31 07, 2015

Are your electronics protected ? What is the difference ? (Surge Protector, Power Strip) ?

2020-01-05T09:18:48-05:00July 31st, 2015|

What you should Know about protecting your electronics!

Surge protectors are an inexpensive way to protect your gear against random power spikes and surges damage. They’re not all the same. Here are a few tips before you start shopping.

With all of the electronics in the home today, it is essential to protect against power surges, spikes and brown outs. 

Lighting Strikes Home

But there are products that may not protect you equipment as expected. 

First, electronics devices are susceptible to any power surge or spiike, this is to say the if the voltage or current gets high enough it will damage the electronics connected.  The best way to reduce or eliminate the potential damage would be to use a UL rated Surge Protector. As an example, the Tripp-Lite AV810 

Trip-Lite AV810

can protect a variety of electronics included lighting strikes protection for Coax and Phone. This type of surge protector is rated in Joules that is to say the amount of energy the surge-protector will protect against.  The higher the number of joules the better…

The next item is a Power-Bar or Power-Strip, This is not a surge protector

woods Model # 0414068801 

but rather a multi-plug outlet and offer almost zero projection against power surges or spikes, as an example the woods Model # 0414068801 has 0 joules protection and only offers additional outlets to plugin additional equipment. If you are using a Power strip to protect your equipment, you may want to change these out to surge protectors instead. 


There is one last surge protector that you might want check out… A whole home surge protector.  This type of protection protects all outlets in the home.  An example is the Leviton Model #51120-3R, while this type of device might be initially expensive it will replace the need to individual surge protectors thought the home. 

Whole House
Leviton Model #51120-3R

The Inside Difference

A generic power strip (left) offers far less voltage diversion and suppression than surge protectors like the Panamax SP8-AV (right). The Panamax also has widely spaced outlets that accommodate power adapters without blocking adjacent outlets. Its right-angle plug lets you move furniture closer to the wall. And it comes with a $50,000 connected-equipment warranty.

Bottom Line

There really is no reason not to get a surge protector. How much you need it will vary. If you live in an area with lots of thunderstorms, your gear is probably more likely to experience power surges. Even if you live in the desert, your A/C or refrigerator could kick power spikes back down the lines to your A/V gear.
Since most surge protectors are cheap, they’re worth getting, just in case.
Perry Lombard, CPI
Richmond va Home Inspection
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16 07, 2015

Is Your House Trying To Kill You ?

2020-01-05T09:20:56-05:00July 16th, 2015|

Cause of Deaths in the U.S.

Home inspectors are often asked by their clients if they should have their home tested for radon. Real-world loss-of-life comparisons help consumers decide about whether or not they should test. If you are worried about shark attacks, getting trampled by cows, or terrorism, you should be worried sick about radon. These statistics help put things in their proper perspective so that your clients can decide if they want a radon test or not.   InterNACHI

From the table below

 Lung Cancer from Radon Gas  U.S. EPA
 Heart Disease
 Centers for Disease Control (2015)
 All Cancers
 Centers for Disease Control (2015)
 American Cancer Society (2004)
 Alcohol Use
 Centers for Disease Control (2015)
 Colon Cancer
 Centers for Disease Control (2015)
 Breast Cancer
 National Cancer Institute (2015)
 Centers for Disease Control (2014)
 Motor Vehicle Accidents
 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (2013)
 National Safety Council (2013)
 Prescription Drug  Overdoses
 National Institute on Drug Abuse (2013)
 U.S. EPA (2010)
 U.S. EPA (2010)
 Lung Cancer from Radon Gas
 Centers for Disease Control (2013)
 Illegal Drug Overdoses
 National Institute on Drug Abuse (2013)
 Centers for Disease Control (2012)
 Firearm Homicides
 Centers for Disease Control (2013)
 Heroin Overdoses
 National Institute on Drug Abuse (2013)
 Cocaine Overdoses
 National Institute on Drug Abuse (2013)
 Centers for Disease Control (avg. 2005-2009)
 U.S. Fire Administration (2011)
 Secondhand Smoke
 National Safety Council (2009)
 Thyroid Cancer
 U.S. EPA (2010)
 Bicycle Accidents
 National Safety Council (2009)
 Excessive Heat
 Centers for Disease Control (avg. 1999-2010)
 Firearm Accidents
 Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (2010)
 ATV Accidents
 National Safety Council (2009)
 Ladder Falls
 International Association of Certified Home  Inspectors
 Carbon Monoxide
 Consumer Product Safety Commission
 Wind (including tornadoes)
 National Oceanic and Atmospheric  Administration  (2012)
 Scalding Tap Water
 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public  Health  (2013)
 Boston Children’s Hospital
 Terrorist Attacks
 FBI (avg. 1970-2015)
 National Oceanic and Atmospheric  Administration  (2014)
 Dangerous Cows
 Centers for Disease Control (2009)
 Falling Icicles
 Death in Society Research Foundation
 High School and College  Football Injuries
 National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury  Research (2013)
 Vending Machines Accidents
 U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
 Shark Attacks
 Mother Nature Network (2012)
 Marijuana Overdoses
 Numerous sources
 Nuclear Power Plant Leaks
 Numerous sources


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8 07, 2015

New Home Inspection Checklist

2020-01-05T09:28:40-05:00July 8th, 2015|

Every home is different, but many houses have the same potential issues.


