15039 Nottingham Way, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530 is a Single Family Residence located in Riverside County, California. The home has 4 bedrooms and

15039 Nottingham Way, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530

Lake Elsinore, CA

2.0 bathrooms, and approximately 1,717 square feet of interior space. This home for sale at 15039 Nottingham Way was built in 1974 and sits on a 7,841 square foot lot. – Description provided by RealtyTrac.com

Sampling of Signature Home Inspection Observations during this Lake Elsinore Home Inspection

Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate – One or more electric receptacles (outlets) had no visible ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection, or the inspector was unable to determine if GFCI protection was present. If not GFCI-protected, receptacles in wet areas pose a shock hazard. Recommend that a qualified electrician evaluate and install GFCI protection if necessary and per standard building practices.

General guidelines for GFCI-protected receptacles include the following locations:

Outdoors (since 1973)
Bathrooms (since 1975)
Garages (since 1978)
Kitchens (since 1987)
Crawl spaces and unfinished basements (since 1990)
Wet bar sinks (since 1993)
Laundry and utility sinks (since 2005)

For more information, visit:

Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate – This property has one or more Zinsco brand main service or sub panels. These panels and their circuit breakers have a variety of problems including:

  • Bus bars made from aluminum that tend to oxidize and corrode
  • Breakers that don’t trip under normal overload conditions
  • Breakers that appear to be tripped when they’re notThese problems are a safety hazard due to the risk of fire. Recommend having a qualified electrician replace any and all Zinsco brand panels.If the Zinsco panel(s) are not replaced, then a qualified electrician should thoroughly evaluate the panel(s) and components within and make repairs as necessary. Recommend installing smoke detectors above Zinsco panels.

Repair/Replace , Conducive conditions – The heating/cooling system’s air handler is installed in an attic space, and no auxiliary catch pan and drain are installed below. Condensation may leak onto finished living spaces below and cause damage. A qualified heating and cooling contractor should install a catch pan and drain as per standard building practices.

Signature Home Inspection is a Certified Home Inspection service located in California serving Orange County, San Diego County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, San Francisco County, Contra Costa County, and San Bernardino County California.

www.signaturemore.com                                               888-860-2688

891 El Placer Rd Palm Springs CA 92264 – This is a Single-Family Home located at 891 El Placer Road, Palm Springs CA. 891 El Placer Rd has 3 beds, 1

891 El Placer Rd, Palm Springs, CA 92264

Palm Springs, CA

½ bath, and approximately 1,334 square feet. The property has a lot size of 6,098 sq. ft and was built in 1977. The average list price for similar homes for sale is $295,355 and the average sales price for similar recently sold homes is $275,100. 891 El Placer Rd is in the 92264 ZIP code in Palm Springs, CA. The average list price for ZIP code 92264 is $562,448. – Description provided by Trulia

Sampling of Signature Home Inspection Observations during this Palm Springs Home Inspection

Repair/Replace, Evaluate , Conducive conditions – Corrosion was found in one or more areas on the water heater, and water stains were found below. The water heater may be failing. A qualified plumbing contractor should evaluate and replace water heater if necessary.

Repair/Replace, Evaluate – The water supply pressure is greater than 80 psi. Pressures above 80 psi may void warranties for some appliances such as water heaters or washing machines. Flexible supply lines to washing machines are more likely to burst with higher pressures. Typically the pressure cannot be regulated at the water meter. Recommend having a qualified plumber evaluate and make modifications to reduce the pressure below 80 psi. Installing a pressure reducing valve on the main service pipe is a common solution to this problem. If one exists, then it should be adjusted for lower pressures.

Major Defect, Evaluate , Conducive conditions – The roof surface material appears to be near the end of its service life and will likely need replacing in the near future, even with repairs. The client(s) should budget for a replacement roof surface, and may want to have a qualified roofing contractor evaluate and attempt to issue a “5 year roof certificate”.

 Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate – Neutral wires are doubled or bundled together on the neutral bus bar. This is unsafe due to the need to turn off multiple circuit breakers to work on any of the circuits using these wires. A qualified electrician should evaluate and repair as necessary.

Signature Home Inspection is a Certified Home Inspection service located in California serving Orange County, San Diego County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, San Francisco County, Contra Costa County, and San Bernardino County California.

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Thank you for your interest in our Free Real Estate Email Marketing program!  The link below will take you to a page where you can put in your contact info,



upload a picture, customize your email newsletter’s content, and even track all your clients who have had an inspection with us including RecallChek– the manufacturer’s recall reporting system.

You can choose which clients to market to, use the “done for you” content (or edit/create your own), and see which clients have opted out (if any).

For as long as your client owns their home, and until they buy their next one from you, Signature Home Inspection will continue to provide to you at no cost this email marketing feature- because keeping in contact with past clients is the best way to develop your referral base.

Remember to tell all your clients to choose the right home inspection company- Signature Home Inspection, where we provide a thorough mechanical and structural evaluation of every home we inspect as well as check for recalls those other guys miss!

Follow the link here: 

Finish Registration 

If there are any questions, call our partners at RecallChek directly by dialing 1-800-544-8156.

Signature Home Inspection is a Certified Home Inspection service located in California serving Orange County, San Diego County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, San Francisco County, Contra Costa County, and San Bernardino County California.

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10 Easy Ways to Save Energy in Your Home. Most people don’t know how easy it is to make their homes run on less energy, and here at Signature Home Services, we want to change that. Drastic reductions in heating, cooling and electricity costs can be accomplished through very simple changes, most of which homeowners can do themselves.

Why make your home more energy efficient? Here are a few good reasons:energy-improvements

  • Federal, state, utility and local jurisdictions’ financial incentives, such as tax breaks, are very advantageous for homeowners in most parts of the U.S.
  • It saves money. It costs less to power a home that has been converted to be more energy-efficient.
  • It increases the comfort level indoors.
  • It reduces our impact on climate change. Many scientists now believe that excessive energy consumption contributes significantly to global warming.
  • It reduces pollution. Conventional power production introduces pollutants that find their way into the air, soil and water supplies.

1. Find better ways to heat and cool your house. 

As much as half of the energy used in homes goes toward heating and cooling. The following are a few ways that energy bills can be reduced through adjustments to the heating and cooling systems:

  • Install a ceiling fan. Ceiling fans can be used in place of air conditioners, which require a large amount of energy.
  • Periodically replace air filters in air conditioners and heaters.
  • Set thermostats to an appropriate temperature. Specifically, they should be turned down at night and when no one is home. In most homes, about 2% of the heating bill will be saved for each degree that the thermostat is lowered for at least eight hours each day. Turning down the thermostat from 75° F to 70° F, for example, saves about 10% on heating costs.
  • Install a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat saves money by allowing heating and cooling appliances to be automatically turned down during times that no one is home and at night. Programmable thermostats contain no mercury and, in some climate zones, can save up to $150 per year in energy costs.
  • Install a wood stove or a pellet stove. These are more efficient sources of heat than furnaces.
  • At night, curtains drawn over windows will better insulate the room.

2. Install a tankless water heater.

Demand-type water heaters (tankless or instantaneous) provide hot water only as it is needed. They don’t produce the standby energy losses associated with traditional storage water heaters, which will save on energy costs. Tankless water heaters heat water directly without the use of a storage tank. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit. A gas burner or an electric element heats the water. As a result, demand water heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water. You don’t need to wait for a storage tank to fill up with enough hot water.

3. Replace incandescent lights.

The average household dedicates 11% of its energy budget to lighting. Traditional incandescent lights convert approximately only 10% of the energy they consume into light, while the rest becomes heat. The use of new lighting technologies, such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), can reduce the energy use required by lighting by 50% to 75%. Advances in lighting controls offer further energy savings by reducing the amount of time that lights are on but not being used. Here are some facts about CFLs and LEDs:

  • CFLs use 75% less energy and last about 10 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
  • LEDs last even longer than CFLs and consume less energy.
  • LEDs have no moving parts and, unlike CFLs, they contain no mercury.

