Flailing Inspection

inspector in Puddle

I don’t normally post things on a Friday afternoon, but then again, I don’t normally do much of anything.

Abnormally, however … now that’s a different story.  A horse of a different color.  And a fine how-do-you-do.

As it turned out, I had to work from home today so that I could await the arrival of a city inspector to look at the water heater I recently had installed.  (You can read all about it here).

Being a government-run function, they won’t actually tell you when the inspector will arrive.  That would be just crazy!  But even the cable company will give you a four hour window.  The cable company, for Pete’s sake!  Not exactly the high water mark of customer satisfaction.

So I had to take off the whole day in the hopes that the inspector would actually show up at some point.

And he did.  I thought he would have all sorts of gas-sniffing electronics, measuring tools, photo-inspection equipment, and a utility belt full of all sorts of useful gadgets.

Nope.  None of that.

He was just an elderly little man who literally glanced at the water heater for about 5 seconds and said, “Yep.  You’re good to go.”

I asked, incredulously.  “That’s it?”

“Well, I don’t smell gas, so you’re good.”

“What about carbon monoxide?”

“Nope.  Don’t smell that neither,” he said.

“Well … you wouldn’t.  It’s odorless.”

“It’s fine,” he said, walking out the front door.  “You have a nice day now.”

“Well, I sure hope I do, too!  But now I have my doubts.”

Anyway, that was that.  Then I awaited the arrival of the roofers to show up and fill the gap around the new water heater vent so as to prevent rain from pouring into my attic around the vent.  Mind the gap, indeed!

They arrived and, by applying liberal doses of pooky (aka silicon calking), they made it so that I could no longer see daylight around the water heater vent.  But what I COULD see was about five pounds of pooky.  Good thing they did that AFTER the inspector was here.  Although I’m not sure he would have noticed.

I asked the roofer if that was the standard way to fill a gap around a vent, but as neither of us spoke the same language, we just shook hands instead and he departed.

I am feeling less and less comfortable and at ease in my own home.  Why can’t life be more like one of those DIY shows on TV?  The host of the show and his/her crew always sound 100% confident that what they’re doing is absolutely, positively, no doubt the best and only way to do whatever it is that they’re doing.  I don’t care how complicated it is, their approach is always right on the money and executed flawlessly.

But every time I have the simplest home repair done, the person doing the work always seems a little nervous and lacking in self-confidence.

“I’m going to run the quarter-inch conduit,” they announce nervously, as if they think it really should be the half-inch conduit.

“And we’ll hook up the new circuit to a spare breaker,” they say dubiously, as if they secretly know that all of the breakers in my garage are really just empty Tic-tac containers full of spider webs.  “And then you’ll be good to go,” they announce with a lack of conviction, is if he were really saying, “We’re going to miss you.”

And I always … ALWAYS … have to call them back because something wasn’t done quite right.  I’ve never seen anyone on “This Old House” or “Holmes On Homes” get called back to fix something they botched.  I guess it is just ME.

If I don’t post any more blogs, you’ll know it was the carbon monoxide.

Or writer’s block.



  1. My husband used to work for his construction contractor buddies whenever he was laid off from his regular job (something that happened periodically during GE’s good ol’ days in the 80s). They all lived in old houses that were in various states of mid-project madness, and they were the type of houses that had no square corners or plumb walls, no even floors or updated plumbing. They all used to joke about having their own show called, “This House Is Old.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha! That’s awesome. I think that would be a show I would actually watch.

      I’ve always said the best way to learn something (like home repair) is to (1) have opportunities to do it a lot … such as living in a house in need of repair, and (2) have someone who knows what they’re doing to show you how to do it. Sadly, I have missed out on (2) all of my life. What little bit I know, I’ve had to teach and learn myself.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Carbon monoxide and writer’s block do have similar side effects…

    Sure hope you let us all know if you’re still alive and well, even if you do temporarily run out of writing topics. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hard to find good help these days. Hope you have a carbon monoxide detector. I actually got one for free from the guy who cleaned my furnace. He was here for 2 hours.

    A few weeks ago I had the electrician come out because the outlets in the kitchen stopped working and I couldn’t see anything wrong in the circuit breaker box. The guy tightened 2 wires, took 5 minutes and charged me $100!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I bought a carbon monoxide detector a few years ago when I had to have the heater replaced.

      And, yes, 5 minutes of a professional’s time can easily cost $100 or more!


  4. I wonder if that’s why I learned to do a lot of stuff for myself (and even if I don’t do them anymore, I know how they should be done and can let them know – subtly(well, for me)).

    Liked by 1 person

      • I wonder if it’s the change from learning with a master (from scratch) compared to learning from books before going to the practicals of on-the-job? There is always a place for learning from books, but these days (at least in Australia) it’s very difficult to work with a master for the full term of the apprenticeship.

        Liked by 1 person

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