Seven degrees of separation, or, in which we fail our final inspection

The fact that we failed our final inspection was not a surprise; we’ve been told that hardly anyone passes on the first round. What was a bit of a surprise was that with one exception, we didn’t fail on anything BIG – yay for us! Here are the things we need to take care of:

  1.  “The furnace needs to be added to the scope of work as it relates to the permit.” I don’t know why it wasn’t on the original scope since we knew from the beginning we’d need heat, but this turned out to be really easy – I just emailed the county, added it to the scope, and gave them a credit card number for the $70 fee.
  2. “The strapping on some of the ducting needs to be loosened in the crawl space.” I’m pretty sure we can figure out how to do this.
  3. “A minimum 3” drip leg needs to be installed at the on demand water heater.  There is one on the furnace.” This one’s a “call the plumber.”
  4. “A handle tie needs to be installed at the main panel tying the dishwasher and other 20 amp circuit together.” I’m pretty sure we can do this too.
  5. “Indicate with a Sharpie pen the circuit description.” Um – really? To me, the likelihood that the paper sticker the electricians wrote the circuit descriptions on will peel off over time, meaning it is more advisable to write directly on the metal with a Sharpie,  is more of an “FYI” and not something you would call out as REQUIRED to pass inspection but that’s how our inspector got his nickname. Anyway, this one’s also easy and we don’t even have to go buy a Sharpie.
  6. “The air gap needs to be installed for the dishwasher.” This is the big one. We bought our sink at Ikea. Maybe because it’s European, it doesn’t have the hole for the air gap that’s required for California code. The dishwasher has one built in (although it’s not the kind that comes up through the sink) so we went ahead and called for inspection on the off chance the inspector would let this go but no, of course not. We could drill through the granite counter, but then any water that comes out through the air gap would run off the counter onto the floor. So we’re gonna try to go through the sink. I think. Actually we’re not going to do this; our contractor is, or maybe the plumber, and the “counter or sink?” discussion hasn’t reached a resolution yet.
  7. “Ducting for the furnace may require a certification verifying it passes a pressure test.  We will only know once the furnace is added to the permit.  Your property is right on the border geographically so I assume your address will be the determining factor.  If it is required Steve the Title 24 engineer recommended the web site or cal will have a list of local testing contractors.”  Hmmm. When I added the furnace to the scope of work, no one said anything about needing a pressure test so I have an email in to our inspector to find out what in the world this means. If there is a test he can require us to get, I’m sure he will. Stay tuned.


  1. Ha! This made me laugh – sort of. Doesn’t some of this just sound like ridiculous hoop-jumping? Requiring someone to notate things with a Sharpie or loosen duct tape just seems so petty. And I can tell you from personal experience that when a regular homeowner replaces a dishwasher, no one worries about the air gap…. ( -; But congrats about being so zen about it all! I would be a cranky pants, I know it.

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