BUSINESS

Without inspections, appliances can be dangerous

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A join study by Montgomery County and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission has concluded that most inspections on new appliances are not being done, even though customers are paying for them.

(Photo courtesy Feserc via Flickr)

When the inspections don't take place, in some cases, things can go very wrong. In once case, two people were hospitalized after improper installation of a dryer caused a Rockville home to explode.

In another case, a Fort Washington family nearly died from carbon monoxide poisoning, likely because of an improperly installed gas appliance.

"You want to know it's being done, that things are being taken care of and things you are paying for and being charged for are actually happening," resident Udoh Opiotennione says. "It's not a good thing."

The report reviewed 1,250 cases and found that two-thirds of the water heaters purchased at The Home Depot, Sears and Lowes were not inspected, even though a $55 fee was paid to WSSC. The utility acknowledges that $45,870 was paid for inspections that were not done.

However, WSSC says the responsibility of scheduling the inspection falls on the plumber who installs it.

"All we know is that roughly one-third of inspections were (done)," WSSC spokesperson I.J. Hudson says.

Meanwhile, no residents that 7 On Your Side caught up with Friday had any idea that gas appliances even needed to be inspected.

"Nobody has the responsibility," resident Keith Farley said. "This money is breing paid and there's no way of monitoring this thing."

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