Home Inspection – The Water Heater

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 20,545
    Professional home inspector Vince Clingenpeel discusses how to inspect your water heater.

    Vince Clingenpeel

    Vince Clingenpeel is the president and principle inspector of Clingenpeel Properties Inc. His father founded the company in 1954 as a masonry business. He started his career as a bricklayer, then apprenticing again to become a master carpenter and remodeling contractor. He also teaches adult education trade classes in his spare time. Vince uses his knowledge, experience and affiliation with the American Society of Home Inspectors (www.ASHI.org) to provide home inspections as well as construction and maintenance advice to homeowners and do-it-yourselfers in Northern Virginia.

    Vince Clingenpeel: I m Vince Clingenpeel, Home Inspector. We re talking about the things you should expect from your home inspection and your home inspector. We re down in the basement, water heater, gas fire, things we re looking for when we get into this situation is its overall cleanliness that there is no condensation, there is no rust. We re looking at the flue, the venting system, making sure that everything is as it should be. Right here, it s a temperature safety regulator, the pressure valve. This is a very important feature. Everybody has got one of these things if they have a water heater, when you re finished with this video, go check yours. This is a serious item. If this thing doesn t work you re in trouble. I ve seen videos of these things malfunctioning and the water heater actually taking off like a rocket and going through the floor.

    Also looking at all the valves, all the connections, I see this has been worked on several times almost like the electrical system. The label tells me the size, the age. I always want to check the burner. Get down here and check the pilot light and the condition of the inside and make sure that the flame is in good shape and note the temperature control. When we were in the kitchen the temperature was over a 125 degrees and I m certainly going to recommend that this gets turned back when I get with the homeowner.

    One of the last things, I d like to do is check the draft, a very important item. There are fancy tools to do this. There is also a smoke matches. Check to make sure that this water heater is drawing the smoke out with the gases -- the combustion gases; that will burn for a minute or two. Now, let s look at the furnace.