Checking for Hot Water

Do other inspectors check for the presence of hot water at every fixture where there’s a hot water faucet during a home inspection? Specifically, single shower mixing valves. I had a client call me to say that there’s no hot water in the bathroom. THere’s a community water heater and a previous homeowner added a 20 gal supplemental water heater in the kitchen. I suppose I"m liable for not reporting that there was no bathroom hot water… However, I don’t find any specific reference to hot water in the Standards of Practice… I see function flow and functional drainage, but not on hot water performance… All comments are welcome… Thx, Glenn

Yes I check all fixtures for hot water on the left. Missed a bathroom once, that’s all it took.:slight_smile:

Thank them for contacting you and request that you and or your plumber have the right to re inspect. Cost about $100.00 – so you can find out what the problem is. Even thought you did not check it it is possible that the hot water was there when you inspected and something failed or was changed after you left. - Some one turned off a cut off valve. - I would do this all the time when my sister was taking a shower. Great fun

In all cases work with the client up to the point that they get off base.

These things happen


When I fill up the sinks to check the drains and look for leaks around the drains…I use hot water…then I don’t have to think about whether or not I checked for hot water…

When I fill up the tubs and check the shower diverters etc…I also use hot water…

This helps me not to forget…

I believe you’re right… It’s the only way to verify reversed hot and cold lines… I’ll be starting tomorrow, checking all hot water faucets… Thanks for your response… Glenn

Good point… Thanks for your response, Glenn

Tony… I like your approach… Thanks for the tip… Using only hot water addresses two issues: functional flow and reversed lines… Glenn

Until the client call and says there is no cold water.:stuck_out_tongue:


Please work with your client so the problem does not get larger. What you do in the future is not the problem. All the advice that you have received is good. Just remember some homes that we inspect do not have hot water. Hot water heater has been turned off.


If the client wants cold water he/she can just run the hot water longer…:slight_smile:

Not to be picky but read the SOP again.

Installation as used here, IMO, means that if no hot water flowed from a faucet where it should, it needs to be considered deficient.

I check the “cold” water first to be sure it works–the I turn on the “hot” faucet and while it is running I can check under the sink for leaks, check the sink for security, in the bathroom I can check the toilet and shower, etc. Then I can record the temperature of the water from the faucet.

That way I know the faucets are all correct and working properly–except when they ain’t.

Here in AZ I quite often find the hot water & cold water backwards in the tub or shower. Rumor has it that after the “plumber” attaches the hot water line to the © Caliente side of the valve he is not sure what to do with (H) Fria??side.:slight_smile:

I think that might happen in Quebec too - © Chaud , (H) Froid

You guys brought up some good points, I was very lack about checking for hot water. Started checking last week after reading this post and I found a shower cross connected today, it impressed both the seller and the buyer. My French friends used to tell me that light switches where marked On & Off because Englishmen couldn’t tell if a light was on or off. :roll:

First I look under the sink to make sure there is a drain pipe that looks like it’s going to drain things away if I turn the water on. Then and only then do I turn the cold water on first. If I get cold water, then I switch and use the hot water. Once the sink is full, then I turn on both cold and hot full force to test the overflow drains. At the same time, I’m filling the bathtub with cold water first, and then hot water, and then both full force to get it full faster. At the same time I do the shower, cold, then hot, then both. Then, once I have everything going full force, I’ll flush the toilet to check for functional water flow. Once I have the sink and tub full, and the toilet has refilled, then I’ll let the tub and sink drain and flush the toilet again to test for functional drainage.

Always check for hot on the left and cold on the right at the highest wash basin. DIY types get it wrong 50% of the time. In doing so you will note the flow and pressure. While it is filling flush the toilet and watch the flow in the wash basin. Check for leaks stains andsoundness of all plumbing connections. Note any rusting at the overflow on enameled steel. Some basins overflows will not take the full force of the open faucet. Turn the faucet off and wait a moment before pulling the plug.
Listen for unusual sounds. You have now performed both the functional flow and drainage.

Not just DIYers, either, though.

Both here and in Texas, Spanish-only families regularly have the hot water hooked up to the “C” faucet, since that “C” obviously stands for “caliente.”