Results 1 to 41 of 41
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mesa AZ
    Posts
    1,181

    Default Electric water heaters

    Inspection Referral SOC
    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,251

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Absolutely!

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,049

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Absolutely!
    Can you give some examples of things you find wrong by removing the cover?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mesa AZ
    Posts
    1,181

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    Can you give some examples of things you find wrong by removing the cover?

    Hi John.. A few months ago I was asked this by another local inspector, I was not.
    Since then out of apx 100 electric water heater inspections I did find 3 leaks at the elements. One was a foam insulated unit, water was standing inside below the cover, no signs of moisture on the exterior.
    The other two were leaking, and rusted at the elements, and the fiberglass insulation was wet, there was a small rust/water line below the covers, and one of them did have a minor rust line on the bottom.
    All of the units were under five years old.

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,251

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    In addition to the leaks Dan referred to, you may well find arced and burned up elements; contacts; wires; MISSING (or removed) wires (meaning only the upper element is working); even REMOVED elements with plugs inserted to fill the element opening.

    There is no telling what you are not seeing by not removing those covers.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,049

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    I guess I'll start pullin 'em.


  7. #7
    Charles Jones's Avatar
    Charles Jones Guest

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    I'll have to add this as well. Thanks for the tip!!!


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harris View Post
    Hi John.. A few months ago I was asked this by another local inspector, I was not.
    Since then out of apx 100 electric water heater inspections I did find 3 leaks at the elements. One was a foam insulated unit, water was standing inside below the cover, no signs of moisture on the exterior.
    The other two were leaking, and rusted at the elements, and the fiberglass insulation was wet, there was a small rust/water line below the covers, and one of them did have a minor rust line on the bottom.
    All of the units were under five years old.
    That's 1 leak in 100 tanks you would have missed.
    That is not called for in the usual SOP's but what else is new.
    I will have to add 10 mins to the time I need to get 'er done, with a fail-to-find-trouble of 99%..
    How many tiny screws have you dropped doing that?

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    That's 1 leak in 100 tanks you would have missed.
    That is not called for in the usual SOP's but what else is new.
    I will have to add 10 mins to the time I need to get 'er done, with a fail-to-find-trouble of 99%..
    How many tiny screws have you dropped doing that?
    I think you could ask how many on the board inspect the underside of ceramic floor tiles and 1/2 would say they do

    The weiner measuring does get a bit old at times......

    How about outlet and switch plates? Surely, we take them all off and check all the connections, right? Light fixtures.... I know I pull them all from the ceiling and check the connections. I know..... a water heater is a high wattage appliance so that's why the connections should be checked, right? So, forget the lights and outlets.... just pull out all the ranges and dryers. And don't stop at electrical connections.... there are lots of plumbing connections to check. Yeah, it sucks tearing out drywall but that's why I keep mud and a trowel in my truck.... gotta be a better inspector than everyone else on the board


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Brighton,Ontario,CANADA
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    No I visually check for concerns and check the Temp,
    Should be max 120 about 75% are to hot Make sure you write this up and see that TPR is correct .

    Roy Cooke


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    sellersburg, in. work in lou, ky.
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    I think for reasons posted I will also begin to check behind the covers as I had a fire at my house last year from the same..
    I do have a great concern to where our industry is but assume it is evolving to where it really needs to be, the only problem is I spend 25-50% longer already at inspections and still only charge what the other guys are who do the quick inspections. I'm told every single week that "I have never had an inspector be so thorough", it is evidenced from inspections like yesterday where I spent 6 hours at a home I found out afterwards was inspected by two other local companies in the past year, I had 126 photos of legitimate concerns (many major) of which almost 80 were not reported by the last two companies.
    I think we need to get uniform standards that are real world instead of inspector protector, get the heads of obvious real world inspectors who are detailed and knowledgeable to come up with a list of truly important issues to check for and then have continuing ed. requirements to ensure all are at least at the reasonable level of competancy.
    Too many inspectors are making a living in this industry that are too fast and miss too much causing financial and other hardships to the very customer we are here to protect.
    I'll say it again and most hate to hear it but agents should not be any part of the inspection AT ALL, no referrals as they are not qualified to know a good inspection and no contractor referrals as they often give marginal contractor names.
    They should meet, let in, lock up, do the footwork etc.. just my opinion.