4. Seal and insulate your home.

Sealing and insulating your home is one of the most cost-effective ways to make a home more comfortable and energy-efficient, and you can do it yourself. A tightly sealed home can improve comfort and indoor air quality while reducing utility bills.

The following are some common places where leakage may occur:

  • electrical receptacles/outlets;
  • mail slots;
  • around pipes and wires;
  • wall- or window-mounted air conditioners;
  • attic hatches;
  • fireplace dampers;
  • inadequate weatherstripping around doors;
  • baseboards;
  • window frames; and
  • switch plates.

Because hot air rises, air leaks are most likely to occur in the attic. Homeowners can perform a variety of repairs and maintenance to their attics that save them money on cooling and heating, such as:

  • Plug the large holes. Locations in the attic where leakage is most likely to be the greatest are where walls meet the attic floor, behind and under attic knee walls, and in dropped-ceiling areas.
  • Seal the small holes. You can easily do this by looking for areas where the insulation is darkened. Darkened insulation is a result of dusty interior air being filtered by insulation before leaking through small holes in the building envelope. In cold weather, you may see frosty areas in the insulation caused by warm, moist air condensing and then freezing as it hits the cold attic air. In warmer weather, you’ll find water staining in these same areas. Use expanding foam or caulk to seal the openings around plumbing vent pipes and electrical wires. Cover the areas with insulation after the caulk is dry.
  • Seal up the attic access panel with weatherstripping. You can cut a piece of fiberglass or rigid foamboard insulation in the same size as the attic hatch and glue it to the back of the attic access panel. If you have pull-down attic stairs or an attic door, these should be sealed in a similar manner.

5. Install efficient shower heads and toilets.

The following systems can be installed to conserve water usage in homes:

  • low-flow shower heads. They are available in different flow rates, and some have a pause button which shuts off the water while the bather lathers up;
  • low-flow toilets. Toilets consume 30% to 40% of the total water used in homes, making them the biggest water users. Replacing an older 3.5-gallon toilet with a modern, low-flow 1.6-gallon toilet can reduce usage an average of 2 gallons-per-flush (GPF), saving 12,000 gallons of water per year. Low-flow toilets usually have “1.6 GPF” marked on the bowl behind the seat or inside the tank;
  • vacuum-assist toilets. This type of toilet has a vacuum chamber that uses a siphon action to suck air from the trap beneath the bowl, allowing it to quickly fill with water to clear waste. Vacuum-assist toilets are relatively quiet; and
  • dual-flush toilets. Dual-flush toilets have been used in Europe and Australia for years and are now gaining in popularity in the U.S. Dual-flush toilets let you choose between a 1-gallon (or less) flush for liquid waste, and a 1.6-gallon flush for solid waste. Dual-flush 1.6-GPF toilets reduce water consumption by an additional 30%.

6. Use appliances and electronics responsibly.

Appliances and electronics account for about 20% of household energy bills in a typical U.S. home. The following are tips that will reduce the required energy of electronics and appliances:

  • Refrigerators and freezers should not be located near the stove, dishwasher or heat vents, or exposed to direct sunlight. Exposure to warm areas will force them to use more energy to remain cool.
  • Computers should be shut off when not in use. If unattended computers must be left on, their monitors should be shut off. According to some studies, computers account for approximately 3% of all energy consumption in the United States.
  • Use efficient ENERGY STAR-rated appliances and electronics. These devices, approved by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Program, include TVs, home theater systems, DVD players, CD players, receivers, speakers, and more. According to the EPA, if just 10% of homes used energy-efficient appliances, it would reduce carbon emissions by the equivalent of 1.7 million acres of trees.
  • Chargers, such as those used for laptops and cell phones, consume energy when they are plugged in. When they are not connected to electronics, chargers should be unplugged.
  • Laptop computers consume considerably less electricity than desktop computers.

