SUNDAY, MARCH 0, 2008 SKCTIONH PAGE 9 Plumbing issues should have been caught Q. I purchased a brand new home — a bank-owned, "as- is" property. On the day of the home inspection, there was no hot water because the bank refused to turn on the gas service. Because of this, the home inspector did not discover that the upstairs bathrooms were piped with hot water only. So now I can't use the tubs or showers because the water is scalding hot. Our plumber says there is a cross-connection of the hot and cold water lines somewhere in the building and mat it will be difficult to find where the problem is. I can't afford to re-pipe the house and don't know what else to do. What do you advise? A. Your house probably does not need to be re-piped, but some investigative work will be needed to determine where the faulty pipe connections are located. To do this, some of die drywall will need to be removed to enable inspection and evaluation of the pipe layout. You should consult with your plumber to determine the least intrusive way to approach this process. At the time of the home inspection, this problem could have been discovered, even without gas service or hot water. Your home inspec- Barry Stone Home inspector tor could have turned off the supply,valve at the water heater. This is how home inspectors verify that faucets have cold on the right side and hot on die left when the gas service is off. Q. We purchased a home that was repossessed by the bank, and we hired a home inspector to check it out. After moving in, the gas company red-tagged the water heater because of improper exhaust venting. The gasman said this should have been disclosed by our home inspector, and according to our plumber, a new vent pipe will cost $629. Is the home inspector liable for this cosdy repair? A. Without knowing the specifics of the vent violation, I cannot comment. The most surprising aspect of your situation, however, is the incredible cost for a new vent pipe. For $629, you could have a new water neater installed. As for the home inspector's liability: If you have not already replaced the vent pipe, you should notify your inspector about the problem and request that it be rein- spected. That call should have been made as soon as the gas company pointed out the problem. Many home inspection contracts specify that die inspector must be given die opportunity to view die defect before it is repaired. Otherwise, the home inspector may be relieved of liability. If the vent pipe has already been replaced, you have two separate issues: 1) You may have been grossly overcharged for die repairs; and 2) The home inspector may no longer be liable. If the repairs have not yet been done, call die home inspector and get two more bids for the cost of repairs. • Barry Stone's column appears every Sunday in Homes Plus. E-mail questions to him at www.housedetec- tive.com or write AMG, 1776 Jami Lee Court, Suite 218, San Luis Obispo, CA 94301. Grooming controls household dog hair BY GWEN SCHOEN The Sncmmrntn Her When it comes to controlling dog hair in your house, the best approach is to stay on top of the source, say dog owners. "You need to groom your dog frequently," says Robin Baker, who breeds golden retrievers. "A lot of people use a brush to groom their dogs, but that doesn't really get the loose hairs out. You need to use a comb and give them a bath about every two weeks." Even being diligent about grooming won't solve the problem completely. Two years ago, the design staff at the Bissell vacuum manufacturer introduced the first vacuum cleaner designed to tackle pet hair problems, "This first vacuum was introduced at Target in "06," said Dan Heidenga, director of vacuums at Bissell. "It was an instant success. In our research, we discovered diat rubber creates a static charge that pulls pet hair out of carpet. We used that technology to design a vacuum just for dealing with pet hair problems." Bissell now has two vacuums designed for homes with pets, the Pet Hair Eraser (about $150) and the Lift-Off Revolution (about $170). In addition, it offers a Pet Pack accessory kit ($30) that includes tools that can be used with nearly any brand of vacuum cleaner. Most of the Bissell products are carried at Target stores. "These vacuums designed for households widi pets have a lint brush type of design in die front," explains Heidenga. "When you pull the vacuum back it collects pet hair, and when you push it forward it releases the hair so it can be sucked up." The Dyson vacuum company also has several vacuums designed for homes' with pets. The line is called Animal and retails for $500 to $600. And soon, Dyson plans to introduce a new hand-held vacuum designed to tackle pet hair. Eureka's Capture+ comes widi tools designed to combat both pet hair and fleas. The vacuum is a bagless upright with a sealed HEPA filtration system that locks in dead fleas. It retails for $170 at Lowe's. Hoover has several models that it recommends for animal hair, but none is designed to tackle that specific problem. Or you might resort to Joan Gibson Reid's method for dealing with pet hair: camouflage. "I have Oriental rugs," said Reid, an American Kennel Club judge who lives in Elk Grove. "They have so much pattern in them that the dog hair doesn't show." 1118 E. Main Street St. Charles, IL 60174 www.RealtorProsI .com Excels 1772 S. Randall Road • Suite 100 Geneva, IL 60134 www.Excelsl .com Jach otflce lnd«pendenll» C reekwoocl Homes The draftsman $604,900 535 Independence Ct. Sycamore, IL Directions 1-88 - West to Peace Rd. 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