Realtor Involvement

I have these two pics to share of a recent inspection. I expressed to the purchaser that at the time of inspection everything functioned okay but I advised that a qualified HVAC pro should look at the whole system before closing. This seemed to irrate the realtor who called and asked for my input. Clearly I said that there had or is issues with the hot water heater and furnace and that it would be prudent to have these checked…finally this was agreed upon. There were several other issues with the home.

note the obvious and the water stain in behind water heater (propane)

I rest my case!

Water Heater is not functioning OK if there is evidence of back drafting (as pictured).

Are the Furnace and Water Heater connected to the same Flue?

There is nothing okay about that water heater. Your report was in error and you should thank the salesman for pointing that out to you.

***“everything functioned okay”

Both photos say otherwise. You have some serious issues with both pieces of equipment just based on what I see. Avoid using verbage in your reports that do not clearly state your opinion and findings.*** Far too many inspectors try to straddle the fence and write up reports that try to alert the buyers while at the same time does not “offend” the real estate agents. Those kinds of soft ball comments will eventually put you into some deep sewage. Say what you saw, report it clearly, honestly and stick to the facts. Knowing what you are seeing is too important, lives could depend on your report. Your above statement will likely be the only thing they remember you saying about both these units…none of the negative.
Good luck

Full time professional and experienced inspector who is in it for the long term: “It’s broke. Have it repaired or replaced.”

Hungry inspector not wanting to offend anyone who might refer him another inspection (but winds up looking like a fool to all parties concerned with the inspection process and is destined to be sued out of business): “It may or may not be kind of broken, possibly, although it functions well. Recommend having it evaluated by someone else.”

Joe and James! Thanks for your input but:

The realtor didn’t know jack they wanted to know why I said there was an issue. I told them not the other way around…I just clarified when they called! It was holding up the sale so their pants were in a knot!
I told them…I told the buyer, I suggested an HVAC inspection (before closing) to the realtor because the owner stated that the service was done!

So where do you get that I am in error…from where you sit can you honestly say that the hotwater tank wasn’t functioning correctly…really!

As far as you or anyone else knows this issue could have been corrected and these were previous scorch marks and debris inside the burner.

The two flues were independant of each other. I reported what I saw a functioning hot water tank, nice blue flame, no smoke but there was evidence of previous or present malfunctionings. We do not make assumptions we report what we see and the professional HVAC guys do their job…if it needed a new tank it was on them…not me …they would also have to replace the ABS pipe if they did a replacement to update to todays standards. I am quite sure if back drafting was/is the issue it can easily be rectified by a pro.

So in presenting it the way I did I covered my butt because what if the owner pulled out a service invoice that it had just been rectified and I condemned it as you suggest…egg on my face not yours …correct! Report what you see!

Here is a picture of a Chimney
Inspected each of the last 6 years with documented / written / verifiable service of the Equipment.

No one ever noticed the disconnect in the chimney from time of original construction.

Until Home Inspection this week…

When the situation is wrong… its wrong…
I have no concern with what ever was previously reported, credential or education level presented by the Contractor…

When that is presented,
the basis of the Contractor’s case
only diminishes…
Based upon what I found, photographed and reported…

You took the photo so there was an obvious concern.
The Water Heater is not functioning properly…

The fact remains I reported it and it is being put in the hands of a HVAC pro which I am not!..matter is taken care of amicably…no alarmist. If a structural support is broken …it is wrong if their are previous water stains under a sink…is it wrong? But I get what you are are saying Joe totally…thanks!

I have never met a single HVAC contractor that works on water heaters. do they do that in Canada? Down here that work would be in the area of plumbing, possibly the gas utility company but never the HvAC guy.

Scott, how old is that WH? Around my parts, based on the “color” it is from the 70’s-early 80’s. If that is the case, I would have recommended for replacement based upon age alone.

Also, am I correct both those pics are of the WH? Where’s your pics of the HVAC?

Lots of “Plumbing & Heating” contractors up here.

Interesting…and good to know. thanks

Yep, same here. Prolly 60% are both.

Hi Jeff I tried to get an age on it but best guess was 98. Still waiting for the HVAC guy to get back to me personally, I will let all know of the verdict in time.

Yes HVAC guys up here do water heaters furnaces and airr conditioners…oh and central vac too! We call it multi trade millwrights have to learn basic electrical and PLC controllers too.

Strict licensing of those trades here precludes anyone from doing that here. Hard enough to get and maintain the licensing, CEUs, and insurance for one trade, let alone several. We do have a couple of big service outfits that have both or several trades on the payroll but each one sticks to their trade and do not branch out doing other trade work.

That’s the way it is around here, too.

If smaller outfits are advertising “plumbing and heating”, they are talking hydronic heating, typically.

very good article I need it Thanks for the post.

Hi Scott:
for some reason I was not able to open your post till today.

Here is my take:
" Evidence of fllame roll-out (scorching) The water heater appears beyond its designed life expectancy. Suggest replacement prior to close."

If photo #2 is that of the burner compartment of a gas furnace I would say
“Due to the presence of excessive rust and debries in the burner compartment it is strongly advised to have this unit inspected by a qualified contractor, prior to close, to ensure safe and efficient operation.
It is very possible that this unit will be red tagged.”


It never really sunk in until yesterday, prolly due to this thread. One of the local big boys pulled next to me at a stop light… Plain as day on the side of the van… “KSW Roofing & Heating”!