7. Install day lighting as an alternative to electrical lighting.

Day lighting is the practice of using natural light to illuminate the home’s interior. It can be achieved using the following approaches:

  • skylights. It’s important that they be double-pane or they may not be cost-effective. Flashing skylights correctly is key to avoiding leaks;
  • light shelves. Light shelves are passive devices designed to bounce light deep into a building. They may be interior or exterior. Light shelves can introduce light into a space up to 2½ times the distance from the floor to the top of the window, and advanced light shelves may introduce four times that amount;
  • clerestory windows.  Clerestory windows are short, wide windows set high on the wall. Protected from the summer sun by the roof overhang, they allow winter sun to shine through for natural lighting and warmth; and
  • light tubes.  Light tubes use a special lens designed to amplify low-level light and reduce light intensity from the midday sun. Sunlight is channeled through a tube coated with a highly reflective material, and then enters the living space through a diffuser designed to distribute light evenly.

8. Insulate windows and doors.

About one-third of the home’s total heat loss usually occurs through windows and doors. The following are ways to reduce energy lost through windows and doors:

  • Seal all window edges and cracks with rope caulk. This is the cheapest and simplest option.
  • Windows can be weatherstripped with a special lining that is inserted between the window and the frame. For doors, apply weatherstripping around the whole perimeter to ensure a tight seal when they’re closed. Install quality door sweeps on the bottom of the doors, if they aren’t already in place.
  • Install storm windows at windows with only single panes. A removable glass frame can be installed over an existing window.
  • If existing windows have rotted or damaged wood, cracked glass, missing putty, poorly fitting sashes, or locks that don’t work, they should be repaired or replaced.

9. Cook smart.

An enormous amount of energy is wasted while cooking. The following recommendations and statistics illustrate less wasteful ways of cooking:

  • Convection ovens are more efficient that conventional ovens. They use fans to force hot air to circulate more evenly, thereby allowing food to be cooked at a lower temperature. Convection ovens use approximately 20% less electricity than conventional ovens.
  • Microwave ovens consume approximately 80% less energy than conventional ovens.
  • Pans should be placed on the matching size heating element or flame.
  • Using lids on pots and pans will heat food more quickly than cooking in uncovered pots and pans.
  • Pressure cookers reduce cooking time dramatically.
  • When using conventional ovens, food should be placed on the top rack. The top rack is hotter and will cook food faster.

10. Change the way you do laundry.

  • Do not use the medium setting on your washer. Wait until you have a full load of clothes, as the medium setting saves less than half of the water and energy used for a full load.
  • Avoid using high-temperature settings when clothes are not very soiled. Water that is 140° F uses far more energy than 103° F for the warm-water setting, but 140° F isn’t that much more effective for getting clothes clean.
  • Clean the lint trap every time before you use the dryer. Not only is excess lint a fire hazard, but it will prolong the amount of time required for your clothes to dry.
  • If possible, air-dry your clothes on lines and racks.
  • Spin-dry or wring clothes out before putting them into a dryer.
Homeowners who take the initiative to make these changes usually discover that the energy savings are more than worth the effort. Signature Home Inspectors can make this process much easier because they can perform a more comprehensive assessment of energy-savings potential than the average homeowner can.
Information provided by NACHI.org

Signature Home Inspection is a Certified Home Inspection service located in California serving Orange County, San Diego County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, San Francisco County, Contra Costa County, and San Bernardino County California.

www.signaturemore.com                                               888-860-2688

Home Inspection Reports: What to Expect. Influenced by the changes in the economic and legal environments over the past 30 years, home inspection reports have changed to accommodate increased consumer expectations, and to provide more extensive information and protection to both inspectors and their clients.

Development of Standards

Prior to the mid-1970s, inspection reports followed no standard guidelines and, for the most part, there was little or no oversight or Home-Inspection-Reportlicensure. As might be imagined, without minimum standards to follow, the quality of inspection reports varied widely, and the home inspection industry was viewed with some suspicion.

