Appliances, Dryer Exhaust Systems

“Grid” Type Dryer Exhaust Vent Cover

A common type of dryer exhaust vent cover that I see is what I call the “Grid” type of cover.  While these are very good at keeping rodents and pests out of your dryer exhaust, there is one main problem associated with this type of cover.

Grid type cover
“Grid” type dryer exhaust vent cover

The problem with these type of covers is that lint from the dryer exhaust easily accumulates on the grids creating a fire hazard.  After just a few uses, the lint from the dryer will build up in the square spaces, and quickly fill them in leaving nowhere for the hot exhaust from the dryer to go.  Another consequence of a blocked dryer exhaust is that it will take much longer for your clothes to dry which can have a significant effect on your electricity bill.

louvered dryer vent
A louvered dryer exhaust vent cover

The preferred type of vent cover is a louver type.  This type of cover is equipped with thin slats that are attached at one end while the other end is free to move.  The louver is able to close when no exhaust is pushing on it, and open when the dryer is on to allow the hot air to escape.

Call Blue Star Real Estate Inspection Services today at 361-462-9018, or visit our website at www.blue-starinspections.com to request a quote for your home inspection today.

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Appliances, Ranges, Cooktops, and Ovens

Range/Oven Temperature

During a home inspection performed by Blue Star Real Estate Inspections, one of the appliances inspected is your range.  One of the first things you’ll see me do upon arriving is open the stove to ensure nothing is inside and turn it on.  I’ll set the temperature to Bake at 350° and let it heat up for 20 minutes.  Then I use my laser thermometer similar to the one pictured below to check the temperature.  Current standards require the stove temperature to be ±25° from the setting of 350° (between 325° and 375°).  The laser thermometer has a setting that will tell me the average.

laser gun
I use a laser thermometer similar to this one.

Adjusting the temperature of your oven is simple.  If you have an older knob type temperature setting, there are two types: the first has a screw in the shaft of the knob; the second has an adjustment dial on the back of the knob.  You’ll first have to remove the knob by pulling it off.  For the screw in shaft type, the temperature can be adjusted by turning the screw in the shaft with a screwdriver. Turn it clockwise to lower the temperature; turn it counterclockwise to raise the temperature.

With the dial on back type of knob adjust the temperature by turning the dial on the back of the knob. (This dial is held in place with a screw or a clip that will need to be removed.)  Lower the temperature setting by turning the dial clockwise and raise it by turning the dial counterclockwise.

If you have a digital type of temperature setting for your oven, you can consult the owner’s manual for easy directions on how to adjust the oven’s temperature.

As always, Blue Star Real Estate Inspection Services is here to help you.  Call 361-462-9018 to schedule your inspection today.

Appliances, Dishwasher

Dishwasher Backflow Prevention

Many people do not realize that installed appliances such as dishwashers are a part of the standard home inspections performed by Blue Star Real Estate Inspection Services.  A common deficiency which I see in dishwashers is the lack of a proper air gap.  An air gap is a means to prevent dirty water from the dishwasher drain from contaminating your water supply system.  There are two ways to provide a proper air gap for your dishwasher.  One way is to install an air gap device similar to the one pictured below.  This is simply a device which provides an air gap in the drain above the rim of the sink, effectively preventing backflow into the dishwasher.

air gap device

The picture above diagrams an air gap device for a dishwasher.

Another acceptable air gap method to prevent backflow of contaminated water is to simply route the drain hose in a “high loop” that is secured to the underside of the countertop, higher than the sink level.  This method effectively forms an air gap in the drain hose which prevents drain water from being siphoned into the dishwasher.

dishwasher-HIGH-RISE-LOOP-to-stop-water-from-entering

The illustration above shows the “high loop” method of backflow prevention which is commonly seen during inspections.

IMG_0934

The photo above shows a dishwasher drain that does not have a proper “high loop.”  The drain hose should be secured to the underside of the counter.

Nowadays most, if not all, new dishwashers come with a loop built in to the drain hose.  This is NOT a substitute for installing anti-siphoning devices as listed in this post.  You should always have a visible means of backflow prevention installed on your dishwasher.dishwasher high loop

High loop shown in a new dishwasher.  This alone is not acceptable as a means of backflow prevention.

An air gap is the only method of backflow prevention for dishwashers that is guaranteed to work in all circumstances if installed correctly.  When your home is inspected by Blue Star Real Estate Inspection Services, we will ensure that the proper measures have been taken to prevent backflow of sewage into your dishwasher.

Call 361-462-9018 to schedule your inspection today.