Does a home inspector check the washing machine?

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Whether or not an inspector is required to test the washer depends of which Standards of Practice they are following. Florida licensed home inspectors must comply with state statute 61-30.807, which requires that inspectors test appliances. Here’s what it says:

“The inspector shall inspect household appliances to determine whether the appliances are significantly deficient using normal operating controls. Inspectors will not operate systems or appliances if they have been excluded in the scope of services disclosure or if there is a risk to the property being inspected. Inspectors will first review the system to be operated and use professional judgment as to whether it is safe to operate using normal operating controls and report accordingly.”

    The Florida Standards of Practice also has several exclusions. The inspector is not required to:

  • Activate any system or appliance that is shut down, disconnected, or otherwise rendered inoperable.
  • Operate any system, appliance or feature that requires the use of special codes, key, combinations, or device or where user manual reference is required. 
  • Operate any system, component, or appliance where in the opinion of the inspector, damage may occur.
  •  Move any appliance.
  •  Confirm operation of every control or feature of a system or appliance.

    The two major national home inspector associations each have a different view of appliance testing. The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) states that “the home inspector is not required to inspect or move any household appliances,” while the Standards of Practice of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) limits appliance inspection to “installed ovens, ranges, surface cooking appliances, microwave ovens, dishwashing machines, and food waste grinders by using normal operating controls to activate the primary function,” but not washing machines. The ASHI standard does, however, require checking “clothes washing machine connections."

    Whether or not they are required to by the Standards of Practice they adhere to, most home inspectors check a washer by running it in a single short cycle, and checking hose connections and safety latch at lid/door.

    Also, see our blog posts What are the most common problems with washing machine installation and maintenance? and Is a hot water faucet required at a washing machine? and Is a washing machine drain hose required to be secured at the standpipe? and What is the maximum length for a washing machine drain hose? and Why are rubber washing machine hoses a safety risk? and What is the correct height for the washing machine drain standpipe or outlet box? and Can a washer or dryer be located in front of an electric panel? and Is  a laundry area for a washing machine required by code for a single family residence?

    Click on any of the links below to read other articles about what is required to be included, or not, in a home inspection:

AFCI •• Air conditioner •• Ants •• Appliance recalls •• Appliance testing •• Attic •• Awnings •• Barns and ag blgs. •• Bathroom exhaust fan •• Bonding •• Carpet •• Ceiling fans •• Central vacuum •• Chimneys •• Chinese drywall •• Clothes dryer •• Dryer exhaust •• CO alarms •• Code violations •• Condemn a house •• Crawl space •• Detached carport •• Detached garage •• Dishwasher •• Docks •• Doors •• Electrical •• Electrical panel •• Electromagnetic radiation •• Fences •• Fireplaces  Furnace •• Garage door opener •• Garbage disposal •• Generator •• GFCIs •• Gutters •• Ice maker •• Inspect in the rain •• Insulation •• Insurance •• Interior Finishes •• Grading & drainage •• Lead paint •• Level of thoroughness •• Lift carpet •• Low voltage wiring •• Microwave •• Mold •• Move things •• Help negotiate •• Not allowed •• Outbuildings •• Paint •• Permits •• Pilot lights •• Plumbing •• Plumbing under slab •• Pools •• Questions won't answer •• Radon •• Range/cooktop •• Receptacle outlet •• Refrigerator •• Reinspection •• Remove panel cover •• Repairs •• Repair estimates •• Retaining walls •• Roaches •• Rodents •• Roof •• Screens •• Seawalls •• Septic loading dye test •• Septic tank •• Sewer lines •• Shower pan leak test •• Shutters •• Sinkholes •• Smoke alarms •• Solar panels •• Specify repairs •• Sprinklers •• Termites •• Toilets •• Trees •• Troubleshooting •• Wall air conditioners •• Walk roof •• Washing machine •• Water heater •• Water pressure •• Water shut-offs •• Main water shut-off •• Water softener •• Water treatment systems •• Well •• Windows •• Window air conditioners •• Window blinds •• Wiring 

 

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Here’s links to a collection of some of our other blog posts about APPLIANCES: 

What are the building code requirements for installing an appliance (furnace, air handler, water heater) in the attic?

Which house appliances need a dedicated electrical circuit? 

When was GFCI-protection for kitchen dishwasher receptacle outlet first required? 

Why does venting a clothes dryer into a garage, attic, or crawl space cause problems?

Does a refrigerator water supply line require a shutoff valve behind it? 

My spa tub stopped working. What's wrong?

What is the maximum recommended height above the floor for an above-the-range microwave?

Why would a home have natural gas appliaces but no gas meter? 

Can I remove a 240-volt range receptacle and hard-wire the range? 

 Can a dishwasher be wired to a kitchen counter small appliance receptacle circuit?

Why is it bad to have a clothes dryer vent near an air conditioning condenser (outdoor unit)? 

Do home inspectors test the appliances?

What are the most common defects with over-the-range microwaves?

Are a range and refrigerator required kitchen appliances for a house to pass FHA inspection? 

What are the code requirements for an outdoor dryer vent cover?

What is the maximum length for a clothes dryer vent? 

Why are my ceiling fan blades drooping?

How do you inspect a dryer vent? 

• Why is there a water hose connected to the back of the clothes dryer?

    Visit our APPLIANCES page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles. 

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