  12. #12
    Ralph Smith's Avatar
    Ralph Smith Guest

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Simply state in the report that electrical elements may need changing several times over the life of the appliance and there are no leaks at the time of instpection.
    If there is water standing inside and none visable outside, that cover has one heck of a seal.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Prescott, AZ
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Dan,

    Since you are in AZ I can tell you what the BTR requires. At the last Rules and Standards committee a home inspector asked that the BTR require us to open covers on electric whs. His reasoning was we should operate/check all 'normal operating controls'. His request was voted down. Every label and manual requires that you shut off power to the wh before removing panels. We are not required to operate breakers, which may not come back on. Therefore we are not required to remove panels on electric whs.

    I'm not saying you should or shouldn't. I'm just saying you're 'safe' with the BTR if you don't.

    I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. (Thomas Edison)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Nope, don't open cover plates and not about to.


  15. #15
    Steven Udelle's Avatar
    Steven Udelle Guest

    Smile Re: Electric water heaters

    Like Jerry says, ABSOLUTELY! For the five minutes it takes to zip off and on four screws, it is worth it. The statistics of 1% are a little off I think. For me, personally, it has been more like 1 out of ten with either a leak, stat set too high or SIGNS of future failure with a little little dried rust drip on the top element nut or a burned contactor.

    Wouldn't it be nice to be able to show the customer your findings on the spot or at least a picture? Would you rather hear from that customer two months later that the heater leaked and ruined their flooring?

    Even though we tell our customer that it has not failed under test on the day of the inspection, some customers still want to lay blame if it does happen not too many months after the inspection.

    Do all inspectors pull the air handler cover to inspect the evaporator? No. but I DO!

    It all depends on how thorough you want to be. Yes, there are many areas of the inspection that you are better off adhering the SOP, but for WH's and AC airhandlers/furnaces, I will continue to pull covers.

    http://www.DetailedInspections.com


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Vancouver - Canada
    Posts
    221

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Just be real careful if you start pulling off covers and poking around the insulation hoping to look for leaking, burnt or bypassed elements on electric HWT's. Once you get zapped a couple of times, you'll probably stop doing that

    Joe Klampfer RHI
    www.myinspection.ca
    Pacific Home Inspections

  17. #17
    Kary Krismer's Avatar
    Kary Krismer Guest

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Joe Klampfer, can we assume that your avatar is a picture of you poking into a hot water heater. ;-)


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Vancouver - Canada
    Posts
    221

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Oh yeah ! been there, done that. haha

    Joe Klampfer RHI
    www.myinspection.ca
    Pacific Home Inspections

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma City
    Posts
    356

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Kenny said "I do have a great concern to where our industry is but assume it is evolving to where it really needs to be, the only problem is I spend 25-50% longer already at inspections and still only charge what the other guys are who do the quick inspections."

    Are you doing this as a public service or what. If your inspections are that detailed with legitimate concerns, don't you think that should be worth 50% more than the quick guys? I don't see how you can make a living doing 6hr inspections for the same price as the quick guys. And if you are not making a living, what is the point? I am all for doing a good job and finding important defects in a house, but I am not going to spend that much time on a average home for the same price as the other guy. Most defects I see in many inspection reports don't amount to a hill of beans. There was a loose outlet cover in the kitchen. (take out your screw driver and tighten it up) There was a scratch in the wood trim around the front door. There was a loose doorknob on the master bathroom door. etc.

    Most customers want to know if there are significant problems with the house. They don't need the inspector to find every dent and scracth in the house. If you plan to make a living in this biz, you have to have a good grasp of what is a legitimate problem and do it in a reasonable amount of time. Not many markets will support spending 6 hrs on a 1500sq ft house.

