It's not often, but on this pre-drywall inspection there was a missing drip pan.
Drip pans do what they say they do - catch small leaks and send them elsewhere.
You will find drip pans under any appliance that handles or produces water - washing machines, water heaters, AC units and even high-efficiency condensing gas furnaces.
This is a three-level condo.
But it is above a retail space. So it's a four-floor building.
The heat pump and water heater are located in a closet on the fourth level.
You can see the heat pump here has a drain line connected to its drip pan. It drains into the floor, which in turn drains any collected leaks outdoors.
But they forgot the drip pan under the water heater!
It is sitting propped in the corner, indicated by the yellow arrow.
If this water heater was to have a major leak, it would be a disaster. The leak would flow through the entire condo, ruining whatever ceilings, walls, floors and furniture, but would also go into the retail space below.
THAT would be a big deal. Hence the need for the drip pan.
So now they have to disconnect the gas water heater to place the drip pan underneath. That drip pan would have its own drain line running into the floor, just like the heat pump beyond.
My recommendation: you never know what you might find on a pre-drywall inspection, but this was easy to see. Easy to see, but crucially important nonetheless! My clients did not know what a drip pan was or why one was needed. They did not know that pan was there. Without an inspection it could be that the pan might never have been installed, and nobody would be the wiser. Well, except the supervisor who knew it wasn't there but, um, maybe didn't mention it.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560