Last week, I was telling you how if you are planning to sell your home or make renovations, it is critical to know if there are any buildings code violations. But, it seems like I’ve missed out a few points – blame it on JTBC’s new show and Jung Hae In’s sexy, sexy muscles!
Anyway, here are some important points to consider if you want to save your house from building code violations.
Examine the Electrical Panel Box
Make sure that circuits are properly labeled, breakers are sized to match circuit requirements, and so on. Hire an electrician to remove the panel’s dead front to inspect the wiring connections to breakers (or fuses) so that the type of wire (copper vs aluminum), wire size, and presence of grounding legs for circuits can be determined.
It is critical to have a qualified electrician inspect the wiring in older homes. In some cases, years and years of (often illegal) incremental DIY wiring repairs or a complete lack of replacing aging wires in such homes can pose a fire hazard and potential electrocution hazards. An expert will be able to tell you right away whether or not major repairs are required.
Examine the House Windows Carefully
Are the frames labeled for wind loads, and is the glazing double or triple glazed to provide insulation and impact resistance? Is it possible to see the fasteners to ensure that they are securely fastened? Other window characteristics, such as Low E coatings, may be more difficult to confirm. Safety or tempered glass, on the other side, must be labeled with the type of glass as well as the safety glazing standard to which it adheres. This designation must be visible at the final installation and must be acid etched or otherwise applied in such a way that it cannot be removed without destroying the installation.
Examine the Visible Water Lines to See if the Correct Pipe Materials Were Used
If a dull, grey plastic pipe with aluminum crimped couplings is spotted, your house or parts of it were probably fitted with polybutylene pipe that has since been removed from use, because chlorine in the water is known to deteriorate the internal chemical structure of polybutylene piping and the associated acetal fittings, resulting in leaks.Because the pipe is compromised from the inside, it is nearly impossible to determine the condition of the polybutylene piping.
Check to See if Your Water Heater Is Gas-Powered and That It Is Vented Through a Metal Pipe
Check the surrounding area for adequate ventilation, as this may pose a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If the gas water heater is in a garage, make sure the pilot flame is at least 18 inches (45.7 cm) above the ground.
Check to see if the water heater has a pressure relief valve; the valve should be plumbed to the building’s exterior.
If you live in a seismic design category C,D,E, or F (as determined by your local building department), make sure the water heater is strapped at the upper and lower thirds of its vertical dimensions to resist horizontal displacement during a seismic event.
Examine Your Laundry Equipment
Is there a metal exhaust duct with a smooth inner surface on the clothes dryer? Is the duct 35 feet (10.7 m) or less in length (minus up to 5 feet for each 90° elbow)?
Check to see if the plumbing fixtures for the washing machine are strapped and the drain line is routed into your home’s sanitary sewer system. Some local building codes allow gray water discharge in specific areas, but the majority do not allow direct discharge onto the ground outside your home.