    If it weren't for lawyers, we would never need them.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    sellersburg, in. work in lou, ky.
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Well let's see Frank.. I believe I already mentioned they were "legitimate" concerns.. the house was 3200 sq. ft. and was an Architect designed home, which as I guess you already know take longer due to the details they like to give the "rich and famous". If ANYONE writes up a scratch they should get out of the business.. I think after over 4000 inspections I can figure out if it's worth the time to stay in business. Thanks for your insightful response though.. I have to wonder about some guys who respond to these threads!? Nothing better to do? Don't stop and think before you write? Don't comprehend well? To the ones who write legitimate responses.. thankyou! By the way Frank, I have to wonder how long you spend on a 1500 sq. ft. home. I said 25-50% longer, do the math, a bad 1500 sq. ft. would take around 4 hrs. with me..


  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chandler, AZ
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    I do pull covers, but want to add a word of caution to some just starting to do this.
    Hit the panel with the back of your hand, in case it is already energized. Remove cover slowly. I had one elect w/h that was so corroded, the element wires were stuck to the insulation! Luckily the power was off to the w/h at the main panel. Good thing I didn't just flip that breaker on! With the cover off you can also add comments on if the temp setting is "very hot" or in the normal range.

    be safe!

    Dave Hill
    Buyers & Sellers Property Inspections LLC
    WWW.BuyersSellersPi.Com

  22. #22
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Udelle View Post
    Like Jerry says, ABSOLUTELY! For the five minutes it takes to zip off and on four screws, it is worth it. The statistics of 1% are a little off I think. For me, personally, it has been more like 1 out of ten with either a leak, stat set too high or SIGNS of future failure with a little little dried rust drip on the top element nut or a burned contactor.

    Wouldn't it be nice to be able to show the customer your findings on the spot or at least a picture? Would you rather hear from that customer two months later that the heater leaked and ruined their flooring?

    Even though we tell our customer that it has not failed under test on the day of the inspection, some customers still want to lay blame if it does happen not too many months after the inspection.

    Do all inspectors pull the air handler cover to inspect the evaporator? No. but I DO!

    It all depends on how thorough you want to be. Yes, there are many areas of the inspection that you are better off adhering the SOP, but for WH's and AC airhandlers/furnaces, I will continue to pull covers.

    Athens Georgia Home Inspectors by Detailed Home Inspections
    Do you take the side cover off of the evaporator too? Usualy on upflow systems most of the dirt is on the bottom of the coil where you can't see it. Also do you retape the coil box after you open it?


  23. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,251

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Klampfer View Post
    Just be real careful if you start pulling off covers and poking around the insulation hoping to look for leaking, burnt or bypassed elements on electric HWT's. Once you get zapped a couple of times, you'll probably stop doing that

    "Once you get zapped a couple of times, you'll probably stop doing that "

    Nope. You will, however, soon realize the proper way to check those things is not to be "poking around that insulation hoping to look for", but to 'remove that insulation' and ... Dang! ... It is right there in front of you!

    Now, wasn't that easy? (Yep, it was.)

    Unless you are doing brand new homes, 1% is WAY off, more likely around 25% or more of the time you will be rewarded for your efforts.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    552

    Smile Re: Electric water heaters

    I'd like to move this back to dead center. The question was do you remove covers on an electric WH during the inspection.

    As a homeowner who will be moving and will employ a HI (for the first time) where I am going---I expect the following during an inspection---new or resale. A structural inspection including any red flags that need to be addressed. A detailed systems inspection, especially the electrical and HVAC systems----again raising any issues that need to be corrected or watched. I expect system covers to be removed and inspections performed on HVAC systems. It's amazing what can be found by removing the covers.

    If this seems to be too strict, then I ask why hire a HI? A HI, as I understand, is a professional that is hired to perform a comprehensive inspection of a structure to determine if the structure is as represented. Due to poor local inspections, poor construction, or the latest craze, DYI without knowledge or experience---there may be issues.

    To those that have stated they do perform inspections of EWHs and to HVAC including the drip pans-----Kudos. To those that don't and whine---Shame.




