Axium SOP

Topic Progress:

WATER HEATER

Cover Pictures: Picture of full water heater, include brand name

10.01 Water Heater Description

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: Same as NACHI Standards of Practice.

Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect the Water Heater Description.

Pictures Needed

Close up of label, capacity

Procedure

  • While the inspector is observing the water heater they will check for the type of water heater, how many water heaters are present, the size/capacity of the water heater, and who the manufactured the water heater. There is one picture for this section and it should show the name of the company that manufactured the water heater.

Common Defects

  • No defects for this section.

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking the size/capacity and putting the wrong amount in report.
  • Not taking a clear picture of the water heater to show the manufacturer label.

10.02 Water Heater Age

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector will determine the age of the water heater by checking the manufacturer label, if visible.

Pictures Needed

Close up of serial number dates.  

Tools Needed

The one tool that the inspector will use to check the year of manufacture is the website http://www.buildingcenter.org. This website can find the year that the water heater was manufactured if you have the serial number of the unit

Procedure

  • While the inspector is observing the water heater they will check the manufacturer label to determine the age of the water heater. There is one picture for this section and it should show the manufacturer label and the serial number should be able to be read clearly in the photo. If the water heater is more than 10-year-old it should go under repair/replace since water heaters are expected to last 10-15 years. We also want to make sure we can see the capacity of the water heater in this photo.

Common Defects

  • The water heater is more than 10 years old.

Common Mistakes

  • Determining the wrong year that the unit was manufactured.
  • Not taking a clear picture of the label where you can read the year of manufacture and the capacity of the water heater.
  • Not calling out the age of the water heater as a defect if it is more than 10 years old.

10.03 Water Heater Location

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector should comment on the location of the water heater.

Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect the Water Heater Location.

Pictures Needed

No pictures needed.   

Procedure

  • The inspector shall determine where the water heater is located at the property. There are no pictures required for this section.

Common Defects

  • No defects for this section.

Common Mistakes

  • Not reporting on the location of the water heater or reporting on the wrong location.

10.04 Water Shut-Offs

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector will check for the presence of a water shut-off valve at the water heater and check for any general damage to the shut-off. We DO NOT operate the shut- off valve.

Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect the Water Shut-Offs.

Pictures Needed

Picture of shut offs.   

Procedure

  • While inspecting the water heater you should check the water shut-off valve to make sure that it is present and there is no damage to the valve. We DO NOT operate this valve. There is one picture for this section and it is a close up picture of the valve where we can determine the color and the type of valve that is utilized for the water heater

Common Defects

  • The water shut-off valve was difficult to access or was damaged.
  • The water shut-off valve had a knob that was damaged, missing, or rubs against a wall or other obstruction that would make it difficult to operate.
  • The water shut-off valve was leaking, missing, seized, corroded, or not present.

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking the shut-off valve with your hand to feel for any leaking.
  • Not checking for the water shut-off valve.

10.05 Water Pipe Connections

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector will check the water pipe connections at the water heater for any general damage.

Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect the Water Pipe Connections.

Pictures Needed

Picture of defect, or if inaccessible document why.

Procedure

  • While inspecting the water heater you should check the water pipe fittings that are going into the water heater for any damage, leaking, or corrosion. If there are no defects, there is one picture for this section and it should be a close up picture of the pipes going into the water heater.

Common Defects

  • The water pipe fittings were corroded, leaking, or damaged.

Common Mistakes

  • Not completely checking the water pipe fittings and touching the pipes with your hand to feel for any leaking.

10.06 Draft Diverter

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector should check the draft diverter to make sure that it is present and secure at the water heater.

Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect the Draft Diverter.

Pictures Needed

Close up of draft diverter.

Procedure

  • While inspecting the water heater you should check the draft diverter to make sure it is aligned properly and is secured. One way to do this is by checking with your hand, but be careful since the diverter can be very hot. There is one picture for this section that needs to show the draft diverter being secure at the water heater.

Common Defects

  • The draft diverter not being properly aligned or not being secured.

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking the draft diverter with your hand to see if it is secure. Be careful doing this because sometimes it can be very hot and you can burn your hand.
  • Not checking to make sure that the draft diverter is properly aligned.

10.07 Exhaust Flue

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: Same as NACHI Standards of Practice.

Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect the exhaust flue.

Pictures Needed

Picture of Exhaust flue.

Procedure

  • While inspecting the water heater the inspector should check the exhaust flue for any damage and make sure that it is terminating to the exterior of the property. There is one picture required for this section and it should show as much of the exhaust flue as possible.

Common Defects

  • The exhaust flue contained possible asbestos or did not have proper clearance from combustible materials.
  • The exhaust flue had an excessive number of bends, was improperly configured, had inadequate slope, was not secured, or was separated.

