What's Wrong With This Picture... I Mean Heat Pump?


 "Must See the Newly Renovated Basement!"

So said the marketing info on the kitchen counter in the house I arrived to inspect.

I could hardly wait!  OK, when I see things like that, lately anyway, I kind of cringe.

When I enter houses for inspections, I begin by turning things on.  The dishwasher, washer, dryer, AC or furnace, and so forth.  Obviously I test 'em!

The house was kind of cold.  Not unusual, sometimes the listing agents leave the heat low, especially after the house has a contract on it.  So I found the thermostat and turned on the heat.

No reaction.

No sound.

No click, grind, buzz.  Or heat.

No nothing.

Maybe it's turned off at the panel box?  I checked.  Nope, the breaker was on.  So what could it be?

I found the heat pump.

And this is what I saw.

The label states that this heat pump was manufactured a mere three years ago.  Already it doesn't work.

Can you tell me why?  It's OK, I'll wait.

Hint:  the old heat pump was of a different era and configuration.  They took the white AC condensate line off that old one and used it on this one.  I guess to save time and money.


I'm still waiting...


THAT'S RIGHT!  Ding, ding, ding!!  The condensate line blocks the filter's ability to come out for washing or replacement.  This filter is a washable, high efficiency filter.  It captures everything.  And it really should be washed every month!  If not, it will clog quickly.

This one was so clogged it had the density of a brick.  I think that broke the unit.  So much for saving time and money...

My recommendation:  If you see or hear that a house you will be showing your clients is newly remodeled, ask a couple of questions.  A good question to start would be:  "Gee, was it done professionally?" and/or "Was there a permit pulled to do the work?"  If not, caveat emptor!

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Jay performs inspections Monday through Saturday, throughout Northern Virginia, from his office in Bristow to Leesburg and Centreville, to Great Falls and Vienna and everywhere in between!