Seattle Home Inspector's Blog


The making of "Crop Circles"

      When I was a kid growing up on the farm in Connecticut, my cousins and I decided one day to harness the pony to the wagon and give ourselves a ride.  We had several large ponies on the farm and we couldn't catch the one that was trained to pull the wagon so we hooked up one of the ones that we could catch.  NOT TOO BRIGHT.  I can still see my cousin sitting on the back of the wagon, bouncing up and down, his eyes wide as saucers and headed full speed across the pasture---and then through the vegetable garden.  I am fortunate today to not remember what the repercussions were.  It is kind of funny today, but at the time, the ruined wagon, ruined harness and ruined garden probably didn't go over too well since we produced much of our own food. 

     Using the right things for the wrong purposes can lead to funny stories like my childhood farm life, but it can also have deadly consequences.  On a recent inspection I found where someone had relocated the gas dryer and because the gas line wasn't long enough, they just added a length of water supply line to extend the gas line.  These water supply lines are rated for water only.  Although they might "function" as installed, the consequences of failure would be much greater than a ride through the corn field.  (Of course the consequences for my poor cousin, had he broken his neck, would also have also been a bummer.)   It is very common on inspections to find where the wrong materials have been used for the job---some result in more dangerous situations than others.

     This first picture shows the original flexible connector at the gas shut-off and its connection to the water supply pipe at the left.gas line










      The second picture shows the water supply pipe where it connects to the back of the dryer.gas line

     Like the wrong pony harnessed to the wagon this is ---NOT TO BRIGHT!


Charles Buell 

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Comment balloon 9 commentsCharles Buell • April 04 2008 08:29AM


Another great post Charles. Good catch too, that one could have easily been missed if one was not paying attention. Good Job!
Posted by MC2 Home Inspections (MC2 Home Inspections LLC) over 11 years ago
Hi Charles,  I've seen this before as well.  Sometimes I think it's either a matter of cost, the water supply line is cheaper.  Or, because it's prettier, you know, nice and shiny looking, must be better.
Posted by David Holden, DRH Home Inspection Akron, Ohio Summit (DRH Home Inspection Akron, Ohio Summit County Home Inspector) over 11 years ago


Good post!  This is why I always recommend a home inspection!  And, if they don't want to pay for one and it is on a house that is questionable, I'll pay for it.  That takes the monkey off my back!!

Posted by Mary PAUL, ABR, CRS,GRI, e-PRO, (RE/MAX Advantage Realtors, Searcy, AR) over 11 years ago
Nice catch!..... I'm never surprised anymore by the things that I see in houses!.... it's amazing to me.
Posted by Scott Cowan (RE/MAX Professionals) over 11 years ago

Wow .... can you say "Dah". It is amazing what some people do not realize. Kind of like common sense.

Sean Allen

Posted by Sean Allen, International Financing Solutions (International Financing Solutions ) over 11 years ago
Yikes Charles. Some people are just dummies out there. Kaboom! - Ray
Posted by Ray Wilson, NYS Licensed Home and Building Inspector (Meticulous Home Inspection Corporation) over 11 years ago

Mike, thanks for the comment.

David, "shiny" is always better:)

Mary, I wish more agents felt like you.

Scott, it never ceases to amaze me how much I can still be amazed:)

Sean, if only common sense were more common

Ray, my thoughts exactly!

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 11 years ago
Charles, I do not think that I have seen this one before. It is absolutely amazing the things that the unhandy homeowner will do isn't it? Makes you just want to keep a roll of duct tape in your tool pouch to wrap around your head just to keep it from exploding.
Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 11 years ago
Hey Michael, great news, I just discovered they are now making a "carbon fiber" duct tape for these "extra severe headaches!"
Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 11 years ago