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Toxic Drywall from China

February 24th, 2009

It appears there is no shortage of defective products arriving on our shores from China. Recently, attorneys at Morgan & Morgan filed a class action complaint against the manufacturers / distributors of defective Chinese drywall that has allegedly caused electrical damages and health problems for Florida residents.
Shortages in American made drywall products (between 2004 and 2006) prompted some Florida building companies to import drywall from China. It is thought that the drywall was used in new home construction.
As much as 10 million square feet of this defective drywall may have been used in Florida new homes. The defective drywall supposedly emits sulfur compounds, leading to electrical damages and health problems (including respiratory problems, nose bleeds, headaches, and irritated eyes).  The drywall emits a strong sulfur (rotten egg) odor.

More information on the Class Action Lawsuit

Thanks, and be careful what you hang on your walls.  Be safe.

John M. Wickline
JW Home Inspections, Inc.

This blog entry was posted by John Wickline.

I have been providing Home Inspection services to the Low Country of South Carolina, Hilton Head, Bluffton, Sun City, Beaufort, Hardeeville, Ridgeland, Callawassie, and Daufuskie Island since 1998. I provide a detailed and comprehensive narrative report with a clear Summary Page and lots of photos. "When Experience Matters"

Maintaining Your Water Heater

February 19th, 2009

Most people don’t give any thought to their water heater—they just turn on the faucet and expect hot water to come out.  Keep your water heater in peak operating condition by performing some simple routine maintenance.

One step you can take is to drain your tank.  How often you need to do this depends upon the sediment buildup you are getting in your tank.  Some experts recommend draining once a year.  I recommend draining your tank once, and checking sediment buildup.  Check it six months or a year later and compare the amount of build up to your previous amount.  This will give you an idea on how often you need to drain your tank.  If you have more sediment, you would want to drain more often.  Less sediment, drain less often.  Come up with a good schedule, that will keep your sediment build up to a minimum.

To drain the tank:

  • Turn off the power source to the water heater. You do not want it to heat while empty. This is very important. Failure to do so may cause damage to the water heater.
  • Turn off the water supply to the tank.
  • Locate the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. Looks like a hose spigot.
  • Connect a hose to this and place the hose in a basement drain or sump.
  • If this is the first time you are draining, I recommend running the water through a strainer to judge sediment build up. If you already know your level, continue to the next step.
  • Open the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater.
  • Most experts recommend draining 3/4 of the water from the tank. If this is the first time I recommend a complete flush.
  • Close valve and fill tank.
  • Once tank is full turn power source to tank back on.

If you notice lots of sediment at the end of the draining process, you may have to do this several times to clear out the build up.  This is common if this is the first time a unit has been drained in quite a while. Good luck!

If you need to replace your water heater please see Michael Therriault’s Blog.

This blog entry was posted by Ian Niquette.

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