Jumping Jack Flash, It's A Gas, Gas, Gas!

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

During a pre-drywall inspection, one thing very important to look for are sturdy, metal plates covering any electrical or plumbing installation that could possibly be hit by a nail.  The last thing you would want is to hang that beautiful painting and have sparks or water spewing from the wall when your nail punctures something you did not know was there!

Imagining what it would be like to do that with a gas line kind of sticks in my craw (if I had a craw that is...).

One thing we can't have enough of in life is peg board.  You might not think that is true, but, of course, it is a simple fact of life.

Imagine this, or some future home owner, deciding that he needed his peg board to wrap around that corner of his garage.  He gets out the trusty stud finder and determines that there are horizontal studs right where he needs them!

The peg board is going to hold heavy tools so it has to be installed with some strength!  And he gets out the 2x4s and nails them to the wall!  A 2x4 requires a pretty good nail, so those 16Ds ought to work really well!  A 16D, also called 16 penny nail, is 3.5" long!  Using enough force, would anyone be strong enough to puncture this black iron gas pipe?  I would not want to find out.

I pictured that as I entered this garage!  The County has already approved this house.  You mean to say that vulnerable electrical and plumbing locations need protection, but not a gas line? 

And I do understand that the 2006 International Residency Code for gas pipe installation does not "require" a protective plate (defined as 1/16th" or 1.6mm thick steel) to cover this notched location, but really, why not put one anyway?  Garages are places where people nail and screw stuff to the walls!  The code is not intended to be confining!  It is the floor from which standards derive, and becomes the minimal standard.

My recommendation:   when you see something that looks marginal, bring it up!   This homeowner will remember that this gas pipe is there, but a future homeowner would have no idea.

 

 

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,368,411
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Short Sale - CDPE, REDS

the devil IS in the details.....and this is sure one that people shoud know !

Jul 01, 2012 07:50 AM #24
Rainmaker
959,804
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 TheHomeFunnel.com - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Jay-I have a builder I work wit,h that takes pre-dry wall pictures of the entire house.  I think they may have learned this lesson the hard-way.

 

Thanks for the post!

Jul 01, 2012 08:40 AM #25
Rainer
405,885
Randy Ostrander
Lake and Lodge Realty LLC - Big Rapids, MI
Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI

Good morning Jay. I guess my only question is if the nail would penetrate the pipe wouldn't it also penetrate a metal plate covering the pipe? Maybe by the time they made it through the first layer they would realize it was metal they were pounding through. Just goes to show how true the old saying is "Two metals is better than one". Have a great weekend.

Jul 01, 2012 08:44 AM #26
Ambassador
2,033,706
Todd Clark
Keller Williams Realty - Beaverton, OR
Broker - Beaverton, Oregon Real Estate Expert - (503) 524-9494

I wonder where some of these inspectors for the city got their qualifications. I certainly wouldn't want to be the owner of that home!

 

Jul 01, 2012 10:00 AM #27
Ambassador
1,082,558
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jay, I am pretty sure that steel gas piping is considered "self-protected" from nails and does not require further protection in residential construction.  The pipe wall is considerably thicker than the typical nail-plates uses for such protection.

Jul 01, 2012 10:13 AM #28
Rainer
307,049
Jennifer Chiongbian
Specializing in all types of Manhattan apts & townhouses - Manhattan, NY
Real Estate Broker - NYC

The inspectors don't really care and just dot the i's and the t's that they have to.  The contractors should be the one's responsible for responsible building.  

Jul 01, 2012 10:58 AM #29
Rainmaker
692,536
Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586

Hi Jay,

Although the inspection went well. The builder would not agree. In too many cases the builder wants you to shut up and get out.

They don't want to be told what is right and what's wrong.

With that said, I do wish all builders would step it up a notch and do things the right way and not just "the way".

Have more pride in what you do. It's the only way to go.

Have a good day in Northern Virginia.

