I am curious how other inspectors handle older water heaters that are operating normally. I frequently see 15-20 year old water heaters in good operating condition, and I usually note the age and state that it may be approaching the end of its service life, but I usually do not recommend replacing it. Do some of you make a recommendation to replace an older unit strictly due to its age?
[size=1][size=2]My standard comment on anything over 9 years old:
“The water heater is aging and may be near/at end of it’s life expectancy. Monitor closely for leaks and budget for replacement, or replace preemptively.
Older water heaters are typically less efficient and an unplanned/expedited replacement can be more costly.”
I take a picture of the burn chamber and if it looks decent I put the picture in the report and add this statement:
“[/size][/size][size=2]The burn chamber appeared to be in fair condition, which may indicate that the unit has some useful life existing.”
If it is older, I let the client know that… “it shows indications that it may require repair or replacement anytime during the next five years.”
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I also note the age and tell them to budget for a new one.