Home Inspection and the Hot Water Heater a Life Safety Issue

The water heater, a home inspection life safety issue

Home inspection in Gravenhurst, Bracebridge and Orillia can be very interesting due to the wide variety of structures and home styles. I inspect Log homes to ultra modern concrete and glass homes and everything in between. When it comes to inspecting cottages throughout Muskoka they run the gamut from 200 sq ft thrown up basic shelters to very large multi structure estate homes. While the basic premise behind home inspections is providing the client with peace of mind in the decision making process with information on any material defects in the home there are safety issues that come up as well. Most safety issues , like the rest of the report are confidential to the client. It is the client’s home inspection, they pay for the report and only they have the right to its contents. On occasion a life safety issue emerges during the inspection and that type of issue I inform my clients I would report to the sellers Real Estate agent or have the clients agent report it to them. One such safety issue I come across all too often in my home and cottage inspections is the incorrect installation of the hot water heater.

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Most homeowners and handy men are not aware of what and how a Temperature pressure relief valve is or does. I must confess that despite having installed many electric hot water heaters myself according to manufactures directions ( yep I am apparently one of the few guys who reads them all. ) I too was unaware of the deadly potential these items have in the home. Until I undertook my home inspection training through Carson Dunlop Engineering Home Inspection Program I viewed hot water heaters as a simple device pretty much anyone could install safely. That viewpoint changed as I came to understand the relationship between the sudden release of steam energy, and the role the Temperature Pressure Release Valve on the hot water heater plays in preventing the buildup of steam energy in the first place.

Here I am going to do something unusual for a blog article

This is a site I would like you to visit before going on, it is a video from the television series Mythbusters and it illustrates the explosive power of the hot water tank. In the video they have removed the safety mechanisms to force the result for the show but failure of the secondary safety or a lack of it could and has produced the same result in homes. After you visit and view the video come back and I will tell you about the safety mechanisms and what I find that is a life safety issue when inspecting homes and cottages.