Knowing and keeping up to date on the intricacies of water heaters is an important skillset for licensed home inspectors. However, you don’t have to be an expert in home inspection to know when your water heater is on the fritz. A cold shower in the morning will be the only wake-up call you’ll need to realize you’re experiencing water heater problems. But before you call an electric or gas company technician, there are steps you can take to ensure the problem has a simple solution.
Is There No Hot Water?
This problem can stem from different sources depending on the type of water heater. The right home inspector will diagnose any water heater problems before buying or selling, regardless of the type.
Gas Water Heater
The number one culprit is an extinguished pilot light, which will require you to relight it. With older models, this may require lighting the gas flow yourself, but newer models typically use a spark ignitor or glow plug, which, by following the instructions in the user manual, can offer an easier solution.
Electric Water Heater
A tripped circuit breaker may be the offender, which can be resolved by resetting the breaker. Otherwise, try to reset the high-temperature limit by following the instructions in the user manual. Though, for your safety, it best to hire an electrician to investigate the problem.
Is the Water Not Hot Enough?
The first step is to check the thermostat and make sure it is set at an appropriate temperature. If the settings are to your liking, but the problem is not fixed, the cause may be any of the following:
- Faulty thermostat.
- Undersized water tank.
- Plumbing crossover or crossed connections due to poor installation.
- Mineral buildup in the tank causing slow heat transfer and displaced water.
An experienced home inspector will catch all these issues, so address any water heater problems before selling.
Is There Water on the Floor?
Before buying or selling a home, an inspector will examine the water heater and the surrounding area for signs of spillage or mold. The cause of water seepage can be a leaky pipe or loose valve. Attempt to tighten the valve. If the leak continues, the problem could be a faulty valve, obstructed vent, or broken heating element. The proper technician would need to be consulted in that regard.
Before buying or selling a home, it’s important to hire a home inspector to examine the entire system for any issues. Home inspectors are required to stay knowledgeable of any new regulations pertaining to water heater designs and ensure the water heater is functioning properly. If you are concerned the state of your water heating system will affect the sale of your home, schedule a home inspection. At Homeinex, we have the experience necessary to diagnose any water heater problems. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.