A builder may give you a new home inspection checklist to use during your walk through. You can use their list or create a check list of your own.  Be sure the check list you use includes the following items:

Heating and Cooling

  • Turn on the heater and listen to it go on.
  • Check that air is coming out of all the vents or check if radiators or convectors are getting warm to the touch.
  • Turn up the thermostat at least five degrees over room temperature. Make sure the heater continues to run and then shuts off.
  • Turn on the air conditioner and listen to it go on.
  • Check that cool air is coming out of all the vents.
  • Turn down the thermostat at least five degrees under room temperature. Make sure the air conditioner continues to run and then shuts off.


  • Inspect each light fixture to make sure it is fully-installed and that there are no broken parts to the fixture.
  • Turn on each light switch and fixture to test that it works correctly.
  • Plug a radio into each electrical outlet to be sure that the outlet functions.
  • Test the doorbell.


  • Check every faucet to make they turn on and off easily.
  • Run every fixture for five minutes. Check for leaks from the base of the fixture and drips from the faucet.


  • Check countertops for scratches and abrasions.
  • Inspect the front of each cabinet for a smooth finish.
  • Open every cabinet. Look for sturdy hinges and hardware.
  • Pull out every drawer as far as possible. Be sure each drawer pulls in and out smoothly.
  • Turn on each appliance and make sure that it functions correctly.


  • Inspect the bathtub, shower, sink and toilet for chips and cracks.
  • Close the bathtub and sink stopper. Add a couple of inches of water. Wait two to three minutes to be sure the stopper does not leak.
  • Flush every toilet. Check for leaks around the base of the toilet.
  • Sit on the toilet to make sure it is securely fastened to the floor.


  • Check glass to make sure there are no cracks.
  • Open every window to its fullest and then close it tight. Hold a lit match or lighter around the edges of the window. A flickering flame will signal an air leak.
  • Check each for sturdy hinges and hardware.
  • Be sure there is a screen tightly installed on every window. Look for holes or tears in the screen.


  • Open and close all doors to their fullest and then close. Look for a smooth operation of the hinge with no dragging at the bottom of the door.
  • Make sure all sides of the door are painted, including the tops, bottoms and edges.
  • Lock and unlock every door. Look for a smooth operation of the lock with no binding.
  • Check the threshold under every door to be sure there is no open space under the door.

Walls, Floors and Ceilings

  • Check the finish for the desired level of smoothness.
  • Check drywall for visible seams or nail heads.
  • Confirm that paint and varnish colors are correct.
  • Check floor and ceiling moldings. Look for a smooth finish with no protruding nail heads. Check for gaps that may need caulking.
  • Look for broken, chipped or cracked floor and wall tiles. Check for missing grout.
  • Look for scuff marks on hardwood, tile and linoleum flooring.
  • Check carpeted areas. Look for loose fitting carpet at the edges or in the middle of the room.

Porches and Decks

  • Check the sturdiness of the construction.
  • Be sure that there are no exposed nails or screws.

Garage Door

  • Open and close the door. Be sure the door opens and closes completely.
  • If there is an automatic garage door opener, test the door from the wall switch and the remote control openers. Open the door halfway and then quickly stop the opening. Place a small item like a bucket under the open door and then close the door to test the reversing device. Be sure that the light bulb in the automatic door opener is functioning.

Basement and Attic

  • Check the walls for cracks and water damage.
  • Check attic ventilation system. Manually turn any fans or blades.


  • Check exterior paint for defects. Be sure it is the correct color and that all surfaces are evenly covered.
  • Check to make sure all gutters and downspouts are installed.
  • Be sure there are no cracks in the garage floor, driveway or patio.

Checklists Can be Powerful

Your checklist is your way to tell your builder what you think needs to be completed on your new home in order to be the home that you purchased. Most reputable builders are very willing to work with you to complete the items on your checklist.
Richmond Home Inspections


Consider Hiring a Certified Inspector



If you are not comfortable doing your own inspection, you can hire a home inspector to complete the inspection. Inspectors for new homes often require special skills that are not required of inspectors of older houses.
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2 07, 2015

America’s #1 real estate expert personally prefers InterNACHI inspectors

2020-01-05T09:30:43-05:00July 2nd, 2015|

In Robert Irwins book Tips & Traps When Buying A Home, America’s #1 real estate expert writes that he personally prefers InterNACHI inspectors.

Real Estate expert prefers InterNACHI Inspectors


“Where Do You Find a Home Inspector?

Ask your real estate agent.  Usually active agents know of one they can recommend.  However, also be wary.  Although it seldom happens, it might be that an agent recommends a particular inspector mainly because he or she has a track record of going easy on the property, thereby helping to make the deal go through.
Look on the internet.  There are several national organizations that can recommend inspectors.  My personal favorite is www.nachi.org (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors).” 


Robert Irwin is the author of over 60 books on real estate investing that have sold over a million copies.  He has appeared on hundreds of radio and television shows. He is the author of McGraw-Hill’s bestselling Tips and Traps series as well as The Home Buyer’s ChecklistHow to get Started in Real Estate InvestingHow to Buy a Home When you can’t afford it and The Armchair Real Estate Investor (where he exclusively featured InterNACHI).