  25. #25
    Kary Krismer's Avatar
    Kary Krismer Guest

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    I'm glad I came across this thread, and I'll give you the buyer's real estate agent's perspective on this.

    Often the heater is old, and it's not known exactly how old it is. Depending on the market it can be hard to get a seller to replace a seemingly functional water heater. From now on I'll ask the inspector in such situations to remove the cover to see what we can find, to possibly get more ammunition.

    (BTW, I'm also glad I finally registered so I can get the daily digest of topics sent to me.)


  26. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Up here both electric and gas water heaters can be rental units. Rental company will replace/repair units if faulty.


  27. #27
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    I find a lot of leak at water heters Gas/Electric.

    Must have something to do with the water

    Best

    Ron


  28. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    sellersburg, in. work in lou, ky.
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    "As a homeowner who will be moving and will employ a HI (for the first time) where I am going---I expect the following during an inspection---new or resale. A structural inspection including any red flags that need to be addressed. A detailed systems inspection, especially the electrical and HVAC systems----again raising any issues that need to be corrected or watched. I expect system covers to be removed and inspections performed on HVAC systems. It's amazing what can be found by removing the covers."

    Well Rich I hope you know how to ask ALL the right questions when you call an inspector. If you read the SOP's (Standards of Practice) in your area I'm sure they don't require most of what you would expect and you will be sorely disappointed in your inspector. As I said in my comment earlier "I think we need to get uniform standards that are real world instead of inspector protector, get the heads of obvious real world inspectors who are detailed and knowledgeable to come up with a list of truly important issues to check for and then have continuing ed. requirements to ensure all are at least at the reasonable level of competancy." Good luck w/ your "wish list", er, uh, demands!?



  29. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Quote Originally Posted by kenny martin View Post
    "As a homeowner who will be moving and will employ a HI (for the first time) where I am going---I expect the following during an inspection---new or resale. A structural inspection including any red flags that need to be addressed. A detailed systems inspection, especially the electrical and HVAC systems----again raising any issues that need to be corrected or watched. I expect system covers to be removed and inspections performed on HVAC systems. It's amazing what can be found by removing the covers."

    Well Rich I hope you know how to ask ALL the right questions when you call an inspector.
    .
    He Will,

    How Much is Your Inspection ! ( ABC Quoted Me $25.00 Less).
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Prescott, AZ
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Quote Originally Posted by Kary Krismer View Post
    I'm glad I came across this thread, and I'll give you the buyer's real estate agent's perspective on this.

    Often the heater is old, and it's not known exactly how old it is. Depending on the market it can be hard to get a seller to replace a seemingly functional water heater. From now on I'll ask the inspector in such situations to remove the cover to see what we can find, to possibly get more ammunition.

    (BTW, I'm also glad I finally registered so I can get the daily digest of topics sent to me.)

    I always report on the age of a wh (and furnace, etc). This can be determined by the serial number. Why would you ask the seller to replace it just because it's old? Some whs last far longer than the average life for your area.

    I don't understand what a 'seemingly functional water heater' is, or your need for 'ammunition'. Either it's functioning or it's not. If it's old but functioning, it should be monitored but not necessarily replaced If it's leaking or not working properly, it should be replaced.

    I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. (Thomas Edison)

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Prescott, AZ
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Goeken View Post
    I'd like to move this back to dead center. The question was do you remove covers on an electric WH during the inspection.

    As a homeowner who will be moving and will employ a HI (for the first time) where I am going---I expect the following during an inspection---new or resale. A structural inspection including any red flags that need to be addressed. A detailed systems inspection, especially the electrical and HVAC systems----again raising any issues that need to be corrected or watched. I expect system covers to be removed and inspections performed on HVAC systems. It's amazing what can be found by removing the covers.

    If this seems to be too strict, then I ask why hire a HI? A HI, as I understand, is a professional that is hired to perform a comprehensive inspection of a structure to determine if the structure is as represented. Due to poor local inspections, poor construction, or the latest craze, DYI without knowledge or experience---there may be issues.

    To those that have stated they do perform inspections of EWHs and to HVAC including the drip pans-----Kudos. To those that don't and whine---Shame.

