Inspection Training

How to Inspect the Water Heater Ignition System (UPDATED 3/20/18)

While the inspector is at the Water Heater they will want to take a clear picture of the ignition system setting so it is known what to set the dial back at after the system is operated. Please review the 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:

E. The capacity of the water heating equipment, if labeled.


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



IV. The inspector is not required to:

A. Light or ignite pilot flames.

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


Axium SOP Differences

  • Axium Requires: The inspector should observe the type of ignition system present on the water heater (Electronic or Physical).


Tools Needed

  • No tools required to inspect the Water Heater Ignition System.



  • There is one picture for this section and it is very important. The picture should show the ignition button (if present) and the thermostat control position before we touch it. This is the temperature that we need to make sure we reset the water heater back to after we test the operation.



Common Defects

  • There are no defects for this section.

Common Mistakes

  • Not taking a clear picture of the ignition system so we know what to set the thermostat back to after the operation.


Report / Software

  • The pilot light was controlled by a thermocouple, which ensures that the pilot gas valve will close if the pilot light is extinguished. The pilot is lit by [word 1]. This system was in acceptable condition.
    • Electronic
    • Physical

  • Not Inspected: [word 1], so the water heater ignition system could not be properly inspected.
    • Gas Off
    • Gas Valve/Pilot Off
    • Just Turned On
    • Leaking or Damaged
    • Tankless
    • Water Off
  • Not Inspected (Tankless): Interior components of a tankless water heater are enclosed in a sealed chamber, and could not be evaluated.

  • Not Present: This type of water heater does not require an ignition system.
  • Not Present (Electric): An electric water heater does not require an ignition system.

  • N/A