Axium SOP

Topic Progress:

PLUMBING SYSTEM

General Info:

The supply and drain lines for the property can usually be found in the basement or crawlspace of the property. Once you go to the “Plumbing System” section of the program it will ask for two cover photos. Try to get a picture of the supply lines with the main shut off and a picture of the drain lines for the two representative cover photos.

The inspector will want to verify if the water is public/private and identify the location of the main shut off valve. As you are checking all of the plumbing system components make sure to be looking for piping that is no longer up to current standards including galvanized, lead, polybutylene, and IPEX. The inspector will also be checking for gas leaks at all gas piping that is visible and accessible. If there is a sump pump or a sewage ejector pump at the property make sure to operate (if possible) to show that the systems are working properly.

Remember: Before you are done, always check and make sure that everything on the screen is green

so you don’t have to go back into the crawlspace or basement.

Tools Needed: Water Pressure Gauge, Gas Detector, Sump Pump Hook, Short Level, Razor Blade, Flashlight (large or small).

Cover Pictures Needed: Shut off and drains (cleanout).

9.01 Main Water Shut-Off Device

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: Same as NACHI Standards of Practice.

Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect the main water supply shut-off valve.

Pictures Needed

Wide shot and close up.

Procedure

  • Locate the main water shut-off valve for the property. This is usually in the basement or the crawlspace at the front of the property facing the street.
  • If the basement is finished check in the mechanical room or for access panels in the walls and behind furniture.
  • Once located inspect the shut-off valve looking for any signs of corrosion or leaks. Touch the valve, surrounding pipe, and the valve stem, feeling for any leaks. Do not turn the valve on or off. Turning the valve on or off could damage the bushing and cause it to start leaking, it could break and flood the basement, and if turned on and there is a leak, then you are liable for damage to the property.
  • Once the shut-off valve is located go to the section in the program and it will ask for the color/type/location of the valve. Next, the program will require two pictures of the shut- off valve. The first picture is a close-up of the valve and the second is showing where the valve is located.

Common Defects

  • Main shut-off piping is leaking, corroded, not present, or damaged.
  • Main shut-off knob is missing or damaged.

Common Mistakes

  • Not taking the time to locate the main shut-off valve.
  • Not feeling the main shut-off valve for leaks or cracks. (Use your hand)

9.02 Main Water Supply Line Material

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: Same as NACHI Standards of Practice.

Tools Needed

The inspector might need to use the magnet on the short level or razor blade to help distinguish the differences between lead and galvanized piping.

Pictures Needed

Line coming into home.

Procedure

  • Once the inspector locates the main water shut-off valve they should be able to view the supply lines coming in (which would be located below the shut-off valve). Once the material of the piping is determined the inspector should take a close-up picture of the piping. This pipe needs to be examined closely.
  • Absolutely, positively identify the pipe material. Pictures of anything should positively ID the material. We want to avoid driving back out to the property to double check it.
  • Lead is gray in color and soft. Take a razor blade and run against the pipe and it will curl up a metal shaving. If lead, it will reveal a shiny silver color. Take a picture with the razor blade next to the curled shaving sample.
  • Galvanized is gray in color and hard. Scrape it. It is hard, so it will not scrape up into a curl. Take picture with razor blade showing you scraped it. Next, look at the fitting, at the elbow or shutoff valve. Point edge of razor blade to the threads. If needed, scrape off paint to reveal that threads exist. Take another picture, so we know it’s galvanized.
  • Look at the supply piping for kinks, bends, excessive corrosion, leaking, or rusting.

Common Defects

  • Galvanized Piping
  • Lead Piping

Common Mistakes

  • Not being able to locate or determine the type of supply piping.
  • Not distinguishing between galvanized and lead piping.

9.03 Interior Water Supply Line Material

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector will determine the material of the interior plumbing and identify if polybutylene plumbing is present at the property.

Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect the interior water supply line material.

Pictures Needed

Line going to home.

Procedure

  • The inspector should observe all visible interior piping at the property to determine the type of material that is present and if it is up to current standards.

Common Defects

  • Galvanized Piping
  • Polybutylene Piping
  • IPEX KITEC Piping

Common Mistakes

  • Not identifying the proper type of piping at the property

9.04 Plumbing Water Supply System Condition

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: Same as NACHI Standards of Practice.

Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect the plumbing water supply system condition.

Pictures Needed

Picture of defect, or if inaccessible document why.

Procedure

  • The inspector will observe the entire plumbing system for overall performance at all fixtures. Any defects at sinks, toilets, etc. will be placed in that specific section of the program.

Common Defects

  • Only defect would be if a well water flow test was performed and there was a deviation in water flow over the two hour testing period.

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking the whole plumbing system and all of the individual fixtures for proper operation.

9.05 Plumbing Water Pressure

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector will check the plumbing water pressure at the property if there is an accessible faucet with a threaded end.

Tools Needed

The inspector will use the water pressure gauge on an exterior faucet or laundry faucet (if accessible) to determine the water pressure of the property.

Pictures Needed

Picture of pressure gauge connected.