Best, Clint McKie

Jul 01, 2012 12:06 PM #30
Rainmaker
1,238,707
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

We have to remember that just because we know what's behind the wall, doesn't make it right. What about those who live there in the future?

Jul 01, 2012 12:31 PM #31
Rainmaker
1,232,333
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Than - you are forgiven, child.  Also.  That TV show was one of the Mike Holmes shows.  He gave up and replaced the beast...

Thank you Jay.  Stop by again!  I like your name.

S&D - there is a devilish detail here! 

Adrian - I have never seen that!  You may be right!  Life experience is a cruel, yet very effective, teacher.

Jul 01, 2012 04:21 PM #32
Rainmaker
1,232,333
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Randy - I have never tried to penetrate the metal plate.  I have hit it before, but that was using a smaller nail used for picture hangers and such.  One of those could never penetrate a gas pipe though.

Todd - they are the code enforcers, but the question is what they see.  I have taken CEU classes with three of the inspectors in this county and picked their brains the entire day.  They know their stuff, but my question remains - what do they see?

Charlie's Shadow - in my old age I use a nail gun for just about everything now.  I wonder if one of those could penetrate a black iron pipe the way it is exposed here?

Jennifer - I think they care, but I also think they are very, very busy.  There aren't many of them and lots of new construction in Northern Virginia.

Jul 01, 2012 04:25 PM #33
Rainmaker
1,232,333
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

My client emailed me today, Clint, saying he had forwarded my report to his supervisor.  He will likely hear something Monday.  We'll see!

As I said in the post Tom.  This guy knows the line is there, but what about 25 years from now?

Jul 01, 2012 04:26 PM #34
Ambassador
1,082,558
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jay, you can try it but brace yourself for a mighty funny looking nail when you are done and a possibly jammed gun :)

Jul 01, 2012 05:24 PM #35
Rainmaker
550,326
Gary Frimann
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
California Broker and REALTOR

The guy has to run it buy his supervisor?!?  That is kinda scary in itself.

Jul 01, 2012 05:47 PM #36
Rainmaker
1,232,333
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Twood be an interesting experiment, twood Charlie!

Gary - my client sent my report to his construction supervisor.  Where it goes from there I don't know!

Jul 01, 2012 06:08 PM #37
Rainmaker
595,161
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA
That is definitely something I have never thought about. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.
Jul 01, 2012 07:59 PM #38
Rainer
277,179
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA
- Pierce, King, Kitsap, Thurston, Mason Counties

Jay -- and some folks prefer to screw up their pegboards, and predrill the holes.  I am sure a high speed drill would create an interesting situation  especially 20 or so years in the future, when the new homeowner thinks he has hit a knot.

Jul 01, 2012 10:30 PM #39
Rainmaker
621,739
Randy Prothero
Island Style Realty Inc. - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

I am amazed how many things I have seen that met code. There are condos not far from here that the electrical panels are under the kitchen sink.  In the early 1970s the building department approved them.

Jul 01, 2012 10:51 PM #40
Rainmaker
1,232,333
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Joy - I agree that this suggestion is above and beyond the code, but why not?

Steven - we don't know what people will be doing in 20 years, any more than what we count as "normal" now we imagined 20 years ago!

Randy - I've never seen that!  I get upset when I see a receptacle on the floor of the kitchen cabinet!

Jul 02, 2012 03:44 AM #41
Rainmaker
972,855
James Dray
Wise Custom Realty - Bentonville, AR
AR., MO., or OK. I can find the home for you.

HEY Mr. Jay look at you another feature Congratulations.  Do you report these things to someone in authority or just notify the seller/buyer? 

Jul 02, 2012 03:49 AM #42
Rainmaker
1,232,333
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I have absolutely NO JUICE with the builder James.  They don't even want to see my report.  I can report it to the County though, and if the builder does not address this I will.

Jul 02, 2012 04:52 AM #43
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,232,333

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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