 Common Mistakes

  • Not checking the entire exhaust flue for damage from where it starts at the water heater to where it terminates outside of the property.

10.08 Temperature & Pressure Relief Valve

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: Same as NACHI Standards of Practice.

Tools Needed

The inspector might need to use the tape measure to determine how far the pipe for the TPR valve terminates from the floor.

Pictures Needed

Picture of valve and pipe with tape measure.

Procedure

  • While inspecting the water heater the inspector should check to make sure that the TPR valve is in good condition and has an extension pipe that extends at least 6” inches from the floor. If there are no defects, there are two pictures for this section with the first picture being of the top of the pipe where it is coming out of the water heater. The second picture should show the pipe terminating close to the floor and possibly include the tape measure if it is close to 6” inches. If it does not discharge in plain sight it should be put down as Repair/Replace in your report.

Common Defects

  • Not being able to verify the presence of a TPR valve or has a missing pipe extension.
  • The TPR valve has corrosion or is leaking.
  • The TPR valve pipe is damaged, flows uphill, did not extend 6” inches from the ground, was too small, used a PVC pipe, or used the wrong material.

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking the bottom of the TPR valve extension pipe for any leaking.
  • Not measuring the bottom of the pipe to make sure it is at least 6” inches from the ground.
  • Not calling it out as a defect if the pipe flows uphill or terminates in a location that you can’t verify is a safe location.

10.09 Water Heater Leakage

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector should check the area around the water heater for any previous or current leaking.

Tools Needed

No tools required to check the Water Heater Leakage.

Pictures Needed

Picture of floor area around water heater.

Procedure

  • While inspecting the water heater you will want to check the entire area around the unit for any signs of previous or current leaking. If there are no leaks there is just one picture required for this section which should be a few feet away from the water heater and show the floor around it is dry and has no signs of leaking.

Common Defects

  • The water heater capacity is not enough for a large jet powered tub.
  • The water heater did not work, had rust stains on exterior, or is concealed behind a wall or insulation.
  • The water heater is leaning and needs to be secured.
  • The water heater is located below ground level in the crawlspace.
  • The water heater is missing panel covers, showed signs of previous/current leaks, or was empty during the inspection.
  • The water heater was leaking at the time of the inspection.
  • The water heater was not on at the time of the inspection.
  • The water heater was tested with an amperage meter and indicated that either the bottom or the top element needs replacement, or thermostat needs replacing.

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking around the water heater for any signs of leakage.

10.10 Exterior Condition

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.

Pictures Needed

No pictures needed.

Procedure

  • 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.

10.11 Water Heater Gas Supply

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector will check the water heater gas supply and also check for the presence of the gas shut-off valve at the water heater.

Tools Needed

The inspector will use the gas detector to check for any gas leaks at the water heater.

Pictures Needed

Picture with sniffer at valve.

Procedure

  • While inspecting the water heater you will need to get out your gas detector and turn it on. Do this at the beginning when you first start to inspect the water heater because it will take a minute for it to calibrate.
  • Once the gas detector is calibrated you will slowly start to run it along the gas piping of the water heater checking for any gas leaks. If there is a leak it will begin to beep very rapidly.
  • If there are no leaks present you will take one picture with the gas detector in your hand showing that you tested the gas piping. You also want to make sure that the shut-off valve is in this picture.

Common Defects

  • There is a gas leak or damage at the gas piping of the water heater.
  • There is no shut-off valve present at the water heater.

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking for the presence of a shut-off valve.
  • Not checking all of the piping for gas leaks.
  • Not taking a good picture with the gas detector in hand showing the shut-off valve.

10.12 Water Heater Ignition System

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.

Pictures Needed

Close up of ignition system.

Procedure

  • 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.

10.13 Combustion Air Supply

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector will check for the presence of combustion air coming into the area that the water heater is located.

 Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect the Combustion Air Supply.

Pictures Needed

Picture of vents.

Procedure

  • While inspecting the water heater you will want to check for the presence of combustion air coming into the room. There is one picture required for this section and it should show the the combustion air supply.

Common Defects

  • The combustion air supply is either blocked or not present in the room where the water heater is located.

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking for the presence of combustion air.
  • Not checking to see if the combustion air is being blocked by a material.

10.14 Burn Chamber

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector will check inside the burn chamber if it is not sealed for any damage or visible rust flakes

Tools Needed

The inspector might require their flashlight to check inside the burn chamber.

Pictures Needed

Picture of sealed chamber or unsealed chamber.

