Texas Home Inspector Standards of Practice
THE FOLLOWING STANDARDS OF PRACTICE HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED BY THE STATE OF TEXAS AND THE TEXAS REAL ESTATE COMMISSION FOR INSPECTORS LICENSED IN TEXAS
§535.231. Standards of Practice: Optional Systems.
(a) Scope. This section covers other systems and attachments which an inspector may be requested to inspect. The inspector may need special knowledge or tools to perform these inspections. It is the responsibility of the inspector to be properly informed and educated regarding current and safe procedures for inspecting the items described in this section. The inspector shall determine and provide a report of the condition of the equipment, systems, parts or components by visual observation and operation in normal modes and operating range noted at the date and time of the inspection. If an inspector agrees to inspect a component described in this section, §535.227 of this title (relating to Standards of Inspection: General Provisions) applies to the inspection.
(b) Inspection guidelines for gas lines. The inspector shall do the following:
....(1) inspect for the condition and type of all accessible and visible gas piping; and
....(2) test gas lines by using a local or an industry-accepted procedure.
(c) Specific limitations for gas lines. The inspector is not required to inspect sacrificial anode bonding or existence.
(d) Inspection guidelines for outbuildings. The inspector shall do the following:
....(1) inspect the building for structural performance and for water penetration; and
....(2) observe the building for compliance with electrical, plumbing and HVAC standards where applicable.
(e) Inspection guidelines for outdoor cooking equipment. The inspector shall do the following:
....(1) identify the energy source and operate the unit;
....(2) inspect the condition of control knobs, handles, burner bars, grills, box, rotisserie (if present) and heat diffusion material;
....(3) observe the stability of the unit and pedestal;
....(4) inspect gas units for proper materials used for the gas branch line and the connection to the appliance; and
....(5) inspect gas units for presence and location of the gas shut-off valve and for leaks at the valve.
(f) Inspection guidelines for lawn and garden sprinkler system. The inspector shall do the following:
....(1) operate all zones or stations on the system manually;
....(2) observe water flow or pressure at the circuit heads;
....(3) inspect for evidence of surface water leaks, presence and proper installation of anti-siphon valves and backflow preventers and presence of shut-off valves;
....(4) inspect the condition and mounting of control box and visible wiring; and
....(5) observe and report the operation of each zone and associated valves, spray head patterns and areas of non-coverage within the zone.
(g) Specific limitations for lawn and garden sprinkler system. The inspector is not required to inspect the automatic function of the timer or control box, the rain sensor or the effectiveness of anti-siphon valves or backflow preventers.
(h) Inspection guidelines for private water wells. The inspector shall do the following:
....(1) operate at least two fixtures simultaneously;
....(2) identify the type of pump and type of storage equipment;
....(3) observe and determine water pressure and flow and operation of pressure switches;
....(4) observe the condition of visible and accessible equipment and components;
....(5) inspect for proper wiring and circuit protection;
....(6) observe the condition of, and site drainage in the area of, the well head; and
....(7) recommend, perform, or arrange to have performed, a coliform analysis.
(I) Specific limitations for private water wells. The inspector is not required to do the following:
....(1) open, uncover or remove the pump, heads, screens, lines or other component parts of the system;
....(2) determine water quality or potability or the reliability of the water supply or source; or
....(3) locate or verify underground water leaks.
(j) Inspection guidelines for Individual private sewage systems (septic systems). The inspector shall do the following:
....(1) report the observed condition of the accessible or visible components of the system at the time of the inspection;
....(2) operate plumbing fixtures to observe functional flow;
....(3) walk over the area of tanks and fields or beds to identify by visual and olfactory means, any evidence of effluent seepage or flow at the surface of the ground;
....(4) inspect for areas of inadequate site drainage around or adjacent to the system;
....(5) observe proximity, if known, of water wells; underground cisterns; water supply lines; streams, ponds and lakes; sharp slopes or breaks; easement lines; property lines; soil absorption systems; swimming pools or sprinkler systems.
....(6) inspect the operation of the system;
....(7) observe the presence of visible access to tanks;
....(8) determine the type of the system, if possible, and the location of the drainfield; and
....(9) verify the operation of aerators, dosing pumps and proper wiring when equipment is present.
(k) Specific limitations for individual private sewage systems (septic systems). The inspector is not required to do the following:
....(1) excavate or uncover the system or its components to determine the size, adequacy or efficiency of the system; or
....(2) determine the type of construction used unless readily known without excavation or destructive examination.
(l) Inspection guidelines for swimming pools and equipment (spas and hot tubs). The inspector shall do the following:
....(1) determine and identify the type of pool construction;
....(2) note the condition of pool surfaces, identifying cracks or deterioration of the surface(s);
....(3) observe the condition of tiles, copings and decks;
....(4) inspect the condition of slides, steps, diving boards and other equipment;
....(5) inspect the condition of drains, skimmers and valves;
....(6) observe the presence, condition and function of pool lights and ground fault circuit interrupter protection;
....(7) inspect the condition and function of pump motors, controls, sweeps, proper wiring and circuit protection;
....(8) inspect condition and function of heater, if present;
....(9) inspect gas heaters for proper materials used for the branch line and the connection to the appliance;
....(10) inspect gas heaters for presence and location of the gas shut-off valve and for leaks at the valve;
....(11) observe external grounding of the pump motor, blowers and other electrical equipment, if visible;
....(12) inspect the condition of the filter tank, pressure gauge and for above-ground water leaks; and
....(13) observe for the presence of and determine the condition of fences, gates or enclosures.
(m) Specific limitations for swimming pools and equipment (spas and hot tubs). The inspector is not required to the following:
....(1) dismantle or otherwise open any components or lines;
....(2) uncover or excavate any lines or otherwise concealed components of the system, or determine the presence of sub-surface leaks;
....(3) fill the pool, spa or hot tub with water;
....(4) determine the presence of sub-surface water tables; or
....(5) inspect ancillary equipment such as computer controls, covers, chlorinators or other chemical dispensers, or water ionization devices or conditioners other than required by this section.
(n) Inspection guidelines for built-in security and fire protection equipment. The inspector shall do the following:
....(1) determine the type of security system and the location of monitoring devices and control boxes;
....(2) inspect and note the existence of point of entry, motion, infrared or other detection devices;
....(3) determine the type and location of fire detection sensors;
....(4) note whether sensors are smoke, heat or ionization detectors;
....(5) note the existence of external alarm, battery back-up and telephone interconnect; and
....(6) observe whether system is monitored or an alarm type and randomly test the system.