the float and water level in the reservoir;
(E) corrosion, decay, or rust on the pulleys of the motor or blower;
(F) the lack of a damper; and
(G) deficiencies in the:
(i) function of the pump;
(ii) interior housing, the spider tubes, tube clips, bleeder system;
(iii) blower and bearings;
(iv) float bracket;
(v) fan belt;
(vi) evaporative pad(s);
(vii) installation and condition of the legs on the roof rails and fasteners to the roof structure and the unit;
(viii) roof jack; and
(ix) thermostats.
(d) Duct system, chases, and vents. The inspector shall report as Deficient:
(1) damaged ducting or insulation, improper material, or improper routing of ducts;
(2) the absence of air flow at accessible supply registers in the habitable areas of the structure;
(3) improper or inadequate clearance from the earth; and
(4) deficiencies in:
(A) duct fans;
(B) filters;
(C) grills or registers;
(D) the location of return air openings; and
(E) gas piping, sewer vents, electrical wiring, or junction boxes in the duct system, plenum(s), and chase(s).
(e) Specific limitations for the heating equipment, cooling equipment, duct system, chases, and vents. The inspector is not required to:
(1) program digital thermostats or controls;
(2) inspect:
(A) for pressure of the system refrigerant, type of refrigerant, or refrigerant leaks;
(B) winterized evaporative coolers; or
(C) humidifiers, dehumidifiers, air purifiers, motorized dampers, electronic air filters, multi-stage controllers, sequencers, heat reclaimers, wood burning stoves, boilers, oil-fired units, supplemental heating appliances, de-icing provisions, or reversing valves;
(3) operate:
(A) setback features on thermostats or controls;
(B) cooling equipment when the outdoor temperature is less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit;
(C) radiant heaters, steam heat systems, or unvented gas-fired heating appliances; or
(D) heat pumps when temperatures may damage equipment;
(4) verify:
(A) compatibility of components;
(B) the accuracy of thermostats; or
(C) the integrity of the heat exchanger; or
(5) determine:
(A) sizing, efficiency, or adequacy of the system;
(B) uniformity of the supply of conditioned air to the various parts of the structure; or
(C) types of materials contained in insulation.
§535.231.Standards of Practice: Minimum Inspection Requirements for Plumbing Systems.
(a) Plumbing systems. The inspector shall:
(1) report:
(A) static water pressure;
(B) location of water meter; and
(C) location of main water supply valve; and
(2) report as Deficient:
(A) the presence of active leaks;
(B) the lack of fixture shut-off valves;
(C) the lack of dielectric unions, when applicable;
(D) the lack of back-flow devices, anti-siphon devices, or air gaps at the flow end of fixtures;
(E) water pressure below 40 psi or above 80 psi static;
(F) the lack of a pressure reducing valve when the water pressure exceeds 80 psi;
(G) the lack of an expansion tank at the water heater(s) when a pressure reducing valve is in place at the water supply line/system; and
(H) deficiencies in:
(i) water supply pipes and waste pipes;
(ii) the installation and termination of the vent system;
(iii) the operation of fixtures and faucets not connected to an appliance;
(iv) water supply, as determined by viewing functional flow in two fixtures operated simultaneously;
(v) functional drainage at fixtures;
(vi) orientation of hot and cold faucets;
(vii) installed mechanical drain stops;
(viii) installation, condition, and operation of commodes;
(ix) fixtures, showers, tubs, and enclosures; and
(x) the condition of the gas distribution system.
(b) Specific limitations for plumbing systems. The inspector is not required to:
(1) operate any main, branch, or shut-off valves;
(2) operate or inspect sump pumps or waste ejector pumps;
(3) inspect:
(A) any system that has been winterized, shut down or otherwise secured;
(B) circulating pumps, free-standing appliances, solar water heating systems, water-conditioning equipment, filter systems, water mains, private water supply systems, water wells, pressure tanks, sprinkler systems, swimming pools, or fire sprinkler systems;
(C) the inaccessible gas supply system for leaks;
(D) for sewer clean-outs; or
(E) for the presence or operation of private sewage disposal systems;
(4) determine:
(A) quality, potability, or volume of the water supply; or
(B) effectiveness of backflow or anti-siphon devices; or
(5) verify the functionality of clothes washing drains or floor drains.
