Typical hose bib with anti-siphon valve.

Home Inspection Glossary – Part Seven

As a home inspector and former builder, there are many technical terms that I may use that are unfamiliar to the average home owner. While I always try to break things down to layman’s terms while conducting the home inspection, I thought it might be useful to have a home inspection glossary to refer buyers to. This is the seventh installment of these posts to build the glossary. I’ve tried to keep it simple and these are not intended to be exhaustive definitions.


hood: Device typically located over a stove designed to collect and remove cooking odors by means of a ducted fan with an outdoor vent. Less effective hoods use a replaceable filter and re-circulate back into the room.


hose bibb (hose bib): An outdoor faucet used to connect a hose. An anti-siphon valve is required to prevent contamination of potable water supply from water which may be drawn back through the hose bib under certain conditions.


hot wire: The wire carrying electrical current from the main distribution panel. Usually black or red, may be other colors but should be marked with black tape to indicate that it is a hot wire, rather than a neutral or ground.


humidistat: A device used to regulate the indoor humidity of a home. Often installed in a forced air HVAC system.


hurricane clips, ties: Metal connectors used to attach framing components in high-wind prone locals. Typically found connecting the top plate of a bearing wall to trusses or roof rafters. May also be found connecting the bottom plate to the foundation.


I-beam: Steel beam with a profile resembling the capital letter I. Used to carry structural loads, typically supported be a masonry bearing wall and/or posts.


I-joist: Composite wooden beam consisting of a top and bottom chord of dimensional lumber connected with a web of oriented strand board (OSB). Typically used as a cheaper replacement for dimensional lumber joists. Depending on the rating, may be able to span longer distances than traditional lumber.


ID (inside diameter): Refers to the inside diameter measurement of pipes and is the standard nomenclature when describing plumbing components.


incandescent lamp: A lighting device that uses electricity to heat a metal filament to white hot in order to produce light. What is commonly referred to as a “normal” light bulb, rapidly being replaced by CFL and LED bulbs.