Sink & Tub Stoppers - Why so troublesome
REAC started increasing UPCS physical and NSPIRE inspections June 1. Since then I've been getting a lot of calls about various defects. One such defect pertains to sink/tub stoppers.
REAC, like most defects, has made compliance with the sink/tub stopper defect difficult. To avoid a stopper defect all evidence of an inoperable stopper must be removed. If you place a rubber stopper nearby, and all components of a mechanical stopper have not been removed a Level 1 defect will be levied. So, to avoid a Level 1 defect for an inoperable sink or tub stopper, remove all stopper hardware, and place a rubber stopper in the immediate area of the sink/tub.
Be careful, because you could end up with a Level 3 defect if the stopper hardware is inoperable, and there is no rubber replacement. The reason is that the Level 3 rule says: "The sink cannot be used, because the sink or associated hardware is missing or has failed." This language is what inspectors see in their inspection software, and although they are supposed to record no higher than a level 1 when it comes to stoppers, some record a level 3.
Also confusing to properties and REAC inspectors is that a missing stopper in a common area sink is not recorded as a deficiency, regardless of the condition of the stopper hardware.
A level 1 for a stopper defect in units is not the end of the world. The points deducted for a missing stopper amounts to about .16 on average, or less than two tenths of a point. So, if fully half of your units had inoperable stoppers, you would be at risk for about 1.5 points, total.
The biggest concern should be doors. Doors are the number one item REAC inspectors find fault with. The points associated with damaged unit door surfaces and or hardware can add up to 10 points or more if half the unit doors had issues, and much much more if common area, and building entry doors had issues. REAC inspectors key on doors. It's REAC's bread and butter for staying in business.
REAC Released Version 2.1 of the NSPIRE Standards
NSPIRE is even more overreaching than UPCS. Two hand railing are needed on stairs now and must be grab worthy, by way of example. Be sure to read the standards and record your two cents worth. These revised standards will be used in the NSPIRE demonstration program inspections and are open to public comment. The new version 2.1 can be accessed by clicking here.
To learn more about NSPIRE, REAC offers workshops. The workshops can be accessed by clicking here.