Just Another Lazy Day

June 7, 2005 · Print This Article

Bob Kille Acuspect Home Inspection Every day brings a new perspective to the written words I use in my report software. Today I got a call from an irate home inspection customer who wants me to buy him a new water softener. This one’s 15 years old and leaking from the connections at the inside area of the tank. Here’s the deal. I inspected this house, oh about 8 weeks ago. In the report I list the visible water connections at the outside of the softener as corroded and needing repair along with the water heater, which was in a similar condition. The client who received a home warranty has American Home Shield stop by to evaluate and repair the corroded piping, however, the representative informs the new owner that water softeners are not covered. Hence, the call to me with a request for replacement? Seemed an odd request at first.

Apparently, the corrosion on the inside was much worse than the outside and the client feels like I should have told him the unit was in replacement condition instead of a repair. I must have inspected it as it was commented on. Well here’s the crux of the problem, I use a summary for everyone’s convenience and here’s where things went wrong. Not that the use of the summary failed it’s just that I got lazy, again. What I did was to combine the fact that the water heater and softener had a similar problem in the condition statement for the water heater. After all they were right next to each other.

Why was that such a bad idea you ask? Well, let me tell you. The condition of the water heater, which we must report on, was in a “Repair” state. The water softener which is outside the scope of a home inspection was in a “Further Review” state not only because its outside the scope but its also 15 years old showing corrosion on the outside connections. The “Further Review” statement was in the report at the water softener section to explain things such as outside the scope of a home inspection. This generic statement is not sent to the summary unless there’s a visible condition to attach to it. I figured, wrongly, that the water heater statement was good enough for summary purposes, a separate comment would take another half a second to include and just think of all that wasted ink and paper.

If a water softener appears to be in good condition I still put in a “Further Review” comment which doesn’t go to the summary. However, if I see an obvious deficiency it is noted and put to the summary with basically the same statement listing the visible condition. The fact that most clients never read the full report is not lost here. While I could defend the report and the full contents, I goofed and I paid.

Copyright © 2005 by Bob Kille. To read other home inspection related articles or to view home inspection software and book publications by Mr. Kille, click on this link. www.inspectorsuccess.com


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