One way to tell the water heater has reached the end - look underneath.
People ask me how long water heaters last. The best answer is - it depends!
How many people live in the house? A family of 5 or 6 will wear a water heater out faster than a single person.
What temperature is the water kept at? The hotter it is the more frequent the water heater turns on.
Do they do a lot of wash with hot water? If so, the water heater is used more often.
The natural gas water heater in this condo was 20 years old.
That might be the expected economic life span of most any water heater, but I have seen them last longer.
This one had seen betters days though.
There was substantial moisture evident and rust built up underneath.
And the TPR valve (which releases steam) was dripping all the time, as indicated by the yellow arrow.
This unit has seen better days and likely needs to be properly put to rest.
My recommendation: things get old! Nothing wins the battle with Father Time, as they say. Not even a good-quality water heater. And this water heater has seen better days. And the purpose of the home inspection is to see things like this, evaluate them, and report on them to the buyer of a house or condo. And go from there!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560