Welcome to our blog!
We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.

How to Look

at a House

A blog with answers
to your questions about

Click Below to Link
to Collections of
Blog Posts by Subject

Search This Blog

  1. 2)The TPR valve has opened because because of unsafe water temperature or pressure in tank. This could be caused by a defective thermostat, or because mineral and crud buildup at the bottom of the tank of a gas water heater has caused the water to boil beneath it. Some TPR valves have piping that bypasses the pan and runs to an exterior location instead. In that case, #1 and #2 are not the cause.

  2. 3)Leaking drain faucet at bottom of tank. This is the location where you connect a hose to drain the tank. It might have slow leak, so check the outlet with a finger for wetness.

  3. 4)Leaking around pipe connections to water heater. Check around where each of the pipes connect to the tank: hot, cold, TPR valve, and drain faucet. If it has been leaking for a while, there will be a rust-color drip stain running down from it.

  4. 5)Tank is leaking due to deep corrosion. This is the worst-case scenario and means it is time to replace the water heater. Tanks rust from the inside-out, so there are often no early warning signs; but corrosion around the base of the tank, or a rusty wet stain under it without any drip stains down the side of the tank—like in the photo below, with the red light on the moisture meter indicating that the wood is soaked—are two signs of possible tank leakage.

    Everything but #5 can usually be fixed by a brief plumber visit for $125 to $200. The only exception is when #4 is caused by galvanic corrosion, which is identified by a powdery crust around a pipe at the tank connection that looks like a lumpy, cancerous growth. If it has destroyed the threaded fitting at the tank, the tank my need replacement. See our blog post “What’s that powdery crust on the pipe connections at the water heater?” to learn more.

While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
© McGarry and Madsen Inspection


More Blog Posts on Similar Subjects:

  1. Does the septic tank have to be re-certified if the house has been vacant for a while?

  2. Does a tankless water heater require a pressure relief valve?

  3. How do you find a broken water pipe leak under the floor slab?

  4. Do I have to get a larger septic tank when I build a home addition?

  5. Do you check the plumbing under the floor slab?

  6. Should I call a plumber or septic tank contractor when my septic tank backs up into the house?

  7. What is well pump “short cycling”?

  8. What is the purpose of a thermostatic mixing valve above a water heater?

  9. How much does it cost to replace the plumbing pipe in a house?

  10. This home has galvanized water pipe. Is that a problem?

  11. What’s the flip-up handle on the water heater for?

  12. How come the water has a rotten-egg smell in some empty houses?

  13. My well water test came back positive for bacteria. What should I do?

  14. How old is that water heater?

  15. Why do water heaters have a sacrificial anode?

  16. Do you test the well water?

  17. What is the difference between a regular water heater and a power vent water heater?

  18. How can I tell what type of plumbing pipe I have?

  19. How do you test a shower pan for leaks?

  20. What is a grinder pump?

  21. Why are rubber washing machine hoses a safety risk?

  22. What is a dielectric union?

  23. What is a heat pump water heater?

  24. What is an auto vent, air admittance valve, or check vent?

  25. Why is a European-style bottle trap not approved by the plumbing codes in the U.S.?

  26. What is the average life expectancy of CPVC pipe?

  27. What is an escutcheon plate?

  28. How can I locate my septic tank?

  29. Why is a backflow preventer required on lawn sprinkler systems?

  30. What are the right words for talking about a house plumbing system?

  31. Should I seal the washing machine drain hose to the standpipe?

  32. How can I tell if a house is connected to a septic tank or sewer?

  33. What is a sediment trap or dirt leg?

  34. Which plumbing fixtures require water shut off valves in a home?

  35. What is the minimum and maximum slope of the trap arm of a plumbing drain?