FIGURE 2.8 Stairway details. (Source: Basic Housing Inspection, DHEW Pub. (CDC) 80-8315, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, p. 38.)

Leaking Water Closet

The water-closet bowl in the (describe location) apartment was (loose) (leaking) at the floor. (When the toilet is flushed, the water drains onto the floor and seeps through the ceiling to the lower apartment.) The water closet should be securely fastened to the floor, floor flange, and soil pipe so that it will be firm and not leak when flushed. (It will also be necessary to repair the loose ceiling plaster in the lower floor and repaint or repaper as needed.)

Floors Not Water Repellent

The bathroom (water-closet compartment) (floor covering) was (worn through) (broken) (bare wood with open joints). The floor should be (repaired) (made reasonably watertight), and the floor covering should extend about 6 inches up the wall to provide a sanitary cove base. Satisfactory material for the floor covering is inlaid vinyl, rubber or composition tile, smooth cement concrete, tile, terrazzo, and dense wood with tightly fitted joints covered with varnish or other similar coating providing a surface that is reasonably impervious to water and easily cleaned.

FIGURE 2.9 Three-piece bathroom showing minimum dimensions.
FIGURE 2.10 Alteration for shower and washbasin addition. Exterior Paint Needed

The exterior paint has (peeled, worn off), exposing the bare wood, rusting the nails, causing splitting and warping of the siding. This will lead to the entrance of rainwater, rotting of the siding, sheathing, and studs, as well as inside dampness and falling of the plaster. You are urged to immediately investigate this condition and make the necessary repairs, including painting or other weather-and decay-resistant treatment of the house, to prevent major repairs and expenses in the future.

Rotted and Missing Siding

The (shingles, siding, apron, cornice, exposed rafters) (on the north side of the house at the second-floor windows and foundation) is (are) (rotted and missing). Decayed material should, of course, all be removed, the sheathing repaired wherever necessary, and the shingles, siding, and so on, replaced. Following the carpentry work, all unpainted or unprotected material exposed to the elements should be treated to prolong its life.

Sagging Wall

The (door frames and window frames) in the (location) are out of level, making complete closure of the doors and windows impossible. Outside light could be easily seen through the openings around the (window rails and door jambs). The supporting beams, girders, posts, and studs should be carefully inspected, as there was evidence that some of these members were rotted, causing the outside wall


Window detail FIGURE 2.11 Window details.


Window detail FIGURE 2.11 Window details.

to sag. The building should be shored and made level wherever necessary. The unsound material should be replaced, and the improperly fitting doors, windows, and framing repaired to fit and open properly. See Figures 2.7 and 2.11.

Loose Plaster

The plaster is (loose) (and buckled) (and has fallen) from the living room ceiling and walls in the (name apartment or other location) over an area of approximately 10ft2. All loose plaster should be removed and the wall replastered; following curing, it should be painted or papered to produce a cleanable, smooth, and tight surface.

Leaking Roof

There is evidence of the roof leaking over or near the (kitchen, living room, etc., in the tenant apartment). The (paint, paper) was stained and peeling. It is essential that the leak be found and repaired, not only to prevent the entrance of water and moisture in the apartment but also to prevent loosening of the plaster, rotting of the timbers, and extension of the damage to your property.

No Gutters or Rain Leaders

There are no gutters or rain leaders on this building. Gutters and rain leaders should be placed where needed and connected to the sewer if permitted to ensure proper drainage of rainwater. This will also make rotting and seepage of water through siding and window frames and entrance of water into the basement less likely.

No Handrails

There are no handrails in the stairway between the (first and second floors at the rear). This is a common cause of preventable serious accidents. Handrails should be provided and securely fastened at a height of 30 to 32 in., measured above the stair tread.

Lead Paint

Children living in apartment (I0B) have been screened for lead and were found to have high levels of lead in their blood. Lead is a cumulative poison that causes mental retardation, behavioral changes, anemia, and other impairments. Lead-based paint found on window and door frames in the apartment had flaked and peeled. Lead-based paint must be removed, but it requires special precautions to protect children and adults from the paint dust. Use a contractor who has been licensed to do this type of work.

Refuse in Attic

There are (rags, refuse, paper, and trash) in the attic. These materials are a fire hazard and provide harborage for mice and other vermin. All rags, paper, and trash must be removed from the attic, and the attic maintained in a clean and sanitary condition at all times.

Water-Closet Flush Tank Not Operating Correctly

The (water runs continuously) in the water-closet flush tank in the (John Jones's apartment); OR the water closet in the (John Jones's apartment) cannot be flushed. The broken, worn, or missing ball-cock valve, ball-cock float, flush-valve ball, flush lever, or flush handle should be repaired or replaced to permit proper flushing of the water closet. See Figure 2.12.