    "a professional that is hired to perform a comprehensive inspection of a structure..." The definition of 'compreshensive' is subjective. Compared to a typical homeowner, a home inspection is very comprehensive. But having a roofer, plumber, hvac contractor, etc check every system would be more comprehensive. And they would still miss things. Do you think when a plumber checks a wh he goes in the attic to check vent pipe clearances, or on the roof to check the vent cap? Or will he notice the whole house fan that could cause backdrafting?

    A home inspection is not just inspecting the sytems, but how they work (or don't work) together. You 'expect' covers to be removed, although this may not be required in a Standards of Practice, or may not be an 'industry standard' in your area. I hope you find an inspector that will do what you expect'. Often an experienced inspector will find more without removing covers, but may not be willing to do what you 'expect'.

    I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. (Thomas Edison)

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy West View Post
    "a professional that is hired to perform a comprehensive inspection of a structure..." The definition of 'compreshensive' is subjective. Compared to a typical homeowner, a home inspection is very comprehensive. But having a roofer, plumber, hvac contractor, etc check every system would be more comprehensive. And they would still miss things. Do you think when a plumber checks a wh he goes in the attic to check vent pipe clearances, or on the roof to check the vent cap? Or will he notice the whole house fan that could cause backdrafting?

    You have answered your own question "...a home inspection is very comprehensive...". However, I missed the point on your next comment about roofers or plumbers. As I understand it, you are suggesting a situation where a decision was made not to use a HI and the individual trades were selected to perform the inspections. From my experience working with the trades----I disagree with your comments. They are responsible people and would not miss something doing a inspection in their own area of expertise. In some cases they will report something that is outside of their trade but from their experience is not acceptable. If tasked to do say "Inspect the plumbing" as an in your example, a plumber would do a complete inspection including the vent caps. I would not expect the plumber to remove the electrical service plate on a WH----that would be done by another trade---electrician.


    Quote Originally Posted by Randy West View Post
    A home inspection is not just inspecting the sytems, but how they work (or don't work) together. You 'expect' covers to be removed, although this may not be required in a Standards of Practice, or may not be an 'industry standard' in your area. I hope you find an inspector that will do what you expect'. Often an experienced inspector will find more without removing covers, but may not be willing to do what you 'expect'.

    Now this is a smokescreen---baffle them with BS. First of all, I understand what SOP means. So we are on the same page, SOP is procedures and practices, some dictated or specified by codes, accepted methods in the trade, or manufacturers specifications to accomplish a task. SOPs are documented and repeatable.

    As I never have seen a reference anywhere on local HI "SOPs" as you have indicated. I have only seen the local applicable codes----where would a typical homeowner find these "SOPs" so that a fair evaluation of a HI could be made before awarding the job?

    This all gets back to one of my original questions "Why hire a HI?" It is fairly obvious and I wonder why you object to my original comments. Again, so we are on the same page, the reason is to do a comprehensive inspection of a structure at a lower cost then that that of hiring the individual trades to do the inspections. What is your objection to the word comprehensive? BTW, Something will always be missed----that is Murphy's Law.

    To sum this up after all the comments----if I was selecting a HI and was told that "I don't remove service plates on any equipment..." I would immediately wonder why I would want to use that Hi-----the proposal would immediately hit the round circular file.

    .


  33. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    1,078

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Here is a link to the NJ SOP's. They start on page 10

    http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/laws/hiacregs.pdf

    After a read you may find what is required of a Home Inspector and what you expect from a home inspector are different. There are inspectors that will perform more invasive inspections but usually at a higher cost. Most potential clients are not willing to pay the up charge for the additional service. Most are unwilling to pay even $25 more for an inspection that takes more than 2 hours and is not handwritten on a yellow legal pad.

