When a home inspection is scheduled it is scheduled for a specific start and end time. It is important that the home be ready to be inspected. When the home is not ready for the inspection the inspection takes much longer than it should and at times issues can not be discovered due to the lack of preparation.
At an Urbana Ohio home inspection one of our inspectors arrived at the home to find that the water was shut off, and the water heater tank was still not filled up. The agent who was there cut the zip tie keeping the water from being turned on and attempted to turn the water valve. The valve would not turn. Because of the agents lack of preparation the home buyer did not as full of a home inspection as we would normally do. We were unable to check the water lines and the drain lines. The water heater could not be checked nor could the dishwasher be ran.
According to all the home inspection associations, home inspectors are not required to turn on valves due to the chance of leaks (valves are often turned off for reasons). Inspectors are highly recommended not to force valves to move also. High chance of damage and leaks if a valve does to want to turn.
The agent at this home then wanted us to come back out immediately to finish the inspection because a plumber was able to get the valve opened. After asking we find out that they still did not fill the water heater tank. We will wait till we know it is all done. We have schedules to keep and we can not spend much extra time doing the things that should have been done before.
When delays like this happen the real estate agent looks bad to the home buyer and to the inspector. Sometimes the agent will blame the inspector for not getting it all done. Agents should always verify that the water is on especially if the home is vacant to help the home inspection go smoothly.