FAQ

Anti-Tip Brackets for Freestanding Ranges

Anti-tip brackets are metal devices designed to prevent freestanding ranges from tipping. They are normally attached to a rear leg of the range or screwed into the wall behind the range, and are included in all installation kits. A unit that is not equipped with these devices may tip over if enough weight is applied to its open door, such as that from a large Thanksgiving turkey, or even a small child. A falling range can crush, scald, or burn anyone caught beneath.
Bracket Inspection

A person can confirm the presence of anti-tip brackets through the following methods:
It may be possible to see a wall-mounted bracket by looking over the rear of the range. Floor-mounted brackets are often hidden, although in some models with removable drawers, such as 30″ electric ranges made by General Electric, the drawers can be removed and a flashlight can be used to search for the bracket. A person should beware that a visual confirmation does not guarantee that the bracket has been properly installed.

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One can firmly grip the upper-rear section of the range and tip the unit. If equipped with an anti-tip bracket, the unit will not tip more than several inches before coming to a halt. The range should be turned off, and all items should be removed from the stovetop before this action can be performed. It is usually easier to detect a bracket by tipping the range than through a visual search. This test can be performed on all models and it can confirm the functionality of a bracket.

If no anti-tip bracket is detected, it is recommend that one be installed. If you wish to install a bracket yourself, the part can be purchased at most hardware stores or ordered from a manufacturer. General Electric will send their customers an anti-tip bracket for free.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were 143 incidents caused by range tip-overs from 1980 to 2006. Of the 33 incidents that resulted in death, most of those victims were children. A small child may stand on an open range door in order to see what is cooking on the stovetop and accidentally cause the entire unit to fall on top of him, along with whatever hot items may have been cooking on the stovetop. The elderly, too, may be injured while using the range for support while cleaning.

In response to this danger, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) created standards in 1991 that require all ranges manufactured after that year to be capable of remaining stable while supporting 250 pounds of weight on their open doors. Manufacturers’ instructions, too, require that anti-tip brackets provided be installed. Despite these warnings, retailer Sears estimated in 1999 that a mere 5% of the gas and electric units they sold were ever equipped with anti-tip brackets. As a result of Sears’ failure to comply with safety regulations, they were sued and subsequently required to secure ranges in nearly 4 million homes, a measure that has been speculated to have cost Sears as much as $500 million.

In summary, ranges are susceptible to tipping if they are not equipped with anti-tip brackets.

Gas Fuelled Clothes Dryer Vents

Lint and various debris can build up in your clothes dryer vent and may cause your dryer to exhaust at less than optimum efficiency. This creates potentially hazardous conditions including carbon monoxide intrusion and the possibility for exhaust fires. If a gas clothes dryer is improperly vented or the exhaust duct itself is blocked by lint or debris, carbon monoxide can be forced back into your living space.

When a professional heating technician inspects and cleans a dryer vent, they can also verify that the correct type of duct is in use. The thin, plastic flexible type vent material joining from the dyer to the exterior walls vent cover should be replaced with 4 inch rigid smooth metal duct because it is non-flammable unlike the plastic flexible type.

Annual dryer exhaust vent/duct inspections are more necessary than ever before due to the complex construction of homes built today. Newer homes tend to have dryers located away from an outside wall in bathrooms, kitchens and in hall closets, which is convenient but potentially dangerous from a safety standpoint. These new locations mean that dryers tend to be venting longer distances and vents aregenerally installed with more bends to accommodate the extended path they must take through the home. As a result, dryer ducts are harder to access and this additional length creates more places where lint can collect and animals/birds can hide. A professional heating technician during their inspection of the vent duct can verify the present condition such as:

  • Lint and/or debris within straight or elbow sections of the vent.
  • Any leaks at vent pipe joints (causing leakage of moisture, lint, debris, carbon monoxide, etc).
  • Broken, missing and/or disconnected vent pipes.
  • Damaged or deteriorated exterior vent cover.
  • Crushed duct material.