    You are certainly encouraged to have high expectations of contractors you hire. The more you expect, the more you should expect to pay.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Brighton,Ontario,CANADA
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Goeken View Post
    You have answered your own question "...a home inspection is very comprehensive...". However, I missed the point on your next comment about roofers or plumbers. As I understand it, you are suggesting a situation where a decision was made not to use a HI and the individual trades were selected to perform the inspections. From my experience working with the trades----I disagree with your comments. They are responsible people and would not miss something doing a inspection in their own area of expertise. In some cases they will report something that is outside of their trade but from their experience is not acceptable. If tasked to do say "Inspect the plumbing" as an in your example, a plumber would do a complete inspection including the vent caps. I would not expect the plumber to remove the electrical service plate on a WH----that would be done by another trade---electrician.





    Now this is a smokescreen---baffle them with BS. First of all, I understand what SOP means. So we are on the same page, SOP is procedures and practices, some dictated or specified by codes, accepted methods in the trade, or manufacturers specifications to accomplish a task. SOPs are documented and repeatable.

    As I never have seen a reference anywhere on local HI "SOPs" as you have indicated. I have only seen the local applicable codes----where would a typical homeowner find these "SOPs" so that a fair evaluation of a HI could be made before awarding the job?

    This all gets back to one of my original questions "Why hire a HI?" It is fairly obvious and I wonder why you object to my original comments. Again, so we are on the same page, the reason is to do a comprehensive inspection of a structure at a lower cost then that that of hiring the individual trades to do the inspections. What is your objection to the word comprehensive? BTW, Something will always be missed----that is Murphy's Law.

    To sum this up after all the comments----if I was selecting a HI and was told that "I don't remove service plates on any equipment..." I would immediately wonder why I would want to use that Hi-----the proposal would immediately hit the round circular file.

    .

    It sounds to me like you do not need a typical Home Inspection .
    You want a deluxe full take apart examine every thing inspection .
    These can be done at a considerable cost and time invested.
    My inspection takes about three hours and my clients have always been pleased with the Inspection .
    I tell them I am looking for major concerns and not many of the little Crinkles and wrinkles that all homes have .
    I hope you get the inspection you want and need but please be prepared to pay for the more advanced and expect it can take a day or more to do. The choice is yours .
    Thanks for your questions and posts it I am sure has been a learning big time for many of the newer Inspectors .

    Roy Cooke ... Royshomeinspection.com..

    A retired electrician

    PS I do not remove WH cover plates and never had a complaint from a client on this .



  35. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Prescott, AZ
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    [quote=Rich Goeken;129191]You have answered your own question "...a home inspection is very comprehensive...". However, I missed the point on your next comment about roofers or plumbers. As I understand it, you are suggesting a situation where a decision was made not to use a HI and the individual trades were selected to perform the inspections. From my experience working with the trades----I disagree with your comments. They are responsible people and would not miss something doing a inspection in their own area of expertise. In some cases they will report something that is outside of their trade but from their experience is not acceptable. If tasked to do say "Inspect the plumbing" as an in your example, a plumber would do a complete inspection including the vent caps. I would not expect the plumber to remove the electrical service plate on a WH----that would be done by another trade---electrician.

    Now this is a smokescreen---baffle them with BS. First of all, I understand what SOP means. So we are on the same page, SOP is procedures and practices, some dictated or specified by codes, accepted methods in the trade, or manufacturers specifications to accomplish a task. SOPs are documented and repeatable.

    As I never have seen a reference anywhere on local HI "SOPs" as you have indicated. I have only seen the local applicable codes----where would a typical homeowner find these "SOPs" so that a fair evaluation of a HI could be made before awarding the job?
    This all gets back to one of my original questions "Why hire a HI?" It is fairly obvious and I wonder why you object to my original comments. Again, so we are on the same page, the reason is to do a comprehensive inspection of a structure at a lower cost then that that of hiring the individual trades to do the inspections. What is your objection to the word comprehensive? BTW, Something will always be missed----that is Murphy's Law.

    To sum this up after all the comments----if I was selecting a HI and was told that "I don't remove service plates on any equipment..." I would immediately wonder why I would want to use that Hi-----the proposal would immediately hit the round circular file.




