Open/Closed Condo Plumbing

How would one tell if the WH for a condominium should have an expansion tank or not? The manufacture says (if required) but I’m not sure how I would even determine if it should since I cannot see any of the plumbing for the condominium. It’s and apartment style condo with 24 units. I’m assuming it’s an open system. What are your guy’s thoughts?

if You can’t see it You can’t inspect it partner…

Why is that a concern?


Jacob I wouldn’t even make a note about this in your report it’s not part of the SOP. I agree with the others just move on.

This condo had an electric WH with no expansion tank. Just trying to get some insight on what kind of plumbing an HOA would have on a building with 24 units. The WH could or could not need that expansion tank depending on what kind of system is in.

Really? I download the user manual to every WH from every home I inspect, read the scope of the installation and make notes of what is wrong.

It might just be me, but that sounds a bit excessive for a home inspection Jacob…

Eh, to each their own. This is something I find value in for my clients so I do it.

How long does Your average inspection take You Jacob ?

You need to know how they did and do things based on the area and the age of the house. For example, where I am, all houses 10-15 old are likely to have a dual check valve outside in the meter pit (required on new installs). Now… if you cannot see where the water enters and if there is a PRV/check valve and or if there is one in the pit, then you can put a pressure gauge on the garden house bib. Then fire up the WH. If pressure does not build, you’re good to go. Like others have pointed out, most “inspectors” won’t go this far, they want to be in and out and get paid $500 for 2 hours of work between the report and the field inspection :slight_smile: It comes down to your “brand” and how much you want to make and how. I do check for this the best I can especially if I see a leaking TPRV. Lack of expansion tank will cause a havoc on the system if it’s not open back to the street. If you cannot determine and there is no expansion tank, you can inform your client to have a plumber check this during his next service visit :slight_smile:


Obviously depending on the square footage but a normal 1500 square foot 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage house takes 3 hours. And then depending on the condition of that house the report usually takes about 4 to 5 hours. It’s my second year so the report writing time is nearly cut in half now but I’m still working on trying to get that as short as I can.

Jacob, your timing is normal or even speedy if you are trying to do a “thorough” job. Too many inspectors miss half the stuff because they have a hot meal and NFL waiting for them at home. Then they end up somewhere on these boards complaining about “client trying to sue them and or is mad”. I was just at a flip yesterday, it “looks” great, but what a mess of small stuff everywhere “regular” folks cannot see. I was there 3 hours, it’s only 2 bedroom but full crawl. Here are few minor issues :slight_smile: Do you see the plug for AC I’m holding, what is wrong? How about the pic of the vehicle door pulley, can you see it? It’s all small stuff, but what a flippin nightmare to inspect.

Great information thanks!

Three hours average but sometimes it takes longer. As for the report writing, some of the homes take 4-5 hours to write but the bad ones (my longest is 11hrs so far) take around 7-8. I hear ya though on the trying to get home to a hot meat thing. I’m not worried about making a quick inspection. Nice pics too!