Your January
Home Inspection Primer 


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Dear Robert; 


Best wishes to you from us at NBI for a great start to 2014. We look forward to a busy and rewarding year for you and all of our real estate colleagues. 




Make your clients smarter:  

High-Efficiency Toilets now Mandatory in California


As of this month, any new toilet installed in a home or commercial building in California must be a high-efficiency model (HET) that uses 1.28 gallons per flush or less.


A bill passed all the way back in 2007 is just now fully coming into force: High-efficiency toilets and urinals must be installed in all new construction in the state-houses, schools, office buildings, and other structures. Some cities are going further (see article about Capitola
in Santa Cruz County) and imposing fines on new homeowners buying existing homes who don't upgrade to the new HET, whether or not their inspection spotted the problem.


What is an HET?


High-efficiency toilets (HETs) are those that use 1.28 gallons of water per flush or less, consuming about 20 percent less water than the old industry standard of 1.6 gallons per flush. This is an appreciable difference: The new mandate is estimated to save more than 8 billion gallons of water within ten years. 


Buy Locally, Avoid the Issue


If your clients buy a new toilet in California, compliance won't be a problem. All such fixtures sold in the state must now meet the standard.


Not everyone buys locally in the age of the internet, however. Toilets can be found online, purchased in other states and driven in. I know a man who bought his new toilets while traveling in Mexico and shipped them home to install during a remodeling project. (Somehow that saved him money.)


This error would be caught during a home inspection whenever the home comes up for sale (even years from now.) At that time, the offending toilet would probably have to be replaced at the seller's expense. Awareness is the best cure for future problems! Let your clients know the new law before they start researching fancy new toilet designs on the internet: It can be whatever style, color or shape they want, as long as it uses 1.28 gallons per flush or less.


Would you like a personalized flyer on this topic to send to clients?

Click here to order one.



NBI's Home Energy Audits on Sale:




Spot the Problem: This shiny new ductwork has a major flaw

Hint: Think about that duct on the right.

Your answer is below...

Two-for-One Inspection Packages

Home and Pest Inspections


NBI pioneered the Home and Pest Inspection Combo Package, and ours comes at a great price!

Save your client time and money. Book an NBI Home and Pest Combo Inspection today.


*One Visit

*Two Quality Inspections

*One Great Price


(800) 466-2466




The Answer to "Spot the Problem": 



The duct coming in on the right in the first photo comes from a bathroom exhaust fan (seen here from another angle): 


Under current building standards, you may not connect power-ventilated gas appliance flues (such as this one for a furnace in the attic) to mechanical ventilation systems like a bathroom exhaust fan. Someone may be tempted to save a few dollars by combining the exhaust systems, but this is dangerous: 


When the bathroom exhaust fan is not running, there is no positive pressure to prevent exhaust gases from the furnace flue, including harmful carbon monoxide, from entering the bathroom. Each exhaust system needs its own flue to prevent this.




Thank you for taking the time to read our monthly newsletter. We hope you found it useful. If not, tell us how to improve it! We look forward to your feedback. E-mail comments to



Keep us on your referral list. We are ready to make you look good and get your deals closed promptly! 




Robert Swickard, President

Inspector's Corner

Pre-listing home and pest inspections can save sellers an unexpected surprise from a buyer's inspection that could re-open negotiations. 


This article has a nice write-up that you can share with clients as they go through pre-listing preparations.   



In This Issue:

HETs Now the Law in CA

Spot the Problem Puzzler

Two-for-One Home and Pest Inspections

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NBI is a professional home and commercial property inspection company. As a natural part of our inspection service, we also work as California Whole-House Home Energy Raters.
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The "Spot the Problem" puzzler answer is this way

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