    You don't expect a plumber doing a plumbing inspection to remove the cover on a wh, but you expect a home inspector to? I would expect the opposite. And I have seen (many times) a plumber check a wh and not go in the attic or roof. I can't think of a time when he did, although I'm sure there are plumbers that will.

    SOP stands for Standards of Practice. Arizona has one. ASHI and NAHI have them. Most home inspectors exceed the Standards, like building codes they are the minimum requirements. If your state does not have an SOP you should find a home inspector that is a member of a professional association that has one.

    As far as a smoke screen, you are wrong. I am not 'baffling' you. Perfect example: a few weeks ago I inspected a home where a licensed plumber had just replaced/installed a new gas wh in a hall closet. No outside combustion air. When I turned on the whole house fan (with all windows closed) the wh backdrafted like crazy (putting carbon monoxide in the home). I'm not faulting the plumber. He did what he was paid to do. If you take a car to a transmission shop they will not check or repair the radio.

    That's not a bad analogy. A home inspection is like taking a car to your local mechanic before you buy it. He will not be an expert on every system or component, but he will spot things that you or I would not notice. If he says the tranny is slipping/old, then you go to the tranny shop. I may notice worn tires, he may find worn supsension parts that are causing them. However, he is not going to remove the oll pan and check the main bearings.

    I was not 'suggesting' a team of contractors. Rather I pointed out that while they may give you more 'comprehensive' reports on their profession, they would likley miss things a home inspector would find. However, from your comments you have better contractors in your area. You may be much happier with a team of contractors rather than a home inspector.

    But you need to ask them the same questions: I would not expect an electrician to remove the covers on a wh. And I would be surprised if the plumber or electrician entered the attic (and slithered as far back as they could) to check for exposed splices or improper vent pipe clearance. Better keep that round file handy.

    I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. (Thomas Edison)

  36. #36
    Kary Krismer's Avatar
    Kary Krismer Guest

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy West View Post
    I always report on the age of a wh (and furnace, etc). This can be determined by the serial number. Why would you ask the seller to replace it just because it's old? Some whs last far longer than the average life for your area.

    I don't understand what a 'seemingly functional water heater' is, or your need for 'ammunition'. Either it's functioning or it's not. If it's old but functioning, it should be monitored but not necessarily replaced If it's leaking or not working properly, it should be replaced.
    I would want it replaced because I wouldn't want the clients to have an expense shortly after buying (e.g. within two years). Part of that could depend on the placement of the water heater. If it's in a garage and the water will just run onto concrete, I'd be less concerned than if it's inside the house.

    Just this week we have a closing where the gas water heater was 20 years old. No signs of leaking, but it's 20 years old. We asked that it be replaced, and the seller agreed.

    Just out of curiosity, would you feel the same way about a "15 year" roof that was 20 years old? No need to replace it unless it has started actually leaking?


  37. #37
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Brighton,Ontario,CANADA
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    I would want it replaced because I wouldn't want the clients to have an expense shortly after buying (e.g. within two years). Part of that could depend on the placement of the water heater. If it's in a garage and the water will just run onto concrete, I'd be less concerned than if it's inside the house.

    Just this week we have a closing where the gas water heater was 20 years old. No signs of leaking, but it's 20 years old. We asked that it be replaced, and the seller agreed.

    Just out of curiosity, would you feel the same way about a "15 year" roof that was 20 years old? No need to replace it unless it has started actually leaking?

    Not my job to tell a person to get Roof replaced .
    he could be a roofer or his Sister might own a roofing company or he might want to see about a metal roof .
    Same thing re gas water heater they might not like gas and want an electric or a solar heater .
    I report what I find and do a good job .
    If I get a person who expects more then I can give I just politly say I am not the Home Inspector for you and expect you just might be able to find some one who can provide what you want,
    Thanks for calling me and all the best , and I hang up no argument just want us both to be satisfied .
    Yes in ten plus years I have done this twice.


  38. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Dependent on age of system my retort is to tell the client to budget for replacement although an A/C for instance maybe several years past its prime it could last several more years. Maintenance and installation factor into the equation. There are no guarantees only. The same applies to shingles. Colour, ventilation, exposure, installation all factor into the equation.