Garbage Stored in Paper Box or Bag

Garbage is being stored in (open, uncovered baskets) (paper bags) (paper boxes) (in the rear yard). This encourages rodent, fly, and vermin breeding. All garbage should be drained, wrapped, and properly stored in tightly covered containers. It will be necessary for you to procure needed receptacles for the proper storage of all garbage until collected.

Dilapidated Garbage Shed

The garbage shed in the (specify location) is in a dilapidated, rotted, and unsanitary condition. Garbage sheds tend to accumulate garbage and encourage rodent,

FIGURE 2.12 Water-closet tank. (Flapper valve can replace tank ball. Unvented supply valve requires backflow preventer.)

fly, and vermin breeding. This dilapidated garbage shed should be removed and the premises cleaned. Store the garbage cans on an elevated rack or concrete platform. (Enclose pamphlet showing some suggested storage racks.)

Debris in Yard or Vacant Lot

The vacant lot located at (specify location) was found littered with (old lumber, tin cans, and rubbish). This is unsightly and may serve as rat harborage and as an invitation to dump on the property. It is requested that you make a personal investigation of the conditions reported and arrange to have the lot cleared and cleaned. It is also recommended that you post a "No Dumping" sign to discourage future littering of the property.

Dirty Apartment

The apartment on the (secondfloor) is in a very unsanitary condition. (Describe.) All occupants are expected to keep their apartment and the premises they control in a clean and sanitary condition at all times. (Give a copy of the letter to the tenant.)

Overcrowded Sleeping Room

The bedroom(s) in the (specify location) are overcrowded. There are (three) persons in a room having an area of (80) ft2 and (four) persons in a room (85) ft2.

Every room occupied for sleeping purposes shall contain at least 70 ft2 of floor space for one person and 50 ft2 for each additional person. (Suggest correction.) This apartment should not be rerented for occupancy by more persons than can be accommodated in accordance with this standard.

No Window in Habitable Room

No window to the outside air is provided in the (living room, kitchen, bedroom). Every room used or intended to be used as a living room, kitchen, or bedroom is required to have a total unobstructed window area of at least 10 percent of the floor area. Consideration should be given to the possibility of cutting in a new window or providing a skylight if the room is to be continued in use as a bedroom, living room, or kitchen.

Unlawful Third-Floor Occupancy

The third floor of this building had been converted and was occupied for living purposes. The conversion or alteration of a third floor or attic in a frame building for living or sleeping purposes is prohibited by Chapter X of the city ordinances. This is a major hazard in case of fire. Discontinue the use of the third floor immediately. (Refer a copy of the letter to division of buildings.)

Unlawful Cellar Occupancy

The cellar is being used for (sleeping, living, purposes). A cellar may not be used for living purposes; hence, this space must be permanently vacated. (The housing ordinance defines a cellar as "a room or groups of rooms totally below ground level and usually under a building.")

Clogged Sewer

The (soil stack, building drain, or sewer) is apparently clogged, for sewage from the upper apartment(s) backs into the (kitchen sink, water closet) in the (first-floor front apartment). The clogged sewer must be cleared and, if necessary, repaired to eliminate cause for future complaint.

Unvented Heater

The gas water heater(s) (burning carbonaceous fuel) in the (name room or space and locate) is (are) not vented. Unvented heaters in bathrooms and sleeping rooms have been the cause of asphyxiation, carbon monoxide poisoning, and death. These heaters must be properly vented to the chimney or outside air, supplied with sufficient air to continuously support combustion of the fuel, and be protected to prevent fires and minimize accidental burns. See "Venting of Heating Units," this chapter.

Furnace Flue Defective

The furnace flue has rusted through in several places (and the connection to the chimney is loose), causing waste gases to escape into the basement. Since such gases rise and seep into the upper apartment(s) and have been known to cause asphyxiation, it is imperative that the flue be repaired and the collar sealed to prevent leakage of any waste gases. This should also improve the efficiency of the furnace.

Rubber-Hose Gas Connection

The gas heater(s) in the (tenant apartment) has (have) (plastic pipe, rubber hose) connection(s). Such materials eventually leak and may cause death in the household. It will be necessary to replace all plastic and rubber-hose connections with rigid, metal pipe.

Rat Infestation

There is evidence of a very bad rat condition existing in this building, as indicated by (explain condition). All holes in the foundation (floors) should be sealed with cement mortar and openings around wood framing closed with metal flashing or with cement mortar where possible. Traps and repeated use of a rodenticide such as Warfarin are suggested to kill rats inside the building. All sources of food and harborages must be eliminated. Such control measures should be continuous for at least two or three weeks to be effective. (Enclose pamphlet giving additional details dealing with accepted control measures.)