Procedure

  • First the inspector will have to find a faucet that has a threaded end, most likely while inspecting the exterior of the property.
  • When checking the exterior faucet switch over to the plumbing section and take a picture of the water pressure on the gauge (between 40 to 80 PSI is acceptable).
  • After the picture is taken turn the water off and take the water pressure gauge off the exterior faucet. Make sure to re-attach a hose if it needed to be removed to perform this test.
  • If there is no exterior faucet that can be used to test the water pressure the inspector could use a laundry faucet if the hoses are not connected. DO NOT remove laundry hoses to check the water pressure.
  • If water pressure is too high or low, you need to check and see if a pressure regulating valve is installed above the main water shut off to the home. Usually on wall towards front of house.

Common Defects

  • Low Pressure
  • High Pressure

Common Mistakes

  • Not getting a clear picture showing the water pressure of the property.

9.06 Plumbing Drain, Waste and Vent Systems

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: Same as NACHI Standards of Practice.

Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect the plumbing drain, waste and vent systems.

Pictures Needed

Drain piped (cleanout).

Procedure

  • The inspector should check and observe all the visible drain, waste and vent systems at the property the material being used for the drain lines. These will most likely be located in the basement and/or crawlspace. Sometimes these drain lines won’t be visible if everything is finished and there is no crawlspace.

Common Defects

  • No defects for this section.

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking all the drain lines in the basement and/or crawlspace.
  • Not identifying the correct type of drain line material.

9.07 Gas Piping

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector will use the gas detector on all accessible piping to search for possible gas leaks at the property.

Tools Needed

The inspector will use their gas detector to look for any leaks at accessible gas piping around the property.

Pictures Needed

No pictures needed.

Procedure

  • The inspector should check all visible gas lines and joints with gas detector in an unfinished basement, crawlspace, and unfinished mechanical room. Make sure to run gas detector across the entire line for flexible gas lines.
  • There is no picture required for this section unless a gas leak is found. If there is a gas leak, make sure to check it three times with the detector and a fourth time with your nose. The picture should have the gas detector in it with the brand name of the detector visible. The detector must be in the picture otherwise it’s your word against the client’s word.

Common Defects

  • Gas lines that are damaged, loose, leaking, missing, or not secure.
  • Gas lines that have moderate to severe corrosion.
  • Gas lines that are not supported, kinked, or installed improperly.
  • Gas piping that is composed of CSST (See R&R for more details.)

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking all of the gas piping for gas leaks (especially in the crawlspace).
  • Not identifying CSST piping properly and explaining to the client.
  • Not confirming a gas leak by checking three times with detector and once with nose.

9.08 Sump Pump

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector will still visibly inspect the sump pump even if there is not an accessible float. If the lid is sealed the inspector should still check the water level in the pit if there is a viewing port on top of the lid.

Tools Needed

The inspector will use the sump pump hook to pull the float up on a sump pump if there is a float present. The inspector will also need a flashlight in order to see down the sump pit to see the water level.

Pictures Needed

Two pictures: Picture of Pump in pit, and wider shot of pit.

Procedure

  • If the sump pump lid is not sealed the inspector should move the lid off the pit and determine if the float is external or internal. If it is external, use sump pump hook to pull the float up above the motor to test the operation.
If the lid is sealed and it is a clear lid and you can see into the pit, you must take a picture of the inside.
  • If there is a sealed lid with a viewing port, then you must try to take a picture through the port. Sealed lid no access we still need a picture. Sealed lid but clear you can get a picture. If there is a port that is removable then try to test the sump.
  • Making sure sump pumps are working is a big deal, if the house floods and we are at fault it would be bad. Make every attempt to test and take lots of pictures to show we did everything we could to test it. Please make sure the system has a backflow device just above the lid.
  • If you find the sump pump is not working, try to get a picture of the float hooked in the up position. This will help us show that it was tested by actually pulling on the float. If you have an internal float and cannot test it check the drain line to see if it has water in it, tap on it and it will sound solid and be heavy.
  • This section requires that two pictures be taken. The first picture should clearly show the water level, perimeter drain lines coming into the pit and the pump showing if there is an internal or external float. The second picture should show where the sump pump is located. If you say “Not Inspected” (Obstructed/Sealed Lid/Too Deep) make sure to get a picture of why you couldn’t inspect and a picture of the water level, if possible.
  • There is no NEC requirement for GFCI protection for a sump pump. If the location of the sump pump receptacle requires GFCI protection, then you must have GFCI protection.

Common Defects

  • Sump pump not working or responding to controls.
  • Sump pump installed but water levels are high in the pit.
  • Sump pit but no pump installed at the property with high water levels in the pit.
  • Damage to the sump pump or its connections.

Common Mistakes

  • Not testing the external float in the sump pump for operation.
  • Not taking the correct pictures that are required.
  • Not taking a picture of the water level if the lid is sealed but there is a viewing port.

9.09 Sewage Ejector Pump

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector will check the sewage ejector pump for proper operation.

Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect the sewage ejector pump.

Pictures Needed

Picture of ejector pump.

Procedure

  • The inspector will check for normal pump operation by turning on nearby plumbing fixtures to fill the reservoir tank. Take picture with hand on the pipe to show that the water is running through.
  • Also check the pump for any damage or improper installation.

Common Defects

  • Sewage ejector pump not working or not properly installed.
  • Sewage ejector pump overflowing and leaking when operated.

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking the sewage ejector pump for proper operation.
  • Not being able to identify what a sewage ejector pump is at the property.