All dryer vent duct materials and installation needs to be performed by a professional heating contractor in order to be assured that the correct materials are used and installed according to today’s building practices and codes (CSA Standards B149.1HB-00 Natural Gas and Propane Installation Code Handbook). Within the Code handbook, it states that the installation requirements for clothes dryers are intended to ensure the use of suitable moisture exhaust ducts that are properly terminated and the provisions of safe clearances to combustible materials. The following is a few installation requirements for domestic clothes dryers:

  • Metal exhaust ducts or flexible plastic moisture exhaust ducts may be used provided they are certified.
  • Ducts may not be connected using screws since dust and lint may catch on the protruding screws and eventually plug the duct.
  • Moisture exhaust dusts must not terminate near service regulators since the moisture in the exhaust air stream can condense and freeze on the service regulator in cold weather thereby impairing its performance.
  • Moisture exhaust ducts must also not terminate near fresh air intakes since this would contaminate the incoming air stream.
What does the home inspection include?

The standard home inspectors report will review the condition of the home’s…

  • Main structure
  • Primary parking structure
  • Garage door and opener
  • Exterior structural components
  • Roof and attic
  • Floors, walls, ceilings, widows and doors.
  • Plumbing system
  • Electrical system
  • Heating system
  • Air conditioning system
  • Kitchen
  • Basement/crawl space
  • Roof
  • Eavestrough and drainage
  • Fireplace
  • Porches, decks and balconies
  • Site visual of property grade and drainage
Why do I need a home inspection?

The purchase of a home is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. You should learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the need for any major repairs before you buy, so that you can minimize unpleasant surprises and difficulties afterwards. Of course, a home inspection also points out the positive aspects of the home, as well as the maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of the property you are about to purchase. If you are already a home owner, a home inspection may be used to identify problems in the making and to learn preventive measures which might avoid costly future repairs. If you are planning to sell your home, you may wish to have an inspection prior to placing your home on the market. This will give you a better understanding of the conditions which may be discovered by the buyer’s inspector, and an opportunity to make the repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.

What will it cost me?

There is no really any set standard fee for an inspection. On average, most inspections will vary at about $8 per 100 square feet, with additional fees for extra systems. It is all to often that the cost is the deciding factor in the selection of an inspector. Service should be the key word here. Some inspectors are committed to providing the best inspection possible. These inspectors spend a lot of time and money towards continued education and the many little things that make a big difference in the quality and professionalism of their service. Do not let a small amount of money stand in the way of a quality inspection of such a large investment.

Can’t I do it myself?

Even the most experienced home owners lack the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector who has inspected hundreds of homes in his or her career. An inspector is familiar with many elements of home construction, their installation, and maintenance. He or she understands hoe the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as to how and why they fail. Above all, most home buyers find it very difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may affect their judgment.

Can a house fail an inspection?

No. A professional home inspection is a examination of the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what may need repair or replacement.

When do I call in the Home Inspector?

A home inspector is typically contacted right after the contact purchase agreement has been signed, and is often available within a few days. However, before you sign, be sure that there is an inspection clause in the contract, make in your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.

Do I have to be there?

Many real estate agents recommend attending the inspection is an opportunity to learn more information about the home you are considering buying. At Pacific West Home Inspections we schedule and perform our inspections in a way that it is simply not necessary to spend 4 hours following the inspector around. We allow plenty of time for a one on one question and answer secession at the time of presenting the report. We have found that 98% of the time, any questions that our client may have had prior to the inspection are answered when we go over the report. We also take pictures of problems that are addressed in the report. If a problem is found in the attic or crawl space, the pictures help our customers to understand the exact nature of the problem. For those whose schedule will not allow for attendance of the entire process, we have tailored our services accordingly.

What if the report reveals problems?

No house is perfect. If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expert. A seller may adjust the purchase price or contract terms if major problems are found. If your budget is tight, or if you don’t wish to become involved in future repair work, this information will be extremely important to you.

If the house proves to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection?

Definitely. Now you can complete your home purchase with your eyes open as to the condition of the property and all its equipment and systems. You will also have learned many things about your new home from the inspector’s written report, and will want to keep that information for future reference.

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