Water Heater Inspections
The typical water heater is usually a cylindrical tank with a heat source in or below the tank, used to heat entering cold water for supply of hot water to a home when needed. Most residential water heaters have a 38 to 50 gallon glass-lined steel tank (but can range up to 88 gallons). The heat source can be either gas (natural or propane), oil, electricity, solar or geothermal. The life expectancy of the average water heater is 8 to 12 years for gas and oil, 10-15 for electrical, solar and geothermal, and over 20 years on tankless (made of stainless steel).
There are several different types of hot water systems used in the United States including: Indirect water heater systems, dual purpose water heater systems, on-demand water heater systems (or tankless), high efficiency gas systems or direct vent systems. Indirect water heater systems use a boiler to heat the water. Dual purpose water heaters (also referred to as hedonic water heaters) use one of the heat types above and then store domestic hot waterwhile circulating hot water through a heat exchangerconnected to a forced air furnace. On-demand water heaters (or tankless) only heat the water when there is a demand for it and they do not have a storage tank. Instant hot water heaters are small (1/2 gallon) and are located near the tap--a design that provides hot water for only one tap.
Whether the water heater uses gas, oil or electric to fuel the heat source, all water heaters share the following basic components:
For more information on water heaters, follow the links below.
Water Heater Installation Specifications
Auxiliary Drain Pan. Water heaters shall be provided with an auxiliary drain pan when damage to any building component (when installed on a wood floor system) will occur as a result of leakage or stoppage. A separate overflow drain line shall be connected to the drain pan. This overflow drain shall discharge to a conspicuous point of disposal.
Drain pipe materials and sizes: Components of the disposal system shall be iron, steel, copper, polybutylene, polyethylene, ABS, CPVC, or PVC pipe or tubing. All tubing shall be selected for the pressure and temperature rating of the installation. Drain lines size shall be not less than 3/4 inch internal diameter and shall not decrease in size from the appliance or drain pan to the place of disposal.
Appliance (water heater) installed in a room or space that opens only into a bedroom or bathroom or garage and such room is used for no other purpose shall be provided with a solid weather-stripped door equipped with an approved self-closer. All combustion air shall be taken directly from the outside.
Installed in a Crawlspace: Clearance from grade; Appliances installed at or below grade level shall be supported on a level concrete slab or other approved material extending above adjoining grade.
All appliances should be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instruction and manufacturer's installation instruction must be kept at or near the said appliances for review.
All water heater shall be capable of being removed without removing permanent portion of the building (gas lines, walls, plumbing, ducts or other appliances).
Water heaters utilized for space heaters: Water heaters utilized for both supply of potable hot water and provide hot water for space-heating shall be listed and labeled for such by the manufacturer.
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