An Inspector Calls

You might recall my post from the end of April in which one of the waterheaters broke and we almost got super ripped off before getting a much better deal through Home Depot only then to get moderately ripped off with extras added to the bill by the plumbing company that showed up to do the job

In the time that’s passed the new appliances have been working great, but since permits had to be pulled for their installation I’d been waiting for a letter from the plumbers instructing me on how to negotiate the city’s Department of Building and Safety voicemail to schedule an inspection. Well, that letter arrived last week and I called and made my way through the telephone system easily enough to schedule an official visit for today. And sure enough, this morning I got a reminder recorded call telling me that the inspector will be arriving between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. At 1:15 p.m. there he was.

Twenty minutes later I’m out of the basement having said goodbye to the inspector who left me with this:


And in his wake I’m cussing a blue streak because now I’ve gotta call the plumbers and schedule them back out so they can charge us more money to fix what they did wrong so I can call the Building and Safety Department again and schedule another inspection. All because the single-walled vents can’t be less than six inches from any combustible material (which one is, running about four inches below a floorbeam) and they installed a Type B conduit backwards and then connected it to the old Type A pipes that run up the side of the house — and not anywhere near the now-required 12 inches above the roof.

Apparently connecting Type B to Type A is a no-no.

But there is ray of do-it-yourself hope flickering way down this seemingly never ending tunnel of despair. I’m pretty sure I can do this job myself. Not only that but I can do it even better than what the code demands. Check it: all I gotta do is first go get me enough double-walled vent pipe (which can come within’ an inch of combustible material) and replace the single-walled stuff with it. While I’m getting that I’ll get however much Type B pipe I’ll need to run up the side of the house and a foot above the roof as well. Once I’ve installed the double-wall pipe and reoriented the backwards conduit then I’ll swap out the Type A for the Type B and run it vertically up the side of the house a foot above the roof.

And to go above and beyond code, even though I’ll be certain to maintain that one-inch space between the pipe and any flammable material, I’m going to wrap any combustibles in the immediate vicinity in 24-guage sheet metal — which is something the asshat installers could’ve done in the first place with the single-walled pipe!

Repeat after me: ratzafrackin’ muzzafuzzin’ sunzabeeches.

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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."