(c) Water heaters. The inspector shall:
(1) report the energy source;
(2) report the capacity of the unit(s);
(3) report as Deficient:
(A) inoperative unit(s);
(B) leaking or corroded fittings or tank(s);
(C) broken or missing parts or controls;
(D) the lack of a cold water shut-off valve;
(E) if applicable, the lack of a pan and drain system and the improper termination of the pan drain line;
(F) an unsafe location;
(G) burners, burner ignition devices or heating elements, switches, or thermostats that are not a minimum of 18 inches above the lowest garage floor elevation, unless the unit is listed for garage floor installation;
(H) inappropriate location;
(I) inadequate access and clearances;
(J) the lack of protection from physical damage;
(K) a temperature and pressure relief valve that:
(i) does not operate manually;
(ii) leaks;
(iii) is damaged;
(iv) cannot be tested due to obstructions;
(v) is corroded; or
(vi) is improperly located; and
(L) temperature and pressure relief valve discharge piping that:
(i) lacks gravity drainage;
(ii) is improperly sized;
(iii) has inadequate material; or
(iv) lacks proper termination;
(3) in electric units, report as Deficient deficiencies in:
(A) operation of heating elements; and
(B) condition of conductors; and
(4) in gas units, report as Deficient:
(A) gas leaks;
(B) lack of burner shield(s);
(C) flame impingement, uplifting flame, improper flame color, or excessive scale build-up;
(D) the lack of a gas shut-off valve; and
(E) deficiencies in:
(i) combustion and dilution air;
(ii) gas shut-off valve(s) and location(s);
(iii) gas connector materials and connections; and
(iv) vent pipe, draft hood, draft, proximity to combustibles, and vent termination point and clearances.
(d) Specific limitations for water heaters. The inspector is not required to:
(1) verify the effectiveness of the temperature and pressure relief valve, discharge piping, or pan drain pipes;
(2) operate the temperature and pressure relief valve if the operation of the valve may, in the inspector’s reasonable judgment, cause damage to persons or property; or
(3) determine the efficiency or adequacy of the unit.
(e) Hydro-massage therapy equipment. The inspector shall report as Deficient:
(1) inoperative unit(s) and controls;
(2) the presence of active leaks;
(3) inaccessible pump(s) or motor(s);
(4) the lack or failure of required ground-fault circuit interrupter protection; and
(5) deficiencies in the ports, valves, grates, and covers.
(f) Specific limitation for hydro-massage therapy equipment. The inspector is not required to determine the adequacy of self-draining features of circulation systems.
§535.232.Standards of Practice: Minimum Inspection Requirements for Appliances.
(a) Dishwasher. The inspector shall report as Deficient:
(1) inoperative unit(s);
(2) rust on the interior of the cabinet or components;
(3) failure to drain properly;
(4) the presence of active water leaks; and
(5) deficiencies in the:
(A) door gasket;
(B) control and control panels;
(C) dish racks;
(D) rollers;
(E) spray arms;
(F) operation of the soap dispenser;
(G) door springs;
(H) dryer element;
(I) door latch and door disconnect;
(J) rinse cap;
(K) secure mounting of the unit; and
(L) backflow prevention.
(b) Food waste disposer. The inspector shall report as Deficient:
(1) inoperative unit(s);
(2) unusual sounds or vibration level;
(3) the presence of active water leaks; and
(4) deficiencies in the:
(A) splash guard;
(B) grinding components;
(C) exterior casing; and
(D) secure mounting of the unit.
(c) Range exhaust vent. The inspector shall report as Deficient:
(1) inoperative unit(s);
(2) a vent pipe that does not terminate outside the structure, if the unit is not of a re-circulating type or configuration;
(3) inadequate vent pipe material;
(4) unusual sounds or vibration levels from the blower fan(s);
(5) blower(s) that do not operate at all speeds; and
(6) deficiencies in the:
(A) filter;
(B) vent pipe;
(C) light and lens;
(D) secure mounting of the unit; and
(E) switches.
