Inspector Challenge Game

What are the concerns/defects in this plumbing picture?
I can see at least 6 things.

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*Picture provided by Chuck Evans of HomeCert,


Here is a photo for your files. The mind of a DIY’er. They amaze me sometimes.

At least the tpr is not draining up hill:D

I see TPR’s on extensions like that, all too often. I can’t imagine how someone could actually think that’s acceptable. . .

It’s all about people not knowing what they don’t know:D

Mr. Pope and Graham,
I believe that there are many INSPECTORS (not just home owners) who do not know why the physical location of the tpr valve is a problem. To many, it doesn’t look right, but they don’t actually know (understand) WHY.

Do you agree?

agreed, knowledge is power, and it can keep the attorneys at bay as well:D

Completely. . .

According to the InterNACHI Residential SOP:
2.6. Plumbing
I. The inspector shall:
C. inspect the water heating equipment, including venting,
connections, energy source supply system, and seismic bracing,
and verify the presence or absence of temperature-pressure relief
and/or Watts 210 valves;

If you inspect according to SOP, this defect/hazard (the physical location of the TPR valve) would or would not be reported? Which do you think?


Regrettably, it could be argued that the location does not have to be reported, but if I were testifying as the EW for the plaintiff, I would blow you out of the water :mrgreen:

Agreed, Mr. Pope.

I’m all for knowing what the problem is and reporting it, even though the inspection and reporting of the problem goes beyond the SOP.

As you said, regrettably… I don’t even think the location of the TPR would fall under the requirement of 1.3.

1.2. A Material Defect is a condition of a residential real property, or any portion of it, that would have a significant, adverse impact on the value of the real property, or that involves an unreasonable risk to people on the property. The fact that a structural element, system or subsystem is near, at or beyond the end of the normal useful life of such a structural element, system or subsystem is not by itself a material defect.

1.3. An Inspection Report shall describe and identify, in written format, the inspected systems, structures, and components of the dwelling, and shall identify material defects observed. Inspection reports may contain recommendations regarding conditions reported or recommendations for correction, monitoring or further evaluation by professionals, but this is not required.

It could easily be catagorized to fall within 1.2;

Anyone see the match? Maybe for a pilot light problem? Or maybe someone testing the draft?

Should inspectors use a match to test draft?

Probably not, but what good would it do? How would a HI evaluate the result (i.e. how much is enough draft?).

Previous question - isn’t it enough for a HI to know the that TPR valve installation is incorrect and to report it? Does he have to know why?
(just had to ‘stir the pot’ a bit) :mrgreen:


I see a lot of responses but I did not see a post for the actual defects of your post.

  1. Improperly installed hot water inlet piping.

  2. TPR improperly installed where the sacrificial anode rod is supposed to be.

  3. Dissimilar metals.

  4. No visible cold water shut off.

The tank appears to be gas but what is with the unprotected Romex.

I can not see enough of the tank at what is behind to make any more remarks.

I would call it out as a amateur installation and recommend a qualified plumber to properly install.

Now in regards to the TPR valve. If it was installed on the top of the tank on the hot water pipe instead of the side of the tank would this be an issue???

Can’t you get a watts TPR extension at home depot, in the doo hickey isle? This would be an acceptable repair…


With the TPR valve installed on top of the long nipple, the temp sensor extension is NOT immersed inside the tank. The only time the manufacturer allows the valve to not be installed directly into the tank is when the tank does not have a dedicated tapping for the valve (I have never seen a water heater without a dedicated tap). Even then it must be plumbed so the the extension does extend into the tank. This one does not.

The TPR sensor must be immersed in water inside the tank, within 6 inches of the top of the tank.

The way this one is installed, it is entirely possible that it would not release for excessive temperature until the water inside the tank was already superheated. The expansion ratio of water to steam, as I recall, is 1:1,700. That makes for a big boom.

From today. . .


I would love you to share your narrative on that observation. :slight_smile:

I like to keep it simple;

and for the discharge;

I also addressed the braided hose touching the vent, and the lack of a flex connection at the cold water side. . .