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Home Buying Guide: Water Heater Essentials

A home buying guide – Beyond the curb appeal and interior aesthetics of a home are crucial features that should demand some attention during the home buying process. Whether you’re a first-time buyer, a seasoned homeowner, or a diligent real estate agent, ensuring the new abode has essential safety features is paramount. In this article, we’ll delve into five crucial features that every homebuyer, in collaboration with their diligent agents, should scrutinize when evaluating a potential home. Let’s uncover these key elements for a secure and worry-free living space.

Double Seismic Straps

First up on our checklist are double seismic straps – the unsung heroes in earthquake preparedness. These sturdy straps secure the water heater to prevent tipping during seismic events. In earthquake-prone regions, having double seismic straps is not just a recommendation; it’s a safety imperative. Homebuyers, make sure your potential new home is equipped with these double seismic straps to safeguard your water heater and the structural integrity of your home in the face of unexpected tremors.

Pressure Temperature Relief Valve

Moving on to the heart of your water heating system, the Pressure Temperature Relief (PTR) valve takes center stage. This valve is your guardian against excess pressure and temperature within the water heater. However, it’s not a solo act – it needs its trusty sidekick, the discharge pipe. The PTR valve, coupled with a discharge pipe, ensures that an unexpected hot water release heads in the right direction and doesn’t flood your living space. Buyers, don’t overlook this dynamic duo during your home inspection; it’s a crucial safety feature that keeps your water heater in check.

Properly Installed Gas Flue Vent

For those with gas water heaters, the gas flue vent is critical to ensure the safe expulsion of combustion gases. Proper installation and venting to the outside are non-negotiables. Imagine your water heater as a culinary artist – it needs proper ventilation to release those gases outside, away from your home. During your home tour, buyers and agents pay close attention to the gas flue vent. A well-installed and vented gas flue is not just a safety measure; it’s a prerequisite for the efficient and secure operation of your gas water heater.

The Presence of an Expansion Tank

Now, let’s talk about giving your water heater room to breathe – enter the expansion tank. In closed-water heating systems, thermal expansion can increase pressure within the tank. The expansion tank acts as a safety valve, accommodating this expanded water volume and preventing excessive pressure buildup. During your home inspection, ensure the presence of an expansion tank, especially in homes with closed-loop plumbing systems. It’s like a spa day for your water heater – allowing it to expand, relax, and operate stress-free.

Operable Water Shutoff Valve

Last but certainly not least, let’s talk about control – the shutoff valve on the water supply side. This little hero gives you the power to turn off your water heater when needed. Whether you’re facing repairs or just want to give your water heater a break, a quick flick of the shutoff valve is all it takes. Buyers, familiarize yourself with this control point during your home tour. It’s like having a remote for your water’s mood swings – a small detail but a big convenience for managing your water heater effectively.

Bringing It All Together

In assessing the condition of a home water heater, don’t let these essential safety features slip through the cracks. Double seismic straps, a reliable PTR valve with a discharge pipe, a properly installed gas flue vent, an expansion tank, and a shutoff valve on the water supply side are the guardians of your home’s water heating system. Working hand in hand, these features not only ensure the efficient operation of your water heater but also contribute to the safety and well-being of your entire living space. Homebuyers and agents armed with this checklist can confidently navigate the real estate landscape, ensuring the new home is beautiful and fortified with the safety features that make it a secure haven for the occupants.

HomeGuard Inspections™ offers home and commercial property inspection services in Salt Lake City, from Ogden to Spanish Fork and Heber to Tooele. Contact us to request an inspection.