My First Inspection…

We have a ski cabin up near Skykomish, a really small (~~ 200 people) town on Highway 2 towards Stevens Pass.

We had the builder build the shell for us - up through drywall and paint - and we've done all the finish work, including all the electrical, plumbing, kitchen, flooring (hardwood and tile), and all the finish carpentry. During the ski season, we typically go up Friday night or early Saturday, work on the house (it's really a house - "cabin" is a way to disambiguate) all day Saturday, and then ski on Sunday.

I've gotten tired of paying the fee to renew the permit, so I'm on a push to get the "Certificate of Occupancy", which means that King County is satisfied with the house. Last night I went up to the cabin so that I'd be there for the plumbing inspector.

The inspector - a really nice guy, by the way - found 3 deficiencies:

  1. The dishwasher needs an air gap (also known as a vacuum breaker) on the outlet. Consider the following scenario: You have a big tub of dirty water in your laundry sink, and you're filling it from a faucent with a short length of hose that goes under the water. If the water pressure drops, the water flow could reverse, pulling the waste water back into the supply, causing havoc. There are several code rules tha prevent this from happening - for example, a faucet can't be below the top water line on a faucent - and an air gap on dishwashers prevents water from siphoning back.

    So, you may be asking, if I knew all this, why didn't I install an air gap. Well, when our kitchen in our main house - also in King county - was remodeled, they didn't put in an air gap, so I didn't put one in.

    So, this is an easy one to fix.

  2. The toilets need to be caulked along the front and sides.

    Also an easy one to fix, and the inspector was willing to pass the inspection if this was all he found.

  3. The on-demand water heater was missing a relief valve. If you have a gas water heater, you probably have something like this on top of it: 

If your water heater burner didn't shut off, the water in it would boil, and as the pressure built, things would get ugly, in the "Fire Department takes you to the emergency room" sense.

So, when my plumber put in our water heater, he forgot the valve, and that's something the inspector couldn't overlook. So, I'll need to spend a couple of hours sweating in the pressure relief valve and piping the outlet outside, and then I'll be able to get the signoff.

And then, on to the full inspection...

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