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FHA inspection rules for seller: Boiler-specific questions and general FHA property inspection Q's

Questions about FHA inspection rules for property seller. Background: My wife will be selling a house she lived in before we married. It's currently rented to a friend of hers. She wants to make sure the property is in compliance with FHA inspection rules in case a good buyer comes to the table with an FHA loan approval. After much Google searching, I can't find many specifics on FHA rules. So I figured I'd tap into the deep knowledge of members of this forum.

Boiler specific questions
1. The boiler (Peerless -- single pipe steam, without a hot water loop. House hot water produced by separate stand-alone traditional hot water heater) currently has a single pressuretrol. I believe I have read that a second pressuretrol is required if the property is a rental (so it is currently deficient). Does FHA have a dual pressuretrol requirement before the property transfer to a buyer using an FHA loan?
2. The boiler does not have an automatic feeder. Does FHA require an automatic feeder, or is manual feed OK?
3. The boiler has a probe-type low water cutoff. I've never seen any reference to a secondary low water cut-off in any boiler discussions, but I am wondering if a secondary LWCO wired in parallel with the primary exists anywhere in boiler-land, might FHA require that redundancy?
4. Chimney is not lined in the 120-year-old house. I'm assuming that is a no-no.

General FHA questions
It seems that the general FHA rules that I have been able to find in Google searches cover the basic stuff. Any flaky paint -- which surely has lead in it due to the age of the house -- must be properly removed and covered with fresh paint. Landscape must be graded to direct water away from foundation. Stairs must all have proper hand rails. Bedrooms must all have windows (but no mention if a painted-shut window is a no-no).
Anything else I might be missing?


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,272
    I honestly don't know about the FHA requirements, but...

    Low Water Cutoff. Whether a rental or not, my own opinion, and none to humble (ask anyone on the wall!) is that there should be two: one automatic (that's your probe unit) and one which has to be manually reset, set lower. Probably also a probe. They are wired in series, not in parallel, so that either one will shut off the burner.

    Pressuretrols. Same thinking. Two. One regular, automatic -- which you have. One set higher, manual reset. Again, wired in series. In fact, all the safeties are wired in series, so that any one of them will shut off the boiler.

    Automatic feeders. Well... lively debate. If it were my property, and a rental, I'd have one on there. How often do you realistically think the tenant is going to check the water level? And guess who they will call at oh dark hundred some snowy morning? For that matter, even if it were not a rental, I'd have one with a water meter on it.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,215
    I think another FHA requirement is that the whole basement ceiling has to be fireproofed...... which most old homes are not.
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  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
    Here in Maine, the basement walls must be insulated for FHA. Some blueboard, Tapcons, and strapping would be best practices. 
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,215
    edited October 2020
    However, after the insulation is one, then you need to cover it with fire resistant material, I suspect.
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    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,058
    Out here in the "do what you want wild west", most basements are lite form foam insulation for the concrete forms.
    So you end up with 2" of foam inside and outside. 8" of concrete inside that sandwich. Great R-value for a basement with most of the wall underground. Sometimes they do the next story this way also. These foam forms come with screw pads 16" on center in both directions.
    Contractors were finally convinced to simply sheetrock the unfinished basement and fire tape the joints.
    You should rough in the electrical within the foam before SR.

    It is printed on the foam board that it needs to covered with at least 1/2" SR.
    I am on a committee that oversees construction of these spec houses.
    My request for SR was initially po-poed.
    I pointed out, imagine a "lift" (4' tall stack) of foam board on fire in your basement.....you will probably "sleep" thru it.
    The point of liability was finally driven home.