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Trustworthy Home Inspection

4907 N. Lacey Street, Spokane, Washington, United States, 99217

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We hired Lee at Trustworthy Home Inspections to inspect our home prior to purchase. The referral was given to us from our realtor. We paid Lee $425 to thoroughly inspect our home. He conducted the inspection. Once we moved in, we had been feeling symptoms of nausea, dizziness and irritability. We woke up with one morning with no heat. We had *** come check our furnace. They noticed a large crack, which they stated was not new, due to the level of debris and dust on the crack. They also condemned our furnace because of a gas leak. We called an HVAC company to come out and they stated the same thing about the crack and stated that this furnace was 25 years old an needed replaced. There were 4-5 parts that needed replaced and the cost to repair would have exceeded buying a new unit. Lee called the HVAC company and asked for their help. They re-iterated that we needed a new unit and it was not repairable. We also had them service our two fireplaces; Lee had put on the inspection report that there was no gas running to the fireplaces; which was not true. The fireplaces are close to needing replaced as well and the parts are obsolete. Lee was not willing to reimburse us the cost of the furnace/service which totaled out to be around $3200. He only offered us $425 back for the inspection. Lee did admit to having a photo of the crack in our furnace and was able to zoom in on the photo and identify the crack, as he admitted to my husband. This was not on the report, nor was it communicated to the sellers. If it had been we could have negotiated a replacement with the sellers. Truth be told, we could have died. Lee is not acknowledging any ownership of this issue and refused to give me his insurance carrier's contact information.

Trustworthy Home Inspection Response • Mar 17, 2020

To Whom it may Concern:

Below is in response to the complaint file number ***

Date of Inspection: 12/31/2019

I was first notified of the complaint 2/26/2020

In the inspection agreement that my client personally signed, paragraph 6 reads as follows:

6. In the event of a claim against INSPECTOR, CLIENT agrees to supply INSPECTOR with the following: (1) written notification of adverse conditions within 14 days of discovery; and (2) access to the premises. Failure to comply with the above conditions will release INSPECTOR and its agents from any and all obligations or liability of any kind.According to this signed contract, once a problem is identified, it is the customers responsibility to notify my in writing of those adverse conditions within 14 calendar days of discovery and grant me access to the premises to inspect the defect/deficiency prior to any work being completed in repair.

If the furnace has been replaced and a reinspection has not been granted prior to the replacement, the customer waives their rights to any reimbursement.

Washington State Standards of Practice specifically excludes home inspections:

As a Washington State licensed Home Inspector and a WSDA Licensed Structural Pest Inspector, I have been trained to perform a visual and non-invasive home inspection and I incorporate and use the Washington State Standards of Practice in my home inspection as my standard. As a Home Inspector, doing things such as tripping breakers inside the electrical panel, turning on or off the main water valve, turning natural gas or LP gas on or off at any valve, igniting pilot lights or dismantling any component or system of a home to inspect anything that is hidden is specifically excluded from the Washington State Standards of Practice (WAC- 308-408C-030 sub sections 1,6,7,8,11 and 17 and is also specifically excluded in the signed inspection agreement that I receive prior to a home inspection. A home inspection is a snapshot in time of the conditions of the house at the time of inspection and is not in any way a guarantee or warrantee of longevity of continued serviceability beyond the time of inspection.

At the time of inspection:

At the time of my inspection, I arrived at the home to find the seller and family still inside the house and the gentleman was busily performing home repairs during my inspection, in advance of the completion of the home sale. To my understanding, the home did not remain vacant for any significant time and the previous owners did not disclose any problems with the furnace or any gas leak or health concernsprior to their vacating the property. The home was still full of personal property and the home was being actively used as the family residence at the time of inspection.

Regarding new complaint of fireplaces:

The complaint about the fireplaces was not brought to my attention until the time of receiving notification from the of this complaint against me. I have not personally been contacted regarding this issue, nor have I been given an opportunity to reinspect the fireplaces. If service has been completed, paragraph 6 from the signed inspection agreement would again be in force.

When the fireplaces were inspected, it was observed that they would not turn on using normal switching controls. When inspected closer, there was no pilot light ignited inside the fireplace and the internal valve appeared to be in the off position. It is outside the scope of a home inspector to turn any gas valve on, as they may have been turned off for a safety reason. It was recommended in the written report that the fireplaces be evaluated by a fireplace professional prior to their operation.

Regarding inspection of furnace:

When the furnace was tested, the furnace was operated using normal thermostatic controls. The furnace cycled through all of its normal functions, including inducer fan operation and ignition of all the burners inside the furnace heat exchanger combustion chambers. The flames all burned a bright blue, leaving no suspicion of incomplete gas burning (Which would burn more yellow). There was no gas smell inside or near the furnace at all during my inspection of the appliance, which would have been readily apparent had there been one. At this point, I closed up the furnace door and tested the temperature of the heat output at each accessible heat register in the house using a laser thermometer. When tested, the average temperature throughout the house was 110 degrees.

Regarding the repair of said “cracked part”:

Upon reevaluation of my report and images taken of the furnace, it was deduced that the “Cracked Part” was a crack in the inducer fan motor housing that is near the top of the furnace. The inducer fan’s purpose is to draw combustion air through the combustion chambers inside the furnace and out through the vent stack. Combustion air is drawn though in order to provide proper and as complete as possible of fuel burning. The inducer fan has no bearing on the gas other than if the fan is not working as designed, the gas valve inside the will not open to allow gas to flow to the burners for ignition.

After speaking with a HVAC professional, I learned that the inducer fan would cost around $400 to professionally replace and offered to provide my client a full refund of the cost of inspection, which was $425. The inspection agreement, which my client signed states clearly that the inspection and report do not constitute any type of warrantee and the limit of my financial liability if there is any possible shortcomings of reporting is the amount paid for the inspection performed.

Furnace operated inside normal parameters at the time of inspection:

The furnace inside that home was installed at construction and was nearly 25 years old. A furnace is a complex system which has multiple electrical interfaces, circuit boards, mechanical parts (including a gasvalve), fans, blowers, burners and heat exchangers that would be impossible to determine their remaining life expectancy at the time of inspection and many of the components of an HVAC system are completely internal and not available for a visual inspection. At the time of inspection, the furnace operated according to normal standards, using normal thermostatic controls. The inducer fan worked. The burners all ignited as designed and burned a bright blue. There was no gas smell inside or around the furnace during inspection. When I was on site, the furnace operated inside normal parameters and provided good heat throughout the house.

At this point, I have reported this matter to my professional liability insurance company and they agree I have met the standard of care for a home inspection.

Lee HTrustworthy Home Inspection

Customer Response • Mar 23, 2020

I reject this response from the inspector. I have spoken with my lawyer and the language that was signed does not release inpector from liability. The inpector was negligent in his inspection. He has a photo of the crack and failed to notify home owners and buyers.

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Address: 4907 N. Lacey Street, Spokane, Washington, United States, 99217


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