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This paper discusses the use of state diagrams in maintenance modeling. These diagrams frequently illustrate deterioration, inspections and maintenance. Mathematically, the state diagram can be represented by a Markov process. The paper discusses the properties of such a Markov process. They are compared with the maintenance situation in the real world. It is shown that some properties make the model inconsistent with reality especially in cases where a maintenance policy with nonperiodic inspections is modeled. A numerical example is provided that shows that these model properties result in modeling errors. The presented results make it clear that the common practice of using Markov processes based on state diagrams must be judged critically when they are used for modeling certain maintenance strategies.