Images From the Field

Lead waste bend below toilet
Lead Waste Bend
Lead waste bend through notched joist
Lead Waste Bend In Notched Joist
Lead waste bend loose at top and leakage stains
Lead Waste Bend Loose At Sub-floor and Leakage Stains
Lead waste bend with holes
Lead Waste Bend With Holes
Lead waste bend mostly removed
Lead Waste Bend Mostly Removed

Old Lead Toilet Waste Bend

Plumbing in older houses, before the mid-1920s, often have lead waste piping. Over time, most of the older pipe are usually replaced, though it is not uncommon to still find lead toilet bends.

Wine cork as plug for gas pipe

Gas Pipe Plugged With Wine Cork

An uncapped gas connection can be very dangerous if the valve is opened. Any gas leakage or escaping from the valve is a potential fire concern when combined with a spark or ignition source. Using a wine cork, though, is not an effective or listed cap.

Water temperature too hot

Water Temperature Too Hot

Having hot water in the correct temperature range is very important. If water is not warm enough, it is possible for Legionaire's Disease to grow. If the water is too hot, the time required for scalds or burns decreases. At 165 degrees, the temperature in the picture, a third degree burn happens in one second. Water this hot can be dangerous for babies, children and the elderly. The temperature at the water heater should be reduced. The use of a mixer valve should be added to the plumbing fixtures to prevent burns.

Electric heater with exposed elements
Old Electic Wall Heater
Electric heater with exposed elements - detail
Wall Heater Detail

Old Electric Wall Heaters

Older electric wall heaters often have exposed heating elements. These wall heaters are typically found in bathrooms in older houses. The exposed elements can pose a fire risk, especially if the towel rack is mounted over the heater, or if long curtains are used for privacy. The exposed elements may also pose a burn concern for children potentially touching them. These heaters should be replaced with safer, newer wall heaters. If replacement is not a current option, the heater should be disconnected.

Rodent hole in flexible duct
Rodent hole in duct
Rodent hole into heating register
Rodent hole in register

Rodents in heating ducts

Rodents will occasionally find their way into heating ducts. If a house has a significant rodent infestation and the heating ducts are flexible plastic, the chances of infiltration are greater. Rodents can make nests inside the ducts. After an infestation, the flexible ducts should be replaced and any metal ducts properly cleaned. This ensures that the air flow will be clear of rodent urine, fecal matter, or bodies.