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I don’t mean to be an alarmist, but…

Recently there was a news story about a Colleyville woman whose front-loading washing machine EXPLODED! Yup. Seriously. One minute it’s happily chugging along, then the next minute–BOOM; the machine looks like it’s been turned inside-out:

According to Whirlpool, it isn’t being reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission because it’s not part of a pattern. Well, after a quick Google search, I see that the UK has had a rash of similar incidents with front-loading washers:
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PICTURE MIKE SEWELL. Pictured is Sarah Blackshaw from Braunstone with her two year-old son, Harry. Sarah's  washing machine exploded throwing everything off the counter, shifting the cabinets either side and giving Harry a black eye when the soap drawer hit him in the face. (Pete Squires) sarah blackshaw  07932 548800

PICTURE MIKE SEWELL. Pictured is Sarah Blackshaw from Braunstone with her two year-old son, Harry. Sarah’s washing machine exploded throwing everything off the counter, shifting the cabinets either side and giving Harry a black eye when the soap drawer hit him in the face.
(Pete Squires)
sarah blackshaw 07932 548800

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Now granted, these are not all the same brand; some of them are brands that are not even sold in the US. But it still gives you pause to think “WHAT THE HECK?!”

And you thought the worst problem with front-loading washers was the mildew smell that sometimes develops in them. I’ll stick to my cheapo top-loader, thank you.
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Did you know this could happen?

Having your very own in-ground pool in your backyard is the dream of many homeowners. What better way to deal with our Texas summers? The problem with pool ownership though, is knowing how to maintain it. Pool chemicals, pH levels, pumps, filters, cleaning tools…there’s a lot that goes into owning a pool.

Another aspect of having an in-ground pool is understanding the engineering behind the idea of having a large hole in your backyard. In-ground pools have something called a “hydrostatic pressure relief valve”. What does it do? It prevents the pressure of ground water from damaging your pool. Usually, this isn’t an issue when the pool is full of water; the weight of the pool water presses against the ground water and keeps the pool firmly in the ground, where it’s supposed to be.

So, what happens if the pool is drained and the pressure relief valve is clogged, or someone forgets to open the valve? Take a look:

empty pool

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popped-pool

Oops…

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Let’s play “Spot the Problem”!

So, you think you have what it takes to become a home inspector? Well put on your thinking caps and sharpen those eagle eyes to see if you can spot what is wrong with these photos:
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Apparently vent hoods aren’t just for stoves anymore!

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Breakers? We don’t need no stinkin’ breakers!

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“I knew we should have bought a Hummer.”

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So close!

sink

Same plumber, maybe?

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I’m sure it will be fine.

water electric

Same electrician, maybe?

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Ok, this one is tricky…let me describe what you are looking at. The bottom vent is an intake for the A/C, the top is the output for the A/C. That’s right! Some genius has invented the Perpetual Motion air conditioner. Why didn’t I think of that?

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Shocking!

After a long, hard day, how about a nice, invigorating shower?

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Oh! An electrical service panel in the shower! How convenient!

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What could possibly go wrong?

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Like I said: invigorating!

SochiShower
That’s classy!

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What’s that you say? These showers aren’t hot enough? Better go check the hot water heater to see if there are any problems…
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Nope, looks good.

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Pool fence? Check.

Texas law requires that swimming pools have a fence that completely encloses it to prevent children from gaining access. This was one homeowner’s solution…a PVC pipe fence. I can hardly image that this was a more cost-effective way to do it than just putting up a conventional fence. Maybe they own a PVC factory? Not to mention the sheer time and effort it must have took to build. Each one of those vertical pipes are wired to the horizontals. It looks to me that if a kid really wanted to get inside, it would just take a good push.
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…and that’s why you don’t stick your hand down holes without looking first.

Can you see it? Look closely. This little fella found himself a nice, cool, dark place to chill out in. This was inside a water shut-off at a house I inspected. Probably just a harmless rat snake, but still– it would have been a nasty shock for both of us if I had just reached in and groped around for the valve.Snake pic retouched

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Here’s something you don’t see every day…

I saw this in a home I was inspecting, and I have no clue what it is. A Steampunk gumball machine? A medieval Love Tester? Maybe a Victorian era spa treatment? Oh, I know…It’s R2-D2’s great-grandfather!

If you know what it is, visit my Facebook Page and tell me!

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