Hot Water Heater Inspection

There are three commonly found hot water heaters used in the homes today: 

High efficiency hot water heaters: the easiest way to determine if the unit is high efficient is if the exhaust vents out the side of the home using PVC plastic pipe.

Regular/basic hot water heater: vented out a chimney on the roof or just up a metal liner thru the room.

Tank less hot water heater: the newest form of heating hot water in homes today, it is a much smaller unit that is attached to your wall of your home.

It is very important to look for the following when inspecting a water heater:

  1. The hot water heater is producing hot water.
  2. The T&P or pressure relief valve has pipe that is extended 6″ from the floor.
  3. The hot water flu should be properly connected using a minimum of three screws per joint.
  4. All hot water heater flues that are run into a chimney should be properly connected not allowing carbon monoxide to re-enter the home.
  5. Listen for a gurgling sound coming from the hot water heater, this is a indicator that the hot water has sediment build up at the bottom of the inside of the tank and the hot water heater is nearing the end of its useful life.
  6. Many hot water heaters are normally installed by the home owner and are not always vented properly.  We recommend to check with local plumbing inspector for venting inspection.
  7. Make sure the draft hood is securely connected to the home water heater.
  8. Make sure the hot water heater flu has positive air flow to the chimney or the roof.
  9. If a hot water heater is installed in a closet and is not a high efficiency unit we recommend it have louvered doors as well as a vent coming in from the exterior of the home to provide ambient air (these are normally a metal vent).


Electric Hot Water Heater

Electric hot water heater

gas hot water heaterGas hot water heater tankless

Tankless hot water heater

high efficient heater

White PVC Exhaust pipes generally represents a highefficiency heater


Check for proper hookup of the electric or gas line, exhaust, drip pipe and for corrosion of the water lines.

Bad Electric Hookup

The electric needs to be properlysecured below the protective steelplate for safety (safety hazard)

i5 (102)

Missing drip pipe (safety hazard)  Drip pipe should extend down to 6 inches above the floor.  We recommend using a copper pipe.

Corrosion around the water lines

Corrosion around the hot and cold water lines caused by either a water leak or bythe absense of a dialectric union.  Thisheater has limited life remaining


Improper gas line

Gas line is flexible and could becomea safety hazard.  We recommend theuse of black pipe or a new flexiblegas line.

i6 (12)

Gap in the exhaust line is allowing gasfumes to seep back into the room.  Werecommend this be cemented andsealed.

Bad exhaust installation

Exhaust needs 3 screws per joint toproperly fasten it to the hot water heater



Water Heater exhaust Improper exhaust using dryer ventmaterial. Hot Water Heater Flu Exhaust should have a positive upwarddraft, not a downward flow.