How to Look

at a House


A blog with answers
to your questions about
HOME INSPECTION
and HOME MAINTENANCE

Welcome to our blog!
We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.


More Blog Posts about Plumbing:

  1. What does pH mean in a well water test and how does it affect water quality?

  2. Should I upgrade to a tankless water heater?

  3. Why does my well pump turn on and off every time I use water?

  4. How old is that water heater?

  5. My air conditioner won’t turn on. What’s wrong?

  6. Should I wrap the water heater with an insulation blanket?

  7. How do I get insurance if my home can’t pass a 4-point inspection?

  8. What’s the powdery crust on the pipe connections at the water heater?

  9. Do you check the plumbing under the floor slab?

  10. Do I have polybutylene pipe? Why is it a problem?

  11. What is causing a foggy haze on my windows?

  12. What is that big thing in the toilet tank?

  13. How do I remove cigarette odor in a house?

  14. What is the difference between water service pipe and water supply pipe?

  15. What’s the flip-up handle on the water heater for?

  16. How come the water has a rotten-egg smell in some empty houses?

  17. My well water test came back positive for bacteria. What should I do?

  18. Do you test the well water?

  19. What is the difference between a regular water heater and a power vent water heater?

  20. How can I tell what type of plumbing pipe I have?

  21. How do you test a shower pan for leaks?

  22. Why is my water heater making strange (rumbling, gurgling, knocking or banging) noises?

  23. What is that pipe sticking out of the ground in the yard?

  24. What are the minimum clearances around a toilet?

  25. Why is a European-style bottle trap not approved by the plumbing codes in the U.S.?

  26. Why would a well need to have a chlorinator/dechlorinator system?

  27. What could cause an extremely high electric bill?

  28. How do I trace and identify each circuit breaker in my electric panel to make a circuit directory?

  29. Why are extension cords dangerous?

  30. What problems does having too many electrical outlets on a single circuit cause?

  31. How can I find out the size of the electric service to a house?

  32. What happens when you press the “TEST” button on a circuit breaker in an electric panel?

  33. How many electric receptacles (outlets) are required in a hallway?

  34. Why are electrical outlets and plugs polarized?

  35. What is the difference between GFCI and AFCI circuit breakers?

  36. Why is bundled wiring in an electric panel a defect?

  37. What electrical hazards does a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) not protect against?

  38. What is the building code requirement for receptacle outlets at stairs and stair landings?

  39. Can a home surge protector be installed loose in the bottom of an electric panel box?

   You will want to add an allowance for a few additional appliances if the generator is for emergency power outage use, such as a refrigerator and lights, unless the generator will be dedicated only to the well pump or it will only be run with everything else off. Here’s some additional ratings:

  1. Box Fan - 115 watts

  2. Refrigerator/Freezer - 550 watts / 1350 startup watts

  3. Toaster Oven - 1500 watts

  4. Microwave - 625 or 1000 watts

  5. Coffee Maker - 1300 watts

  6. Lights - rating of bulb

  7. Space Heater - 1500 watts

    Also, always start the generator and have it up to speed before letting the well pump kick in. Conversely, turn off the well pump first before shutting down the generator to avoid damaging the pump motor; and this means be sure to avoid letting the generator run out of fuel while the pump is running.

    If you think a whole-house backup generator is what you need, click the link below to go to an easy to use Generator Sizing Calculator at the Generac® website.

                               Generator Sizing Calculator



While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
©2016 - McGarry and Madsen Inspection -

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