With the founding of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) in 1976, home inspection guidelines governing inspection report content became available in the form of a Standards of Practice. Over time, a second, larger trade association, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), came into existence, and developed its own standards.

InterNACHI has grown to dominate the inspection industry and, in addition to its Residential Standards of Practice, it has developed a comprehensive Standards of Practice for the Inspection of Commercial Properties. Today, most types of inspections from mold to fire door inspections are performed in accordance with one of InterNACHI’s Standards of Practice.

As a consumer, you should take the time to examine the Standards of Practice followed by your inspector. If he is unaffiliated with any professional inspection organization, and his reports follow no particular standards, find another inspector.

Generally speaking, reports should describe the major home systems, their crucial components, and their operability, especially the ones in which failure can result in dangerous or expensive-to-correct conditions. Defects should be adequately described, and the report should include recommendations.

Reports should also disclaim portions of the home not inspected. Since home inspections are visual inspections, the parts of the home hidden behind floor, wall and ceiling coverings should be disclaimed.

Home inspectors are not experts in every system of the home, but are trained to recognize conditions that require a specialist inspection.

Home inspections are not technically exhaustive, so the inspector will not disassemble a furnace to examine the heat exchanger closely, for example.

Standards of Practice are designed to identify both the requirements of a home inspection and the limitations of an inspection.

Checklist and Narrative Reports

In the early years of the home inspection industry, home inspection reports consisted of a simple checklist, or a one- or two-page narrative report.

Checklist reports are just that; very little is actually written. The report is a series of boxes with short descriptions after them. Descriptions are often abbreviated, and might consist of only two or three words, such as “peeling paint.” The entire checklist might only be four or five pages long. Today, some inspection legal agreements are almost that long!

Because of the lack of detailed information, checklist reports leave a lot open to interpretation, so that buyers, sellers, agents, contractors, attorneys and judges may each interpret the information differently, depending on their motives.

In the inspection business, phrases that describe conditions found during an inspection are called “narratives.” Narrative reports use reporting language that more completely describes each condition. Descriptions are not abbreviated.

Both checklist and narrative reports are still in use today, although many jurisdictions are now beginning to ban checklist reports because the limited information they offer has resulted in legal problems.

From the standpoint of liability, narrative reports are widely considered safer, since they provide more information and state it more clearly.

Many liability issues and problems with the inspection process are due to misunderstandings about what was to be included in the report, or about what the report says.

For example, in 2002, an investor bought a 14-unit hotel in California. The six-page narrative report mentioned that flashing where the second-story concrete walkway met the building was improperly installed, and the condition could result in wood decay. Four years later, the investor paid out almost $100,000 to demolish and replace the entire upper walkway. In some places, it was possible to push a pencil through support beams.

Although the inspector’s report had mentioned the problem, it hadn’t made clear the seriousness of the condition, or the possible consequences of ignoring it. Today, a six-page report would be considered short for a small house.

Development of Reporting Software

Years ago, when computers were expensive to buy and difficult to operate, inspection reports were written by hand. As computers became simpler to operate and more affordable, inspection software began to appear on the market.

Today, using this software, an inspector can chose from a large number of organized boilerplate narratives that s/he can edit or add to in order to accommodate local conditions, since inspectors in a hot, humid city like Tampa Bay, Florida, are likely to find types of problems different from those found by inspectors in a cold, dry climate, like Salt Lake City, Utah.

Using narrative software and checking boxes in categories that represent the home systems, an inspector can produce a very detailed report in a relatively short time.

For example, using a checklist report, an inspector finding a number of inoperable lights in a home would check a box in the “INTERIOR” section labeled something like “some lights inoperable,” and that would be the limit of the information passed on to the client.

