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This ‘Safety Check’ isn’t worth the paper it’s written on

By In Safety Check On February 4, 2012

I inspected a house in Minneapolis yesterday with an old gravity furnace.  The furnace had supposedly been certified, and the seller left the paperwork sitting on the kitchen table.  Here’s the form:

Bad Safety Check

Here are a few key points:
1. The printout shown below was attached to the form and has the same date.  This is the ORSAT test that needed to be attached.  This shows the CO level in the stack at 3617 ppm, which is ridiculously high. The gas company will shut down the equipment and red tag it at 400 ppm.  The contractor wrote “0 at registers”.  Who cares about registers?  That’s not where they’re supposed to be testing!


2. The form specifically says the installer checked the vent connector for signs of deterioration. The vent connector was wrapped with duct tape and completely rusted out underneath the duct tape; I could feel it crumble as I pushed on it. Signs of deterioration don’t get much more obvious.

Rusted out vent connector

3. The contractor was supposed to check the manual gas shut-off to make sure it’s consistent with City Code Enforcement Standards. Gate valves are not.  That round handle thing in the middle of the photo is a gate valve.

Improper Gas Valve

So what the heck was this contractor looking at?  You’ll notice the address on the form at the top was actually left blank.  Maybe they inspected the wrong house?

I might follow up with this contractor to figure out exactly how they could have signed this blank check.

Reuben Saltzman, Structure Tech Home Inspections – Email – Minneapolis Home Inspector


About the Author


Reuben is a second generation home inspector with a passion for his work. He grew up remodeling homes and learning about carpentry since he was old enough to hold a hammer. Reuben has worked for Structure Tech since it was purchased by Neil in 1997, and is now co-owner and President of the company.