 Procedure

  • While inspecting the water heater we will want to try to evaluate the condition the burn chamber if it is accessible. First, we will need to remove the front cover plate of the water heater to determine if it is sealed or can be accessed.
  • If you can see inside the burn chamber you will want to take a picture with your flash on to evaluate the inside of the chamber. We are generally going to be looking for any rust flakes or damage in the chamber.
  • If the chamber is sealed, we will take one picture of that

Common Defects

  • There are rust flakes that are present in the burn chamber.

Common Mistakes

  • Not replacing the cover of the burn chamber (you will do this as part of the next section and take a picture to confirm we put the cover back on the water heater).
  • Not using a flashlight or the flash on your camera to see inside of the burn chamber.

10.15 Operation and Response to Controls

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector will turn the ignition/thermostat up on the water heater in order to test its operation and start the flame.

Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect the Operation and Response to Controls.

Pictures Needed

Picture of flame.

Procedure

  • Turn the ignition/thermostat on the water heater up (There should have been a picture taken in the “Water Heater Ignition System” section that shows what the water heater will need to be set back to after this operation).
  • Take off the front cover of the water heater so you can observe the flames. This is where you will take your first picture showing the flames of the water heater (Make sure that the flash is turned off on your camera).
  • The second picture is a very important picture. This picture will show a combination of different items including that we put the dial back to the starting point (same as picture from ignition section) and that we put the cover door back on the water heater.
  • This section shows that the water heater fired up and that we put it back together as we found it.

Common Defects

  • Water heater not responding to controls.
  • Water heater not responding to demand for hot water.
  • Water heater is not operational.

Common Mistakes

  • Not taking a clear picture of the flames.
  • Not putting the cover back onto the water heater.
  • Not setting the thermostat back to the original setting. This is very important because we have had issues with not setting it back and this can result in two issues:
  1. We left the water heater on a low setting and now there is no hot water. This will upset current homeowners if they can’t figure out how to set the water heater temperature back to a high setting.
  2. We left the water heater on a high setting and now this can result in a very dangerous situation where the water can scorch someone and burn them badly. This is especially dangerous for children.

10.16 Drain Valve

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector should check the drain valve at the water heater to make sure that it isn’t capped off or leaking.

Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect the Drain Valve.

 Pictures Needed

No pictures needed unless there is a defect.

Procedure

  • While inspecting the water heater you will want to check the drain valve with your hand to make sure that there is no leaking or that it has not been capped off. There is no picture required for this section unless there is a defect.

Common Defects

  • The drain valve was leaking or capped off at the time of the inspection.

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking the drain valve with your hand to make sure there isn’t any leaking.

10.17 Drip Pan

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector should check for the presence of a drip pan whether it has a drain line attached or has any damage/leaking.

Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect the Drip Pan.

Pictures Needed

No pictures needed unless there is a defect.

Procedure

  • While inspecting the water heater you will check for the presence of a drip pan. If there is one present you will want to check if it is damaged, leaking, or has a drain line attached. There are no pictures required for this section and it is not a defect if there is no drip pan present.

Common Defects

  • The drip pan at the water heater is leaking, damaged, or not connected to a drain line.

Common Mistakes

  • Not making sure that a drain line is attached to the drip pan.
  • Not checking if there is any water in the drip pan.

10.18 Expansion Tank

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector should check the expansion tank for any general damage or leaking, as well as making sure it was properly installed and secured.

Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect the Expansion Tank.

Pictures Needed

Picture of tank.

Procedure

  • While inspecting the water heater we will want to check the expansion tank to make sure it is secured properly and there is no damage or leaking coming from the tank. There is one picture for this section if the expansion tank is present and it should just show as much of the expansion tank as possible, including support straps.

Common Defects

  • The expansion tank was damaged, leaking, not properly installed, or not properly secured.

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking to make sure the expansion tank is secured properly.
  • Not checking the tank with your hand to feel for any leaking.

10.19 Water Temperature

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector will check the temperature of the water that the water heater is producing at one of the fixtures in the home. Generally, Axium likes to check this temperature at the kitchen sink.

Tools Needed

The inspector will need to use their infrared thermometer to measure the temperature of the water at one of the fixtures in the home.

Pictures Needed

Picture of hot temperature at sink.

Procedure

  • After inspecting the water heater, you will want to check the temperature of the water at one of the fixtures in the home. We generally like to get this temperature at the kitchen sink.
  • Go to the kitchen sink and turn the water on to the highest setting and let it run for about a minute. Once the water is at its hottest you will use your infrared thermometer to take the temperature. We are looking for the temperature to be within 120 to 130 degrees. We take one picture for this section and it needs to show the temperature clearly on the infrared thermometer.

Common Defects

  • The water temperature is either too low (less than 120 degrees) or too high (more than 130 degrees). This temperature can typically be adjusted at the water heater.

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking the water temperature of the property.
  • Not letting the water run long enough to get hot.
  • Not taking a clear picture with the infrared thermometer.