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Appliances

Photographs of kitchen appliances found during home inspections.

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dishwasher interior
An
inspector will check to see that this arm is moving, and that the
interior parts of this dishwasher are not rusted.

Hi-loop on a dishwasher
Some
newer dishwashers have some type of back flow prevention device
attached to the line. It was hard to get a proper photo here, but the
opaque line running above the valve is for the dishwasher. It is
going up before coming back down to join the drain. This is called
the hi-loop. The copper tube with valve below the valve is the water
supply for the unit. This is on the hot water supply for the kitchen
sink.

 Dishwasher Motor
This motor is from the dishwasher, and it has seen better days. The water stains are coming from the shaft which enters the pump. The water from this leak seeped under the kitchen floor tiles, causing the homeowners to think that there may be a leak in the plumbing line, since they were seeing the water even when the dishwasher was not on.

 dishwasher pump
This is the pump from the dishwasher in the above photo The water line enters the pump on the opposite side (not shown in either photo).

dishwasherspaceNeed to know what is behind your dishwasher? Not much. This is the cabinet space where the dishwasher fits. You have a cord for the power connection, and a tube for the drain. Then there is the piping for the water supply. You will notice that the floor covering (tile in this case) does not go all the way back. This is typical, and it is why it can be hard to get the dishwasher out. You have to lift it up the lip created by the tile. It will not slide right out.

food waste disposer
The food waste
disposer
works, and there was nothing to be seen on the housing, but
notice the white stuff on the top. There was a leak at one time
(there was no leak when I checked).

ovenspaceThis is the cabinet space for the oven. The electrical plug is for the oven, since this entire space is meant for a unit. You also have the gas line for a gas oven. This can be a problem area. One- the gas shutoff valve will be behind the unit, so the homeowner will not have access to it. If there is a problem in the oven, it is nice to have the ability to shut it off. Two- you may not consider this, but many newer ovens are designed to fit flush into the cabinets, with the gas line  coming from a supply valve in the next cabinet. A new oven needs to be sized so the pipe in the back will fit and that the oven will sit flush to the cabinet.

rangehoodventThis type of range hood can either vent its air to the exterior when the ducts are installed, or interior plates can be removed to allow the air to vent back into the home. This was in a two story home, so the builder decided not to build the ducting. A filter is supposed to catch the particles (mainly grease) before the air goes to the vent. The filter had been removed, so the grease filled air starts to stain the ceiling.

passive exhaust ventThe panel next to the window is part of an old fashioned range hood vent. Modern vents are mechanical, which means that they have an electric fan pushing the air outside. A panel like this one is a passive vent for the kitchen, which is not used much anymore. The covering is on a spring attached to a pull cord. When the panel is opened, there is a screen that will prevent animals entering, but unlike the range hood vent, the air comes out of this vent by having a kitchen window open.

ventintoatticThe flexible metal duct sticking up through the framing comes from a bathroom in the middle of the house. Most homeowners consider these mechanical vents to be used from controlling smells. They are meant to remove the moisture from a hot shower or bath from the house. Since this bathroom had no windows, a vent was needed. If it was used during a hot shower, the steam would be pumped into the attic, allowing damage to be caused there. This was on a vacation house, so the vent did not see much use.

gas bathroom heaterThis is a gas bathroom heater used in homes in the 50′s and 60′s. This is in fairly good shape. Concerns would be children playing with gas valve; no independent gas shut off would help with this situation; and rusting parts. Frequently knobs go missing on these units, but this one has been maintained.

dryer ventThe hole in the picture is the vent for the clothes dryer. This one was hard to see, since it was behind the AC compressor and bushes. This vent has no cover, allowing pests to enter the home.  You also want to make sure that there is no lint in the line. A clogged line can effect the performance of the unit, and could be material for a fire.

crushed duct This is the duct for a mechanical vent in the utility room. This type of vent is also used in bathrooms. Here the duct has been crushed since it lays on a walkway to reach storage and equipment in the attic.

grease on range hoodrange hood filter

When you cook, you bring items into the air. Many people consider vents for smells, which is true, but more importantly, you are ridding your home of moisture. Moisture control in the kitchen is achieved by the range hood vent. There are downdraft systems, but the most common is the range hood vent. On the right you see the filter. On the left you see the interior. This unit does vent to the exterior. The problem here is that along with moisture going into the air when cooking, you are also sending grease into the air. The filter can become covered with this grease, and as you can see, the interior of the vent can also be effected. If there is enough build-up of grease for a droplet to fall on the hot stove, you can start a fire. Filters should be cleaned every so often with the dishes.

no cover on range hood ventWhen checking the range hood vent, you have to follow to where it exits the home. In this case, the vent has no cover. This causes a few problem: pest entry point; moisture entry point; and energy efficiency issues.

GFCI outlet on the refrigerator

GFCI outlets are what you want in the kitchen, except for the refrigerator. When testing kitchen outlets to see if the GFCI function was working, I heard the click of the Mster outlet tripping, but it was not the Master that I thought. Pulling the refrigerator away from the wall, I discovered this GFCI outlet. Why is this bad? If the GFCI outlet trips, your food could defrost and spoil. You may have a power failure, and then you would know to go check the fridge, but you may not realize that you have a tripped outlet till to late. In this photograph, we see that the Master GFCI is behind the refrigerator, which makes this harder to reset.

Improper clothes dryer duct

Considering that clothes dryers have a filter to catch the lint before it goes to the duct, you would not expect to find lint in the line; however, I frequently do find lint. This can be a fire hazard. I am not sure why this installation was decided upon, but there is a T-fitting connected to the dryer. Lint is blown out behind the units, which is not a good idea either.

lint in dryer ventOpening the vent on the exterior, we find lint in the line. This vent is for an exterior wall, but dryer vents can go through the roof too.

damaged oven doorAn oven door has an internal cover and an external cover. This door has no exterior. If you open this door, you will find the attachment hardware is also damaged. When looking at a home, you have to open, examine and operate appliances. With this damage, you may wish to buy a new unit.



© Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Home Inspector Houston, Texas
Frank Theodor Schulte-Ladbeck
home inspector, TREC# 9073
Houston , Texas , 77063 United States
713.781.6090
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