  39. #39
    Kary Krismer's Avatar
    Kary Krismer Guest

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Cooke sr View Post
    Not my job to tell a person to get Roof replaced .
    he could be a roofer or his Sister might own a roofing company or he might want to see about a metal roof .
    Same thing re gas water heater they might not like gas and want an electric or a solar heater ..
    I would agree that's the role of an inspector. I was giving the viewpoint of a buyer's real estate agent. For that if I have a 20 year old tank it would be nice to know if there are some minor leaks starting. That would give me more ammunition to get the tank replaced.

    Last edited by Kary Krismer; 04-27-2010 at 12:07 PM. Reason: To add.

  40. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Prescott, AZ
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Quote Originally Posted by Kary Krismer View Post
    I would want it replaced because I wouldn't want the clients to have an expense shortly after buying (e.g. within two years). Part of that could depend on the placement of the water heater. If it's in a garage and the water will just run onto concrete, I'd be less concerned than if it's inside the house.

    Just this week we have a closing where the gas water heater was 20 years old. No signs of leaking, but it's 20 years old. We asked that it be replaced, and the seller agreed.

    Just out of curiosity, would you feel the same way about a "15 year" roof that was 20 years old? No need to replace it unless it has started actually leaking?

    A roof is much more expensive and usually easier to predict the remaining life. I would report that there is likely only a year or two left in the shingles. As Roy and Raymond stated above, it's not my job to tell them to replace it. I don't know their finances, if they paid full price or lowballed, if they or the seller are a roofing contrator, etc. That's your job, and I appreciate that you have your clients best interests in mind. They will almost certainly have some type of unexpected expense within two years.

    I was only suggesting that replacing a 20 year old wh just because of age may not be needed. It could be one of the ones that makes it 25 years. It might be better to ask for a credit for the buyers, as long as they know to monitor the wh and budget for a new one.

    I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. (Thomas Edison)

  41. #41
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Brighton,Ontario,CANADA
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Electric water heaters

    Quote Originally Posted by Kary Krismer View Post
    I would agree that's the role of an inspector. I was giving the viewpoint of a buyer's real estate agent. For that if I have a 20 year old tank it would be nice to know if there are some minor leaks starting. That would give me more ammunition to get the tank replaced.
    From C@D Home Reference Book
    Contractors and others may say "I can't believe you had this house inspected, and they didn't find this problem".
    There are several reasons for these apparent oversights:

    ,. It is difficult for homeowners to remember the circumstances in the house, at the time of the inspection.
    It's easy to forget that it was snowing. there was storage everywhere
    in the basement or that the furnace could not be turned on because the air conditioning was operating, et cetera.
    It's impossible for contractors to know what the circumstances
    were when the inspection was performed.
    2.
    When the problem manifests itself, it is very easy to have 20/20 hindsight.
    Anybody can say that the basement leaks when there are 2 inches of water on the floor.
    Predicting the problem is a different story.
    3. If we spent
    '/2 an hour under the kitchen sink or two hours removing every electrical switch plate and cover plate, we'd find more problems too.
    Unfortunately, the inspection would take several days and would cost considerably more.
    4. We are generalists; we are not specialists.
    The heating contractor may indeed have more heating expertise than we do.
    This is because we are expected to have heating expertise
    and plumbing expertise, roofing expertise, electrical expertise, et cetera.
    A home inspection is a generalist the same way a family doctor is a generalist.
    They have wonderfully broad knowledge, but are not cardiologists or respirologists.
    5. Problems often become apparent when carpets or plaster are removed, when fixtures or cabinets are pulled out, and so on. Many issues appear once work begins on a home.
    A home inspection is a visual examination.
    We don't perform any invasive or destructive tests.
    In conclusion, a home inspection is designed to better your odds.
    It is not designed to eliminate all risk.
    For that reason, a home inspection should not be considered an insurance policy.
    We know of no insurance company that offers a policy with no deductible, no exclusions, no limits and an indefinite policy period.
    We hope this is food for thought.





Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •