Inspection Training

How to Inspect the Exterior Condition of the Water Heater

While the inspector is at the water heater the exterior should be observed for any visible damage. Most of the time this is going to be inspecting for any rust stains or dents. Please review the entire procedure below.


International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection


3.6. Plumbing


I. The inspector shall inspect:

C. The water heating equipment, including the energy source, venting connections, temperature/pressure-relief (TPR) valves, Watts 210 valves, and seismic bracing.


II. The inspector shall describe:



III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:



IV. The inspector is not required to:

B. Measure the capacity, temperature, age, life expectancy or adequacy of the water heater.


Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector should check the exterior condition of the water heater for any general damage.


Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect the Exterior Condition of the water heater.



  • While inspecting the water heater the inspector should observe the exterior of the water heater for any general damage. There are no pictures required for the exterior condition unless there is a defect.

Common Defects

  • The water heater had electrical wiring that should be secured, the exterior was dented/damaged, or was rusted in areas.
  • The water heater had visible scorching or was poorly support and not level.

Common Mistakes

  • Not completely checking the exterior condition of the water heater for any damage.


Report / Software


  • The water heater was properly supported, level and appeared to be in serviceable condition at the time of the inspection.


  • The exterior condition of the water heater could not be determined at the time of the inspection. The water heater [word 1].
    • Insulated
    • No Label


  • N/A


  • The water heater [word 1]. A qualified contractor should inspect and repair as necessary. –
    • Electrical wiring should be secured properly.
    • Exterior was dented and/or damaged.
    • Exterior was rusted in areas.
    • Had visible scorching of the water heater exterior.
    • Was poorly supported and not level.