My Home Inspector Blog: Oceanside Home Inspector Warns, "This General Should Be Court-martialed!"

Oceanside Home Inspector Warns, "This General Should Be Court-martialed!"

Oceanside Home Inspector Warns, "This General Should Be Court-martialed!"

Clip art- General


This General should have never been promoted to his lofty position! He's irresponsible, doesn't perform his duties, and he's putting a lot of innocent people in danger! I would like to see him terminated!


Rampart General fireplace



I'm speaking of the Rampart General fireplace. Several different pre-cast concrete fireplaces have been constructed and installed in the United States over the years. The Rampart General fireplace was manufactured in Santa Ana and widely distributed throughout southern California. As an Oceanside home inspector, I have come across many of these units throughout San Diego county. You may even have a few installed in your neighborhood!


Rampart General fireplace


Here's the difference between a masonry fireplace and a pre-cast concrete fireplace: A masonry fireplace is built brick-by-brick on-site. A pre-cast concrete fireplace (although the exterior looks like brick) is assembled in a factory and then trucked out to it's installation site. Quite often, the concrete structure cracked when it was dropped off of the delivery truck, or twisted when it was unloaded. It is very common to see cracking in Rampart General fireplace units when conducting a home inspection. Any crack that goes completely through the concrete wall or component has been deemed "unrepairable" through destructive testing and smoke testing and is a real fire hazard. (Cracks that do not pass through the walls to the interior may be repaired per the manufacturer's specifications.)


Rampart General fireplace


The weakest part on a Rampart General is the "insulation plate". The insulation plate is located just inside and above the fireplace opening, otherwise known as the breastplate of the fireplace. This thin plate (1"- 2" thick) is easily cracked and can allow heated gasses to pass through it and into the combustible materials inside the wall of your home.

Rampart General fireplace




Another common defective area is a gap between the face of the firebox and the decorative detail around the opening of the fireplace. This crack or gap also presents a serious fire hazard.



If, during the course of a home inspection, it is determined you have a Rampart General fireplace, and any of these conditions exist, you should not use the fireplace. Replacement of a fireplace can be very costly. Don't take chances! If you suspect you have the "General" in your home, call your Oceanside home inspector for a thorough examination. Steve Stenros- First Choice Inspections is an experienced CREIA MCI inspector and can be reached for appointment at 888-335-3040.


             Steve Stenros, MCI         Biz card photo

             Master CREIA Inspector #0115

             ICC Residential Combination Inspector #5251439

             Certified Infrared Thermographer #7791

                                       FHA/HUD Inspector- #V975

                                       203k Consultant #S0611



My Recent Home Inspector Blogs:

If You Have These Smoke Alarms, Get Rid Of Them!

The Three Most Common Write-Ups At A Home Inspection

May I Get You Some Carbon Monoxide?

La Jolla Home Inspector Offers Tips On Buying A Foreclosure

Home Inspection Tech Tips: How To Clean Your Rain Gutters

Vacant Homes: Turning Utilities On- San Diego Home Inspector

Sharp-Tipped Screws Are A Hazard To A Home Inspector!

San Diego Home Inspector Goes North

Have You Checked Your Egress Windows?- Encinitas Home Inspector

The New Carbon Monoxide Detector Law In California

"Four Tips For Garage Door Safety"- Encinitas Home Inspector

My Home Inspector Said Aluminum Wiring Will Catch My House On Fire!

Does Your Weep Screed Weep?- Temecula Home Inspector

Deck Repair Gone Awry!- Del Mar Home Inspection

A Home Inspector's ActiveRain Success Story

Comment balloon 2 commentsSteve Stenros • May 05 2011 09:57AM


Steve - I was just looking at one of those two days ago while showing property.

Posted by Steve Hall, Make the Call to Hankins and Hall (RE/MAX United) over 9 years ago

I remember one home inspection I did where the seller had a brick veneer installed on their Rampart General in an attempt to hide it! Some unsuspecting buyer could be stuck with an unsafe and unusable fireplace.

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) over 9 years ago