Enough, adequate, sufficient, can be interpreted differently by each person you ask, making “enough” a some what subjective term. Enough cake for one person might be half of a double layer chocolate velvet cake, for another just a sliver. In other instances the opinions are probably going to be more aligned. In other circumstances opinion is more or less removed by an established set of guidelines or standards.
In the home inspection industry there are numerous sets of standards for inspecting a house. There is 10 x 10 the amount of standards for constructing buildings. Most people know these as building codes. One thing all these standards have in common is this;
They are bare minimums.
Some of us in the home inspection business like to refer to the Standards as;
The worst job you can do and get away with it.
It is no different for building codes and I’m certain the same could be said for many industries. Now the question, if something meets code or building industry standards, does this make it right or adequate?
For example, If a house has say seven bathrooms, plus the usual kitchen and laundry what is the standard sized water heater for this house?
50 gallons, 75, 100?
There is no “right” answer because first of all it depends. But more interestingly there isn’t a building code or standard that that I’m aware of that addresses water heater sizing. It is left up to the builder who would obviously defer to the plumber.
As for inspecting homes basically the same is true, the inspector is not expected or required to determine the adequacy of the water heater. In reality it would almost be impossible to determine because there are so many variables to consider.
The Connecticut Home Inspection Standards say only this with regard to water heaters;
The inspector shall describe the water heating equipment including the energy source
Reporting the water heater as a gas fired 40 gallon unit located in the basement is all that is needed, provided there are no deficiencies.
At what point does not enough become a deficiency?
Getting back to that seven bathroom house, would any reasonable person consider an aged tankless coil type water heater that may deliver 2 gallons of hot water a minute adequate for this house? Apparently there must have been quite a few, because that is exactly what I found in that house I described.
The house has been significantly added onto, four new bedrooms and four new baths. It had been inspected by the town. It had been inspected by another home inspection company. Everyone apparently found the water heating system to be fine. 90 degree water at the bathroom taps must be fine for them, but not for my client. Nor is not having a water heater that can barely deliver enough hot water for one low flow shower head okay. Yet it can be said no one broke any rules. Just as it can be said no one stepped up and made a point of an obvious inadequate water heating system.
How much information is enough?
To find out more about our other high tech services we offer in Connecticut click on the links below:
|Learn more about our Infrared Thermal Imaging & Diagnostics services.||Learn more about our home energy audits, the Home Energy Tune uP®.|
Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.