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A stellar year in the cellar: Top 20 crazy home inspection photos of 2016

This is our annual top 20 home inspection photos compilation. All of these images were featured on our facebook page over the last year. Enjoy!

Hop on in, the water's warm

brown bathwater


Clogged dryer terminal, one-year-old home - Roofs are a terrible place for clothes dryer terminals, but it's downright dangerous when there's a screen cover installed at the terminal. Screens should never be installed at dryer terminals. If you notice that your clothes dryer gets your clothes really hot but doesn't dry them well, check out the terminal at the exterior. This would explain it.

clogged dryer terminal


We're missing a window - A basement window was covered over when the basement was finished, but the opening was never insulated. An infrared scan of the wall made this easy to see.

covered basement window


Fido had beef with the p-trap

Neurotic dog damage


Dirtiest filter ever

dirty furnace filter


Pantyhose dryer duct - we've seen plenty of pantyhose used as a lint filter at the washing machine discharge, but never as a substitute for a clothes dryer exhaust duct.

pantyhose dryer duct


Another use for hockey pucks

hockey puck drain stopper


Interior gutter

interior gutter


Mow your roof

mow yer roof


Paint around the couch

paint around the couch


Plumbing vent + patio = bad combination

It's sewer gas


Smashed downspout

smashed downspout


Temporary electric service (we hope)

temporary electric service


Neutral eating tree (Nom nom nom...)

tree devours neutral


Three bath fans, one plumbing vent terminal

three bath fans one plumbing vent


Waste not, want not (tomato can repurposed)

tomato can repurposed


Undermined foundation

Undermined foundation


This home flipper puts the "lazy" in Lazy Susan - That's the water line for the new refrigerator passing through the Lazy Susan.

Lazy home flipper


Major chimney repairs needed

major chimney repairs needed


How to prevent your cat from loitering (and possibly from using the litter box at all)

combustion air duct above litter box


Bad day for Sally the Squirrel

bad day for squirrel

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Author: Reuben SaltzmanStructure Tech Home Inspections

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They did what? Crazy home inspection photos from 2016

It's almost time for my annual "Top 20 Home Inspection Photos" blog post, but I always have so many great photos to choose from that it's a shame to not share some of these other photos from the past year. For this post, I've shared some of our most popular photos that we've shared on our Facebook page that didn't make the final cut. These photos don't all fall into the category of home inspection defect; some are simply interesting photos or photos that made us smile. Some of these photos also came from other home inspectors.

Rubber washing machine hose about to burst

Bad washing machine supply line

Beam Stiffeners - those metal rods help to stiffen this wood beam. Interesting detail, not a problem.

Beam Stiffener

New basement carpet... mostly.

Mostly new carpet

Minnesota crawl space - that's how we roll. Insulated walls, concrete floor, plenty of headroom, and a mechanic's creeper for effortless navigation.

Minnesota crawlspace

"Here's Johnny!" -  I know this looks fake, but it's not. This is our best "accidentally creepy" photo of the year.

Accidental creepy photo

Creepy Photo of the Year - If we have an accidentally creepy photo, we must also have an intentionally creepy photo. This is that.

doll in attic

"It's Alive!" - this is a combination boiler, gravity furnace, and forced air furnace in one.

Frankenstein's Basement

Tight Quarters - some people complain about not being able to open the fridge and the dishwasher at the same time. To those people, we say "could be worse."

Fridge won't open

Moo. A home inspector in Connecticut shared this photo of how to hide two fuel oil tanks. Nobody will ever know...

Fuel oil tanks painted like cows

Must be a safe neighborhood, because that's the button for the garage door opener mounted outside the door.

Garage door opener button at exterior

How it's supposed to be done - The siding around this stairway was installed almost perfectly. We had several comments on our Facebook page from people who felt that this wasn't the most attractive installation, but there's really no other way to do it right. I personally thought it looked good.

LP Smartside on steps

Melted Vinyl Siding - The photo below is courtesy of Boston home inspector Donald Lovering, and is the best example of melted vinyl siding from reflected sunlight that I've ever seen.

Melted vinyl siding

Everyone loves neat work.

Neat Mechanicals

More neat work, same house.

Neat wires

Fire Grenade - we found several of these old fire grenades in the attic of a large, old house in Edina. It's a glass bulb filled with carbon tetrachloride, and was supposed to be thrown at the base of a fire to help put it out. They were withdrawn in the 1950s because the chemical is toxic, and heat from fires can apparently turn the chemical into phosgene gas.

Red bomb in attic

This retaining wall was shot. Someone got the shaft.

Retaining wall shot

Sprinkler on the Roof - the most common guess on our Facebook page was that this was someone's home-made evaporative cooler for the garage.

Roof Sprinkler

Salt blocks in water softener - courtesy of another home inspector here in Minnesota, Lanny Freng of InspectionWorx. These salt blocks are apparently made for water softeners, and they apparently work, but it still struck us as odd.

Salt blocks in water softener

Six handrails or one guard? Not a bad idea. A handrail for every height.

Six handrails

Good to know.

Not suitable for wood

Can you have too many solar tubes? No, you can't. Solar tubes rock.

Solar tubes rock

What. Is. That? Scroll down to see the explanation.

Water heater with crazy T&P Discharge

Upon first glance, the T&P discharge tubing for this water heater looks to be completely crazy, unsafe, and nonsensical... but not so fast.

home inspector in San Jose, CA shared this photo with us. This installation was actually based on water heater installation requirements published by the city of Palo Alto.

When water heaters are installed in basements or crawlspaces, this city allows the T&P discharge tube to be plumbed UP and out of the house, provided there is 3/8" refrigeration tubing spiraled to the floor or to a drain. Here's the diagram from those installation instructions showing how it's supposed to work:

Crazy discharge

It still seems crazy to us, and the home inspector who took this photo says there was actually no discharge tubing going up and out, so this is still wrong. Nevertheless, it's interesting to see how people do things in other parts of the country. It's also a helpful reminder that just because something looks crazy and unusual doesn't necessarily mean it's wrong.

Look for our "Top 20" blog post in the near future; we're having our website modified / redone to make it load faster, and I don't want to publish that blog post until the coding is complete.

Related Post: Top feel-good home inspection pics from 2014

Author: Reuben SaltzmanStructure Tech Home Inspections

Subscribe to Reuben’s Home Inspection Blog