Recently, during a new construction inspection, Boxer Inspections encountered what we referred to as a contaminated dishwasher. In this case, the dishwasher had dark spots on both the upper and lower dish racks. This was likely some sort of fungal growth, but no samples were sent to a lab for analysis. Therefore, there was not any confirmation as to what it was. A Professional Home Inspector like Boxer Inspections is going to look for items like this. How many times have you toured a home and looked in the dishwasher? Well you might now, right?!
So let's talk about a few other things related to dishwashers that a Professional Home Inspector is going to look for. These are not all inclusive, but common items we see as deficient.
#1 - The dishwasher must be secure. The unit must be securely mounted to the cabinet to prevent it from moving during operation or tipping over when loading and unloading. A unit that can move could stress the electrical or plumbing connections causing a leak or electrical hazard. Neither of those is very desirable. A unit that may tip over can cause personal injury or just break all of Grandmother's irreplaceable china!
#2 - Dishwashers must have a vacuum breaker (air gap) or "high loop" on the discharge line that connects to the garbage disposal or kitchen sink drain. A vacuum breaker is a device which prevents water from being siphoned backward into the public drinking water system (house water) from a drain or other contaminated source. This prevent the contaminated source water from contaminating the drinking water. The vacuum breaker is usually mounted next to the kitchen sink The "high loop" method allows the discharge line to have a high point between the dishwasher and the drain connection to the sink or disposal.
#3 - Dishwashers are regarded as plug and cord type appliances. This means they can use a cord that will plug into an outlet (or they may be hard wired to an electrical circuit). As such, there is a cord length requirement of 36 inches - 78 inches. The plug must be on a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt (GFCI) circuit or plug for protection. The outlet must have a "disconnecting means is required to be lockable, it shall be capable of being locked in the open position."
So, there you have a few items required for the installation of dishwashers. These items listed are requirements, so they must have them. If they are not present (or not identifiable) they will be noted as deficient on an inspection report.
Call Boxer inspections at 281-783-3030 to help with all your home inspection needs.
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