Life expectancy of equipment

I’ve heard that some inspectors will provide an estimated life left on aging equipment in the home, i.e. Heat Pumps, Water Heaters, Air Handlers… Is this typically considered outside the scope of the inspection? If not, does anybody have any supporting data or general rules of thumb to go by for determining these life expectancies for this sort of equipment?

Please advise,


Here: Life Expectancy of Home Components

Change your main area of display from black to white, very hard on the eyes to read. Your average stay will increase, mine did.


Thanks. Average visit is 2:23. Better than my sites with white background.

Nice site and info Linas


  1. Limitations, Exceptions & Exclusions

3.1. Limitations:

I. An inspection is not technically exhaustive.
II. An inspection will not identify concealed or latent defects.
III. An inspection will not deal with aesthetic concerns or what could be
deemed matters of taste, cosmetic defects, etc.
IV. An inspection will not determine the suitability of the property for any use.
V. An inspection does not determine the market value of the property or its
VI. An inspection does not determine the insurability of the property.
VII. An inspection does not determine the advisability or inadvisability of the
purchase of the inspected property.
VIII. An inspection does not determine the life expectancy of the property or
any components or systems therein.

Can this be any clearer?


I think there is still a grey area here. From some of the inspector’s reports that I’ve seen, they are not actually determining life expectancy of a component. They are merely trying to offer the perspective buyer an estimation of what they might expect from that component. I think we are splitting hairs a bit with that directive (VIII).

Linas - Thanks a lot for the link. That helps quite a bit.



What are you going to do when a Lawyer splits that hair?!

There is no Gray to it!
Home Inspectors make up stuff all the time and it becomes gospel!

The component must work (meaning operating as designed and intended) aas of the time of possession. It makes no never mind if or when it may fail.

I don’t want my client to have a perspective.
99.999% of the time it will be wrong!
All I want them to know is that it was working or not at the time and date of the inspection. Anything more is a big heap of trouble for you.

Do as you like.
Just because everyone else dose it, doesn’t make it right.
No matter how many times you do something wrong, it never makes it right.

This is just my opinion, as well as;

NACHI SOP says it.
My State Law says it.
Why do I want to add physic readings to my inspection services?

There is probably a market for Psychic home inspections!!! Someone should tap that!!! :wink:

There is probably a market for Psychic home inspections!!! Someone should tap that!!! :wink:


Thanks for the detailed explanation. Fair enough and point taken.



I don’t provide life expectancies.
I do provide a link to the NAHB study on life expectancies as a courtesy to my client.

pdf HERE

Steve, that is just my opinion from past experiences. How you handle your client and what your client wants to know is the course you should follow. When the client asks me about life expectancy, I will address it. Otherwise, it is not my concern. As a criminal investigator for 13 years, I found that the more information you provide in court, the more ammunition to give to the defense attorney. I stick to the facts and try to be specific in my reporting. When someone writes a state law or standard, any deviation from that standard leaves you open for someone else’s interpretation.

Besides, time is money and adding unnecessary information to the report wastes my time, my clients time and real estate agents time.

Generally the purpose for providing this information is to cover your tracks in the event the equipment fails after the inspection report and I do not buy into that philosophy. This goes along with recommending further evaluation by another licensed professional when you can’t specifically say what the problem is. This does not really protect your liability. This clouds the issue and gives the appearance of incompetence to the court.

Rick, providing links is very useful to the client.I do the same. Just be sure they are “good links”! :wink:

LOL, guess they took it down. :frowning: