Q. Radon Levels in a Neighborhood

Q. Hey Mark,

I have a listing, and the buyer’s inspector did a Radon test. I am concerned that the test may have been done improperly. The results came back at 4.6 but I know of three other properties in the same neighborhood that recently had radon tests performed, and they came back with no radon.

A. Your comment intrigues me. If what you are relating to me is correct, then I would say the three properties you mentioned were the ones that had improper testing. Continue reading

Q. What can I do about ungrounded, converted outlets?

Q. Hey Mark, What can I do about two prong outlets that have been converted to three prong outlets but are ungrounded? I was told this is a shock hazard, and I don’t want to rewire my entire home.

Rob R.

A. Hey Rob,

Thanks for the question. This particular problem can be handled a couple of different ways. And each of these solutions should be addressed by a qualified electrical professional. (There may be other issues involved such as knob and tube wiring or solid aluminum wiring, which make this issue more complex.) Continue reading

Q. Flexible Line With a Water Heater?

Q. Hey Mark, Yesterday someone asked me if they could use “flex line”, like what is used for toilets and under sinks, to connect a gas or electric water heater in his home. What do you think?

Fred O.


A. Hey Fred,

I’m not sure what the code officials would say about it, but it doesn’t seem like a good idea from a practical standpoint. The flex lines under sinks and toilets don’t have a very large diameter. Continue reading

Preparing Sellers for Their Radon Test

Hey Readers…

This post doesn’t come as a result of a direct question, but it’s something that you may find useful. I often have a difficult time getting in touch with sellers to properly prepare them for the radon test that their buyers have requested.

In order for the test to be performed to the proper EPA and NEHA-NRPP standards, certain protocols must be followed. Those include cooperation from the residents of the home.

You can access a downloadable pdf file, called Preparing Sellers for their Radon Test, by clicking on the link. You can also find it in the gray download box in the right sidebar (titled RadonPrep), along with other, free to download, pdf files.

Feel free to download any of these files and share them with others.

Q. Disclosure AND Home Inspection Needed?

Q. Hey Mark,

I’m buying a house and was told I need to have an inspection? Shouldn’t the disclosure tell me everything I need to know?




A. Hey June,

Theoretically, the seller’s disclosure should reveal all concerns the sellers are aware of in the home. Practically speaking though, it would be unwise for any buyer to rely on the disclosure 100%.

While it has been my experience that people are generally honest, an occasional seller will be less than forthright in disclosing their full knowledge of the home. Some are desperate to sell the home and incorrectly feel the disclosure may keep folks from making an offer. Continue reading