What I'm Seeing Now

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What About This Scorch?

The listing information said brand new water heater, and the serial number confirmed that.  The water heater had something much, much more to say however.

So, what about this scorch?

This is the lower panel of two on a 50 gallon electric water heater.

Electric water heaters have typically have two access panels.

Behind each is a thermostat and one of the two heating elements.

The elements protrude into the water 10" or 12" and the two work in tandem to heat the water.

Usually I don't go inside things, or take them apart, during a home inspection.

I made an exception in this case however.

Taking this suspect cover off and looking inside you can see how much heat has been happening!

Wet is also visible as dripping trails.

The insulation there is wet.

The drip pan underneath is wet.

This unit, recently installed, has a problem!

It was broken during shipment, delivery or installation such that it leaks.

Or a component inside leaks.

This is a fire hazard waiting to happen!

I'M GLAD WE FOUND IT AND COULD ALERT THE SELLER!

This unit probably needs replacement, and in my opinion right away!

Sometimes a home inspection finds issues that a seller should know about right away.  It is Best Practice for a home inspector to alert a seller about potential danger and dangerous problems.

SAFETY IS EVERYTHING!

My recommendation:  in my opinion a home inspection benefits all parties involved.  It protects everyone.  Things can be found, like this issue, that were previously UNKNOWN to everyone that are crucially important for everyone to understand.  Like this dangerous water heater.  I'm sure it's still under warranty so it's replacement only scrapes the skin off the manufacturer's nose.

 

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 25 commentsJay Markanich • August 25 2013 04:38AM

Comments

It's good that you caught that and important for both parties to know. Safety is super important.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 5 years ago

Thank goodness you found the issue before it really became an issue.  :)

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) about 5 years ago

Surely Debbie.  Not hard to see, but only if you are looking.  Sellers normally don't see stuff like this inside their closets.

This was just Friday, James.  I hope that heater has already been replaced!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Good job Detective Jay.

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com -) about 5 years ago

Thanks Ken.  One must look.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Super Jay to the rescue. Good catch, and the buyer AND seller have to be relieved for sure. I had a furnace condemned by the tech recently after my inspection. Thankfully the home was vacant. And it was summer.  

Posted by Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector, The Home Inspector With a Heart! (SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno) about 5 years ago

Your eagle eye spots another hazard and potentially severe consequence !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 5 years ago

Scott - so often people don't know and when we tell them they are surprised.  Nobody likes the idea of putting in a new furnace, but what's the alternative?

S&D - when you look at things, you look at things!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Jay, this looks like something you don't want to mess around with! Letting the homeowner know about this immediately was the way to go.

Posted by Tom White, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN (Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com) about 5 years ago

Good morning Jay,

Another item to add to the check list!

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) about 5 years ago

They were called before we left the house Tom!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Thanks Raymond.  It's more than important to have a home inspection - I think it's essential.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

That element surely was burnt out, you would think the seller would have noticed less than the hottest water or it didn't last long. El scorcho!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 5 years ago

Feeling the service pipe Fred, it wasn't very warm.  I guess they didn't notice.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Jay, That just goes to show you that you have to look at everything new or old. It was nice that it gave you such a good scorch signal.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

It did Don.  And when I took the cover off the smell was atrocious!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Wow, Surprising that people don't notice this stuff on their day to day activities through the house.  Good thing you did though!

Posted by Marc McMaster, Putting my clients before myself (RE/MAX Centre Realty) about 5 years ago

Marc - it was in the same closet as the furnace filter that never gets changed...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Jay -- it is always interesting to see what you find on some of these inspections.  I am guessing they liked their showers tepid and not "boil a lobster" hot!

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) about 5 years ago

A few times a year I will find something that is a danger and needs immediate attention. Homeowners, as I'm sure these folks were, are very appreciative. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 5 years ago

It's summer Steven, so the hot shower isn't as appreciated!

Jim - I think they were.  The seller is a high school football coach and not home much in the past few weeks!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Hi Jay,

I totally agree. Safety is everything when inspecting. Telling the sellers agent or the seller if there. Is the best course of action.

Have a good day in Bristow.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) about 5 years ago

The other agent was called while we were there Clint.  Coulda and shoulda!  Dida!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago
Jay-That was a good catch. I know most inspectors do not take things apart during an inspection but seeing something so obviously wrong, I hope the Buyers appreciate your diligence.
Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) about 5 years ago

Wayne - I usually don't take things apart.  That is pretty much the inspector SOP in all the associations.  But when I saw this I thought it prudent.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

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