Inspecting the water heater is a function of any good home inspection process. There are several components of the water heater that have a direct impact on health and safety for the occupant of the home. Water heaters have been around for ages, they appliances that are on call 24 hours a day and we take for granted that we just expect the hot water to be there when we turn the valve.
Water heaters come in all shapes and sizes. Some are electrical while others run on gas or oil fuel. There are water heaters that have holding tanks ranging from 40-100 gallons in most residential homes to bigger commercial systems that are 200+ gallons, and there are tankless water heater systems as well. We inspect to make sure that the fuel burning and heating elements of the water heater are working with the thermostat. When inspecting a water heater we always turn the thermostat up to make sure the gas valve is working properly as well as using our ears to listen for any sounds that could indicate corrosion in the water heater.
Water supply lines coming into the water heater should have a shut off valve as well as the proper di-electric unions if metallic water supply pipe is used and there's any transition from galvanized to copper anywhere in the entire plumbing system. Any and all flu ducting should have a minimum of three screws at each connection and we always inspect the flu penetration into the chimney. Flu ducting components are responsible for evacuating CO2 gases produced by the water heater and furnace. PCI inspectors are also trained to inspect the temperature pressure release valve to ensure it too is working properly.
There are several other steps involved in the Water Heater Inspection depending on the type of water heater the home has. Some water heaters are electric and don't have a flu system installed. For more information about water heater inspections feel free to give us a call and we'd be happy to take your questions.