There are times when inspecting a home that I find something that has been installed with several things wrong. It almost becomes a comedy of errors, except it’s not funny when those errors have the potential to cause harm.
Take for example a water heater. Water heaters look pretty harmless standing humbly in their chosen spot. They do not look scary or dangerous. Yet there are numerous potential dangers that can exist.
Take for example this gas water heater from a recent inspection. My first thought was it hasn’t been installed by a licensed plumber. The first issue is the missing TPR valve extension, certainly one of the more common issues with a water heater. The reason for the extension is that in the event the valve opens the hot water and steam is expelled at the floor not at near face level. The yellow gas line to the unit is CSST, a known defective product. Any time CSST is installed it must be electrically grounded. It wasn’t, again a very common defect.
Now let’s look at some more serious issues which show a lack of knowledge and or good sense and or concern for the installation.
Look at the flue vent from the water heater to the chimney. It’s clearly pitched downward, not up. It is also very close to the plastic covering on the duct insulation. The other issue which no one can see is this unit is venting into a very tall unlined chimney. This unit has a venting combination that is almost sure to cause back venting.
One more issue I will mention is the lack of a required expansion tank. I almost never see expansion tanks installed on a water heater, but they have been required for quite some time.
The number of errors is almost comedic, but this is certainly not funny.
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