Top 10 of 2016

2016 was a busy year! I like to post pictures from my inspections on Facebook. Some are educational and others show some of the interesting (I think) things I come across in homes. Here are some of the top photos from last year:


You can see the insulation is melted on the wire in the photo. My infrared camera shows the temperature is 317 degrees — that’s hot!

Spent Water Heater:


I’m glad I wasn’t around when this happened!

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?:


The red thing you see is a drum trap under a bathtub and those are electrical wires. Not the ideal installation.

Cracked Heat Exchanger:


That’s a pretty big crack. Once the heat exchanger is cracked, it’s time for a new furnace.



The seller’s disclosure stated there’s mineral build-up on top of the water heater that needs to be cleaned monthly. Nope. There shouldn’t be a mineral build-up on top of a water heater. That’s an indication of a larger problem. Call a professional.

It’s Called A Dead Front Cover:


If the breakers don’t fit, don’t modify the panel. It’s electricity.

Poor Vent Configuration:


When the furnace and water heater vent connectors are across from each other, there’s a higher potential for exhaust gases backdrafting into the home.

More Overheating:


This was inside a Bulldog Pushmatic electrical panel, which are considered obsolete and should be replaced.

Watch Your Step:


This is in a bedroom. You’ll have to be careful when you’re opening the window!

Nice Try:


It’s not too hard to turn a “7” into an “8.”

Multiple Taps:


I see double-taps (multiple wires terminated where there should only be one) all the time. Three is really pushing it. These particular breakers can handle two wires, but it should be one on either side of the screw.

Bad Vent Configuration:


The larger pipe is the exhaust pipe from the furnace. The smaller one is the exhaust pipe from the water heater. You can see where some of the furnace exhaust will head.



Nothing like an arrow to point out the obvious corrosion.

Thanks for tuning in! I’ll keep posting pictures this year.



About Jon Errickson

A home inspector in the Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area.
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