Roach Infestation

The apartment is apparently infested with roaches, as indicated by the roachy odor and roaches observed hiding under the sink, baseboard, moldings (stains in the kitchen cabinet, pellets of excrement in the dish cabinet). Roaches are sometimes brought in with boxes of food, baskets, or bags; dirt and filth encourage their reproduction in large numbers. Thorough cleaning, filling of cracks around frames with plaster or plastic wood, followed by the proper application of an insecticide in selected places and in accordance with the manufacturer's directions should bring the problem under control. (Enclose pamphlet that gives additional detailed information.)

Overflowing Sewage Disposal System

The sewage disposal system serving the dwelling is (seeping out onto the surface) (discharging into the ditch in front ofyour home). This is a health hazard not only to those living there but also to neighbors and pets. Immediate steps should be taken to determine the cause and make corrections.

Improperly Protected Well-Water Supply

A sanitary survey of the well-water supply shows it to be subject to contamination. The well (is uncapped) (has a hole around the casing where surface water can drain down and into the well) (does not have a tight seal at the point where the pump line(s) pass into the casing as noted by drippage observable from looking into the well). The necessary repairs should be made to prevent contamination of the water supply and then the well should be disinfected as explained in (enclosed) instructions.

Major Repairs

In view of the major repairs and improvements needed, only some of which have been reported above, plans prepared by a registered architect should be submitted showing the existing conditions and all proposed alterations for approval by this Department and the Division of Buildings, before any work is done. This procedure makes possible the receipt of comparable bids from several contractors and usually results in more orderly prosecution of the work at a minimum cost.

Minor Repairs

In view of the repairs and improvements needed, a sketch drawn to scale should be prepared showing existing and proposed work to ensure that the work can be done as intended. The sketch should be submitted to and approved by the Division of Buildings and this Department before any work is done. This procedure makes possible the receipt of comparable bids from several contractors and usually results in more orderly prosecution of the work at a minimum cost.

Obtain at Least Three Estimates

We urge you to obtain at least three estimates from reputable contractors before having any work done. Written bids should be requested and assurance obtained from the contractor that the estimate is all inclusive.

PLUMBING Plumbing Code

Sanitary plumbing principles that are based on the latest scientific studies should be fundamentally similar but will be varied in application, depending on the local conditions. Some plumbing designs and standards currently in existence are based on an unsound old rule of thumb or prejudice. They could be reviewed with profit in the light of present-day knowledge.

The National Plumbing Code ,16 the Uniform Plumbing Code ,17 and the Standard Plumbing Code (also called the Southern Code)18 are the three major plumbing codes currently being used in the United States. Public Health Service Pub. 103819 is also a comprehensive standard code of minimum requirements for use. Some of the major codes have combined to form the International Plumbing Code .20 The interested person would do well to have copies in a reference file. The sizing of water supply, drainage, vent, and storm-drain piping is concisely covered.

In addition to the major codes, different parts of the country frequently have their local plumbing codes (state, county, or city level). These local code requirements must be checked before doing any plumbing work.

One term used frequently is plumbing fixture. This term includes installed receptacles, devices, or appliances either supplied with water or receiving on discharge liquids or liquidborne wastes or both. The bathtub, sink, water closet, dishwasher, and drinking fountain are examples of plumbing fixtures. In practice, the probable flow is estimated based on the fixture unit. A fixture unit is the load-producing flow effect for comparing different plumbing fixtures. One water supply fixture unit (wsfu) is usually taken as 7.5 gpm. The drainage fixture unit (dfu) for different fixtures can also be found in most plumbing codes.

Approval of plans for plumbing systems must usually be obtained before construction is started. Health departments can accomplish more in the interest of public health by seeing that proper standards of plumbing exist and are enforced than by actually doing the plumbing inspection. For example, the health department can see to it that plumbing and building codes prohibit dangerous cross-connections and interconnections and require a private three-piece bathroom and kitchen sink served by hot and cold water in every new dwelling unit. This is fundamental to the prevention of disease, the promotion of personal hygiene, and sanitation. Plumbing codes should prohibit the use of lead piping for water distribution and the use of tin-lead (50:50 and 60:40) solder for joining copper piping.

Plumbing codes should specify an adequate number of fixtures for private public, and industrial use, all properly supplied, trapped, vented, and sewered, as noted in Tables 2.6 through 2.9. Water connections with unsafe or questionable water supplies would be prevented, and connections or conditions whereby used or unsafe water could flow back into the potable water system would be prohibited. Of course, a safe water supply and proper sewage disposal should be ensured.

Housing codes should make reference to a modern plumbing code. Housing codes would be of little value unless they were applicable to all new, altered, and existing one-, two-, or multifamily dwellings, hotels, boarding houses, and rooming houses.

The health department should serve as a consultant to the building, plumbing, water, and sewer divisions. Any new or revised codes or regulations should first be reviewed and approved by the health department before being considered for adoption to ensure that the fundamental principles of public health and sanitary engineering are not violated.

TABLE 2.6 Minimum Number of Plumbing Facilities


Renewable Energy Eco Friendly

Renewable Energy Eco Friendly

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable.

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