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09.36.07 - Board for Real Estate Appraisers, Appraisal Management Companies, and Home Inspectors - Pending Regulations

 

PROPOSED ACTION ON REGULATIONS
MARYLAND REGISTER, VOLUME 40, ISSUE 25,
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2013

Title 09 DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, LICENSING, AND REGULATION

Subtitle 36 COMMISSION OF REAL ESTATE APPRAISERS, APPRAISAL MANAGEMENT COMPANIES, AND HOME INSPECTORS - HOME INSPECTORS

09.36.07 Minimum Standards of Practice

Authority: Business Occupations and Professions Article, §§16-208(a) and 16-216, Annotated Code of Maryland

Notice of Proposed Action
[13-395-P]

The Commission of Real Estate Appraisers, Appraisal Management Companies, and Home Inspectors proposes to amend Regulations .01, .07, and .08 under COMAR 09.36.07 Minimum Standards of Practice. This action was considered at a public meeting of the Commission of Real Estate Appraisers, Appraisal Management Companies, and Home Inspectors held on October 8, 2013, notice of which was given in 40:19 Md. R. 1604 (September 20, 2013) pursuant to State Government Article, §10-506(c), Annotated Code of Maryland.

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this action is to amend the existing home inspector standards of practice to create a definition of CSST (corrugated stainless steel tubing) in the home inspector standards of practice. This action also requires home inspectors to identify the presence of CSST in a home inspection report, if observed, and to recommend to the client that the system be inspected by a licensed master electrician to determine whether the CSST is properly bonded. This action is part of a national safety campaign designed to bring awareness to homeowners on the importance of proper bonding of CSST due to potential damage risks associated with lightning strikes. CSST is a flexible piping material used to distribute gas fuel service (natural gas or propane gas) to fuel burning appliances and/or components within a building. After CSST became popular in building construction, it was found that homes containing improperly grounded CSST struck by lightning created a very hazardous situation. Direct or indirect lightning strikes on or near a structure have been shown to cause an electrical surge to travel into the structure and have, in some cases, caused a perforation in the sidewall of the tubing as the energy arcs from one metallic system to another seeking ground. This arcing can ignite the pressurized gas leaking from the perforation, and in some cases, has caused a significant fire.

Comparison to Federal Standards

There is no corresponding federal standard to this proposed action.

Estimate of Economic Impact

I. Summary of Economic Impact. There is no anticipated economic impact on licensed home inspectors. Maryland licensed master electricians may enjoy slightly increased business as a result of the inspection of property containing CSST, for which the property owner will be advised to have an electrician ensure that the CSST is properly bonded.

 
Revenue (R+/R-)
 
II. Types of Economic
Impact.
Expenditure
(E+/E-)
Magnitude

A. On issuing agency: NONE
 
B. On other State agencies: NONE
 
C. On local governments: NONE
Benefit (+)
Cost (-)
Magnitude

D. On regulated industries or trade groups:
(+)

Slight
E. On other industries or trade groups: NONE
 
F. Direct and indirect effects on public:
(-)

Indeterminable
 

III. Assumptions. (Identified by Impact Letter and Number from Section II.)
D. Licensed master electricians may benefit as a result of inspected properties in which CSST is present and the property owner seeks to ensure that the CSST is properly bonded.
F. Homeowners whose homes have been determined to contain CSST may have to pay an electrician a fee of between $100—$150 to inspect the installation and bonding of the CSST. Additional costs may be incurred in cases where bonding techniques are needed to be provided by the electrician.

Economic Impact on Small Businesses

The proposed action has minimal or no economic impact on small businesses.

Impact on Individuals with Disabilities

The proposed action has no impact on individuals with disabilities.

Opportunity for Public Comment

Comments may be sent to Patricia Schott, Administrator, Commission of Real Estate Appraisers, Appraisal Management Companies, and Home Inspectors, 500 N. Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD 21202, or call 410-230-6151, or email to pschott@dllr.state.md.us, or fax to 410-333-6314. Comments will be accepted through January 17, 2014. A public hearing has not been scheduled.

Open Meeting

Final action on the proposal will be considered by Commission of Real Estate Appraisers, Appraisal Management Companies, and Home Inspectors during a public meeting to be held on February 11, 2014 at 10:30 a.m., at 500 N. Calvert Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202.

.01 Definitions.
  A. (text unchanged)
  B. Terms Defined.
    (1)—(6) (text unchanged)
    (7) “CSST” means corrugated stainless steel tubing used as flexible gas piping in fuel distribution systems.
[(7)] (8)—[(33)] (34) (text unchanged)

.07 Plumbing System.
  A. A home inspector shall visually inspect the plumbing system, including:
    (1)—(4) (text unchanged)
    (5) Fuel storage and fuel distribution systems for the presence of CSST;
    (6)—(8) (text unchanged)
  B. A home inspector shall describe the plumbing system, including:
    (1) (text unchanged)
    (2) Water heating equipment, including the energy source; [and]
    (3) The location of main water and main fuel shut-off valves[.]; and
    (4) The presence of CSST with the recommendation that the bonding of the CSST be reviewed by a licensed master electrician.
  C. (text unchanged)

.08 Electrical Systems.
  A.—B. (text unchanged)
  C. If applicable, a home inspector shall include in a written report the:
    (1) Presence of solid conductor aluminum branch circuit wiring; [and]
    (2) Absence of smoke detectors[.]; and
    (3) Presence of CSST gas piping with the recommendation that the bonding of the CSST be reviewed by a licensed master electrician.
  D. A home inspector is not required to:
    (1) Inspect:
      (a)—(b) (text unchanged)
      (c) Low voltage wiring systems and components; [or]
      (d) Ancillary wiring, systems, and components that are not a part of the primary electrical power distribution system; or
      (e) the existing bonding method for CSST; or
    (2) (text unchanged)

GEORGE FAIR
Chairman
Commission of Real Estate Appraisers, Appraisal 
Management Companies and Home Inspectors