(d) Electric or gas ranges, cooktops, and ovens. The inspector shall report as Deficient:
(1) inoperative unit(s);
(2) the lack of a gas shut-off valve;
(3) gas leaks; and
(4) deficiencies in the:
(A) controls and control panels;
(B) thermostat(s) sensor support;
(C) glass panels;
(D) door gasket(s), hinges, springs, closure, and handles;
(E) door latch;
(F) heating elements or burners;
(G) thermostat accuracy (within 25 degrees at a setting of 350°F);
(H) drip pans;
(I) lights and lenses;
(J) clearance to combustible material;
(K) anti-tip device;
(L) gas shut-off valve(s) and location(s);
(M) gas connector materials and connections; and
(N) secure mounting of the unit.
(e) Microwave oven. The inspector shall:
(1) inspect built-in units; and
(2) report as Deficient:
(A) inoperative unit(s); and
(B) deficiencies in the:
(i) controls and control panels;
(ii) handles;
(iii) the turn table;
(iv) interior surfaces;
(v) door and door seal;
(vi) glass panels;
(vii) lights and lenses;
(viii) secure mounting of the unit; and
(ix) operation, as determined by heating a container of water or with other means of testing.
(f) Trash compactor. The inspector shall report as Deficient:
(1) inoperative unit(s);
(2) unusual sounds or vibration levels; and
(3) deficiencies in the secure mounting of the unit.
(g) Mechanical exhaust vents and bathroom heaters. The inspector shall report as Deficient:
(1) inoperative unit(s);
(2) unusual sounds, speed, and vibration levels;
(3) vent pipes that do not terminate outside the structure;
(4) a gas heater that is not vented to the exterior of the structure; and
(5) the lack of an exhaust ventilator in required areas.
(h) Garage door operators. The inspector shall report as Deficient:
(1) inoperative unit(s);
(2) door locks or side ropes that have not been removed or disabled; and
(3) deficiencies in:
(A) installation;
(B) condition and operation of the garage door operator;
(C) automatic reversal during the closing cycle;
(D) electronic sensors;
(E) the control button; and
(F) the emergency release components.
(i) Doorbell and chimes. The inspector shall report as Deficient:
(1) inoperable unit(s); and
(2) deficiencies in components.
(j) Dryer vents. The inspector shall report as Deficient:
(1) improper routing and length of vent pipe;
(2) inadequate vent pipe material;
(3) improper termination;
(4) the lack of a dryer vent system when provisions are present for a dryer; and
(5) damaged or missing exterior cover.
(k) Specific limitations for appliances. The inspector is not required to:
(1) operate or determine the condition of other auxiliary components of inspected items;
(2) test for microwave oven radiation leaks;
(3) inspect self-cleaning functions;
(4) test trash compactor ram pressure; or
(5) determine the adequacy of venting systems.
§535.233.Standards of Practice: Minimum Inspection Requirements for Optional Systems.
If an inspector agrees to inspect a component described in this section, §535.227 of this title (relating to Standards of Practice: General Provisions) and the applicable provisions below apply.
(1) Lawn and garden sprinkler systems. The inspector shall:
(A) manually operate all zones or stations on the system; and
(B) report as Deficient:
(i) surface water leaks;
(ii) the absence or improper installation of anti-siphon devices and backflow preventers;
(iii) the absence of shut-off valves;
(iv) deficiencies in water flow or pressure at the zone heads;
(v) the lack of a rain or freeze sensor;
(vi) deficiencies in the condition of the control box; and
(vii) deficiencies in the operation of each zone, associated valves, and spray head patterns.
(2) Specific limitations for lawn and garden sprinkler systems. The inspector is not required to inspect:
(A) for effective coverage of the sprinkler system;
(B) the automatic function of the timer or control box;
(C) the effectiveness of the rain or freeze sensor; or
(D) sizing and effectiveness of anti-siphon devices or backflow preventers.
(3) Swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, and equipment. The inspector shall:
(A) report the type of construction;
(B) report as Deficient:
(i) a pump motor, blower, or other electrical equipment that lacks bonding;
(ii) the absence of or deficiencies in safety barriers;
(iii) water leaks in above-ground pipes and equipment;
(iv) deficiencies in lighting fixture(s);
(v) the lack or failure of required ground-fault circuit interrupter protection; and
(vi) deficiencies in:
(I) surfaces;
(II) tiles, coping, and decks;
(III) slides, steps, diving boards, handrails, and other equipment;
(IV) drains, skimmers, and valves; and
(V) filters, gauges, pumps, motors, controls, and sweeps; and
(C) when inspecting a pool heater, report deficiencies that these standards of practice require to be reported for the heating system.
