For some people in the market for a new home, the presence of built-in appliances is a huge plus—one less thing to worry about as they make the transition to an unfamiliar living space. Others will look at a kitchen and immediately think of ways to make it their own, including replacing the appliances with their preferred colors and brands of dishwashers, ovens and the like.
If you’re in the former group, it’s wise to hire a home inspector who will take the time to make sure the appliances are in working order.
While a typical home inspection doesn’t include a detailed, technically exhaustive examination of these appliances, the home inspector will report on whether or not they are functional. This part of the inspection is unnecessary if the appliances are not part of the sale.
The goal of the non-exhaustive but still important appliance inspection is not to report on how well a dishwasher cleans the silverware or how adequately an oven heats up, but rather if they work when turned on. Further, commenting on the quality of the appliance (e.g., Whirlpool vs. a lesser-known brand) is beyond the scope of the inspection.
A home inspector is at liberty to check any appliance whether built-in or not, from washing machines to refrigerators. What appliances are included in an inspection will vary according to the experience of the home inspector. Generally, though, most often appliance inspections are reserved for built-in ovens, ranges, cooktops, microwaves, dishwashers, garbage disposals, and kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans.
Before proceeding, your inspector will first check to determine if the appliance is safe to operate, including looking for visible signs of damage, proper connections, missing parts, or any signs that turning on the appliance will cause damage to the device or the home. Here are just a few of the many questions a certified home inspector from A-Pro Home Inspection will answer during an appliance inspection:
Does the appliance fill with water and properly drain? Is there any evidence of leaks around the appliance? What is the condition of the drain hose and water supply hose? Is the dishwasher level? Is there excess water in the sump after operation? Is the tub rusty? Did the detergent dispenser lid open?
Ovens, Cooktops, and Ranges:
Is there anything regarding the condition of the appliances that makes them appear unsafe to operate? Do burners (or the oven’s heating element) glow red when operated at the highest temperature?
Is the mounting loose? Is there an electrical connection? Is the distance between the floor and the top of the microwave or between the cooktop and the cabinet sufficient? Do the lights work? Is it completely non-functional (doesn’t turn on at all) or is it working but unable to heat a test cup of water, for example?
Does the exhaust vent to the outside as it should? Are exhaust fan filters present? Is there an excessive backflow of air?
Is the appliance rusty or leaky? Does the disposal make uncharacteristically loud or strange noises when operating? Does the disposal make no sound—a sign that it may be stuck?
A visual and operational check of a home’s appliances is part of an A-Pro 500-point inspection. To schedule a home inspection, call 423-273-5950.