Using inspection software, in the “INTERIOR” section of the program, an inspector might check a box labeled “some lights inoperable.” This would cause the following narrative to appear in the “INTERIOR” section of the inspection report:

“Some light fixtures in the home appeared to be inoperable. The bulbs may be burned out, or a problem may exist with the fixtures, wiring or switches.

If after the bulbs are replaced, these lights still fail to respond to the switch, this condition may represent a potential fire hazard, and the Inspector recommends that an evaluation and any necessary repairs be performed by a qualified electrical contractor.”
Standard disclaimers and other information can be pre-checked to automatically appear in each report.

Narrative Content

Narratives typically consists of three parts:

a description of a condition of concern;
a sentence or paragraph describing how serious the condition is, and the potential ramifications, answering questions such as, “Is it now stable, or will the problem continue?” or “Will it burn down the house?” and “When?”; and
a recommendation. Recommendations may be for specific actions to be taken, or for further evaluation, but they should address problems in such a way that the reader of the report will understand how to proceed.
“Typically” is a key word here. Some narratives may simply give the ampacity of the main electrical disconnect. There is no need for more than one sentence. Different inspectors would include what they think is necessary.

Report Content

Inspection reports often begin with an informational section which gives general information about the home, such as the client’s name, the square footage, and the year the home was built.

Other information often listed outside the main body of the report, either near the beginning or near the end, are disclaimers, and sometimes a copy of the inspection agreement, and sometimes a copy of the Standards of Practice. A page showing the inspector’s professional credentials, designations, affiliations and memberships is also often included. And it is a good idea to include InterNACHI’s Now That You’ve Had a Home Inspection book.

Inspection reports often include a summary report listing major problems to ensure that important issues are not missed by the reader. It’s important that the reader be aware of safety issues or conditions which will be expensive to correct. With this in mind, some inspectors color-code report narratives, although many feel that color-coding exposes them to increased liability and don’t do this.

Software often gives inspectors the choice of including photographs in the main body of the report, near the narrative that describes them, or photographs may be grouped together toward the beginning or end of the report.

A table of contents is usually provided.

The main body of the report may be broken down into sections according to home systems, such as “ELECTRICAL,” “PLUMBING,” “HEATING,” etc., or it may be broken down by area of the home: “EXTERIOR,” “INTERIOR,” “KITCHEN,” “BEDROOMS,” etc.

It often depends on how the inspector likes to work.

Sample Reports

Many inspectors have websites which include sample inspection reports for prospective clients to view. Take the time to look at them. Also often included is a page explaining the scope of the inspection. The inspection contract is usually included on the website, and it should give you a good idea of what will be included in the report.

In conclusion, for consumers to have realistic expectations about what information will be included in the home inspection report, follow these tips:

read the Standards of Practice;
read the Contract;
view a sample Inspection Report; and
talk with the inspector.

Information provided by Nachi.org

Signature Home Inspection is a Certified Home Inspection service located in California serving Orange County, San Diego County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, San Francisco County, Contra Costa County, and San Bernardino County California.

www.signaturemore.com                                               888-860-2688

Inspecting Garages for Proper Fire Separation. Unlike separations that exist between dwelling units, the separation between the

Garage Firewall

Garage Firewall

residence and garage in not a fire resistance rated assembly. Numerous potential hazards exist within garages because occupants of dwelling units tend to store a variety of hazardous materials there. Along with this and the potential for CO build up within the garage, code requires that the garage be separated from the dwelling unit and attic. Home inspectors should be checking for proper fire protection between garages that are above the living area of the home. Home inspectors are not required to cut a hole in the gypsum board to measure the thickness, so it is a visual inspection. Below are current codes. We are not doing a code inspection, but a well-educated home inspector will know what the current building practices are and what to look for.  The requirements below are from the 2012 IRC.