(4) Specific limitations for swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, and equipment. The inspector is not required to:
(A) dismantle or otherwise open any components or lines;
(B) operate valves;
(C) uncover or excavate any lines or concealed components of the system or determine the presence of sub-surface leaks;
(D) fill the pool, spa, or hot tub with water;
(E) inspect any system that has been winterized, shut down, or otherwise secured;
(F) determine the presence of sub-surface water tables; or
(G) inspect ancillary equipment such as computer controls, covers, chlorinators or other chemical dispensers, or water ionization devices or conditioners other than required by this section.
(5) Outbuildings. The inspector shall report as Deficient:
(A) the lack of ground-fault circuit interrupter protection in grade-level portions of unfinished accessory buildings used for storage or work areas, boathouses, and boat hoists; and
(B) deficiencies in the structural, electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation, and cooling systems that these standards of practice require to be reported for the principal structure.
(6) Outdoor cooking equipment. The inspector shall:
(A) inspect the built-in equipment; and
(B) report the energy source; and
(C) report as Deficient:
(i) inoperative unit(s);
(ii) a unit or pedestal that is not stable;
(iii) gas leaks; and
(iv) deficiencies in:
(I) operation;
(II) control knobs, handles, burner bars, grills, the box, the rotisserie (if present), and heat diffusion material;
(III) gas shut-off valve(s) and location(s); and
(IV) gas connector materials and connections.
(7) Gas supply systems. The inspector shall:
(A) test gas lines using a local or an industry-accepted procedure; and
(B) report as Deficient:
(i) leaks; and
(ii) deficiencies in the condition and type of gas piping, fittings, and valves.
(8) Specific limitation for gas lines. The inspector is not required to inspect sacrificial anode bonding or for its existence.
(9) Private water wells. The inspector shall:
(A) operate at least two fixtures simultaneously;
(B) recommend or arrange to have performed water quality or potability testing;
(C) report:
(i) the type of pump and storage equipment; and
(ii) the proximity of any known septic system; and
(D) report as Deficient deficiencies in:
(i) water pressure and flow and operation of pressure switches;
(ii) the condition of visible and accessible equipment and components; and
(iii) the well head, including improper site drainage and clearances.
(10) Specific limitations for private water wells. The inspector is not required to:
(A) open, uncover, or remove the pump, heads, screens, lines, or other components or parts of the system;
(B) determine the reliability of the water supply or source; or
(C) locate or verify underground water leaks.
(11) Private sewage disposal (septic) systems. The inspector shall:
(A) report:
(i) the type of system;
(ii) the location of the drain field; and
(iii) the proximity of any known water wells, underground cisterns, water supply lines, bodies of water, sharp slopes or breaks, easement lines, property lines, soil absorption systems, swimming pools, or sprinkler systems; and
(B) report as Deficient:
(i) visual or olfactory evidence of effluent seepage or flow at the surface of the ground;
(ii) inoperative aerators or dosing pumps; and
(iii) deficiencies in:
(I) accessible or visible components;
(II) functional flow;
(III) site drainage and clearances around or adjacent to the system; and
(IV) the aerobic discharge system.
(12) Specific limitations for individual private sewage disposal (septic) systems. The inspector is not required to:
(A) excavate or uncover the system or its components;
(B) determine the size, adequacy, or efficiency of the system; or
(C) determine the type of construction used.
(13) Whole-house vacuum system. The inspector shall report as Deficient:
(A) inoperative units;
(B) deficiencies in the main unit; and
(C) deficiencies in outlets.
(14) Specific limitations for whole-house vacuum systems. The inspector is not required to:
(A) inspect the attachments or hoses; or
(B) verify that accessory components are present.
(15) Other built-in appliances. The inspector shall report deficiencies in condition or operation of other built-in appliances not listed in this section.
This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency’s legal authority to adopt.