Water Heater Inspection | Home Inspector Tips

Water Heater Inspection | Home Inspector Tips

Water Heater Inspection Guidelines
The following water heater inspection guide covers 3 types of the most popular water heater installations:

Gas, natural draft, tank water heaters utilizing galvanized steel vent pipe
Gas, power vent equipped, tank water heaters utilizing PVC vent pipe
Electric water heaters

There might be some minor discrepancies between jurisdictions which will in most (probably not all) cases concern seismic areas water heater installations. I’ll cover it within this water heater inspection manual but I would highly recommend to obtain a water heater installation permit from your local building department (usually required) and verify plumbing code requirements in your particular area.
Water heater […]

Garage Gas Water Heater Raised Above the Floor FVIR Safety

The following are the general requirements for the garage gas water heater installation concerning its burner chamber height above the floor surface. Depending on the model / type / age of your particular water heater and your jurisdiction, they may or may not apply – always check before the installation.
If there’s no manual explaining the garage gas water heater installation requirements, contact the manufacturer and ask for  instructions for your particular model (in many cases you’ll be able to obtain it online).

Furnace, Water Heater Vent Pipe Clearances and Locations

Gas burning appliances vent pipes produce heat when discharging exhaust gases to exterior.
Temperature of the vent pipe is transferred to the surrounding area and all the materials that are in the vent pipe vicinity. Problems start arising if those materials are combustible and located to close to the furnace, water heater vent pipe. If you apply heat to a combustible material for some period of time (that varies between materials), its point of ignition will gradually get lower and eventually little heat will be required to start a fire – that’s why you need a clearance between the vent pipe and a combustible material.

Combustion Air for Fuel Burning Appliances

Combustion Air
Combustion air is required for all types of fuel burning appliances in our homes to properly burn that fuel.
Combustion air has three functions:

It  is required to properly burn fuel
To dilute exhaust gases that are being vented to exterior
To vent and cool appliances

The most popular fuel used in our homes is of course natural gas.
For every one cubic foot of gas, there are 10 cubic feet of combustion air needed for clean burning in addition to dilution and ventilation air.
There are two products out of a perfectly balanced gas combustion – carbon dioxide and water vapor, which are perfectly safe. […]

Saddle Valve Installation

If the saddle valve installation is your first plumbing job, don’t worry, it’s very simple. Just follow these instructions carefully:
Even if the saddle valve came with some appliance installation kit, it may not be permitted in your area. You may want to check if such installation complies with your local plumbing code.
Need a Plumber? Find local unbiased reviews on the best plumbers – Try Angie’s List
This How to Install Saddle Valve Guide covers copper pipe installation. However, you can also use it for plastic and galvanized pipes since most steps are almost identical, and I will explain the difference whenever […]

Gas Water Heater and Furnace Chimney Flue Size Calculations

Chimney Flue Size Calculations
The following gas water heater and furnace chimney flue size calculations are based on Peoples Gas “Construction Guide for Gas Usage” in the city of Chicago and National Fuel Gas Code. Before applying any of the following rules, you must check your local building code requirements, and appliance manufacturer installation instruction.

Have you checked your house brick chimney lately… or whatever type of the chimney you have?
Did you have a new furnace or water heater installed / was your house chimney flue recalculated for those new appliances?

Make sure that you chimney flue size / diameter is correct; […]

Cast Iron Drain Pipes Problems

If you are living in an older house, its plumbing might contain cast iron drain lines. Compared to the newer PVC pipes, cast iron drains are much quieter during operation; but at the same time they might prove to have significant, and quite expensive, problems. Some...

Plumbing Vent Problems in Your House | Sewer and Drain

House Plumbing Vent, Sewer and Drain
The purpose of a plumbing vent in your house is to remove sewer gases from the drainage system and equalize its atmospheric pressure. Without the plumbing vent, our toilets and all other home plumbing fixtures might not be draining properly, can cause unusual noises (like gurgling or belching as and after they discharge), and could be responsible for an unpleasant sewer gas smell inside the house.
A house plumbing vent is one of those features that may easily become compromised.

Some of the most common reasons for the plumbing vent to lose its performance is our […]

Chimney Flue and Furnace / Water Heater Venting

Chimney Flue and Furnace / Water Heater Venting

Proper furnace / water heater venting is an extremely important issue, which depends on the performance of the house chimney / chimney flue or other exhaust assemblies. The conditions explained in this post also apply to the wood burning appliances.
Consequences of improperly assembled vent pipes, problematic chimney flue, deteriorating chimney walls can be sometimes fatal – fire and Carbon Monoxide poisoning are topping the list.
Therefore, combustion products from your furnace, water heater, wood burning fireplace, and any other appliance that requires some kind of an exterior vent / chimney, have to be properly properly discharged to the exterior.

Certain requirements […]

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