  1. Minimum ½” gypsum board or equivalent on garage side of walls and ceilings common to house or shared attic space
    1. Minimum 5/8” Type X gypsum board or equivalent on ceiling under a habitable room such as a bedroom.
  2. Minimum ½” gypsum board or equivalent on walls, beams, or other structures that support ceilings providing separation between house and garage
  3. Garage walls that are perpendicular to adjacent dwelling unit wall are OK to be unprotected unless they are supporting floor/ceiling separations.
  4. No direct openings between the garage and sleeping rooms.
  5. Openings between the garage and residence shall be equipped with solid wood doors not less than 1 3/8” thickness, solid or honey-comb-core steel doors not less than 1 3/8” thick, or 20-minute fire-rated doors, equipped with a self-closing device.
  6. Ducts in garage and penetrating common walls shall be minimum 26-guage steel
  7. No duct openings in the garage
  8. Penetrations of common walls shall be sealed with an approved material (e.g., caulk, putty, or sealant). Fire blocking around chimneys and fireplaces must be noncombustible.  Sealant around vents, pipes, ducts and wires at the ceiling and floor level can be constructed from combustible materials.  All fire blocking material must be securely fastened in place.
  9. Detached garages located less than 3 ft. from a dwelling unit on the same lot requires ½” gypsum board on interior side of garage walls facing the house.
  10. Information provided from the Complete Code Check and AHIT

Signature Home Inspection is a Certified Home Inspection service located in California serving Orange County, San Diego County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, San Francisco County, Contra Costa County, and San Bernardino County California.

www.signaturemore.com                                               888-860-2688

When inspecting an older home, the home inspector may come across the original old wiring and knob & tube wiring when the home was built.  A high number of electrical fires can occur in these older homes.  Having proper over-current protection can help prevent insulation failures, though in some cases time and exposure can take a toll on the wiring, and the wiring must be replaced.  Fuses were generally used in older homes to provide overcurrent protection but they had to be properly sized.  It was very common and very easy to bypass the proper protection byKnob & Tube Wiring using a let’s say a penny being used behind the fuse.

Insurance companies will typically require upgrading of older ceramic fuse panels and panels with cartridge fuses because of the risk of electrocution because of the exposed contacts.  Below are the references from the 2011 NEC

  • No exposed contact fuse holders
  • Edison base (plug fuses) cannot be used for 240V circuits
  • Type S fuse is required if tampering or over- fusing exists
  • Type S fuse adapter must be the proper size for the wire
  • Fuses are not allowed in the neutral conductor

The oldest wiring method in American residential homes is Knob and Tube wiring (K&T).  When K&T is left in its original state, it can be reliable and safe.  As a wiring method in un-insulated joists and stud cavities it is protected from damage and is provided with air circulation around the wires so heat does not build up.  Unfortunately, when these systems are modified by unqualified persons, the safety of K&T is often compromised. When people add new loads to an old system it is tricky and seldom done correctly. The rubber insulation on K&T wiring becomes brittle over time and is prone to mechanical damage, especially when thermal insulation is added to an attic. Older rubber insulation has only a rating of 60 degrees Celsius or 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Below are references from the 2011 NEC

  • No new K&T can be installed
  • Additions to existing K&T are permitted if properly protected
  • Must enter plastic boxes through separate holes
  • Must be protected with loom where entering box
  • Loom must extend from last insulator to ¼” inside box
  • Do not envelop with thermal insulation.
  • Wires must be kept out of direct contact with wood framing
  • Tubes are required where wires pass through framing members
  • 3” minimum between wires, 1” to surfaces
  • Conductors on sides (not face) of exposed joists and rafters EXC
      • Okay on edges or faces of rafters or joists in attics less than 3’ high
    • Protect with running boards up to 7’ high in attics with stairs
    • Provide protection were exposed less than 7’ above the floor

When inspectors encounter K&T wiring it is recommended that a qualified licensed electrical contractor/electrician evaluate the K&T wiring and repair/replace it as needed.

Information provided by the NEC 2011 Edition and the Complete Code Check Book

Signature Home Inspection is a Certified Home Inspection service located in California serving Orange County, San Diego County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, San Francisco County, Contra Costa County, and San Bernardino County California.

www.signaturemore.com                                               888-860-2688