Tankless water heater condensation drain!

Good afternoon fellow inspectors. I inspected a gas tankless water heater. A few months later I received and email about a missing condensation drain line from the unit. The water heater does have a TPRV installed, and I did not look for any other drain line. The client paid a plumber to install a drain line. She is requesting to have me pay for the drain line added. I offered to pay her the inspection fee and have her sign the release form, but she refused to sign it and just wanted the fee she paid for the repairs. How would you go about dealing with the issue?

You need to look up the installation manual for the model you inspected. Not every tankless water heater requires a condensate line. The fact is that most do not.

What caused her to think she needed one installed?

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Interesting indeed.

From A.O. Smith.
“Do tankless water heaters need a drain?
A condensing tankless water heater will need a condensate drain, while a non-condensing water heater will not.”


90% of the tankless water heaters I see are non-condensing.

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Even when the unit is not truly (with 2nd heat exchanger) a condensing unit, depending on the venting installation, condensate collector with a drain will be required. Without the collector the condensate will ice up in cold climates. In fact, the manufacturer will recommend the use of a condensate collector in cold climates. Does it get cold where you live :slight_smile: It was 10F at night here a few days ago.

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It does not get cold where I live. Many tankless water heaters are installed on the exterior of the home here.

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I would start by quoting for this forum the name, model number and serial number of the unit you inspected, along with a link to the photos you took, and the writeup you made.

First, respond to the client.
Second, say you need time to evaluate the situation.
Third, evaluate it.
Four, request pictures of the work supposedly done.


Thanks Paul for posting this and thanks to all who responded and shared the links. I learned a lot. This forum is a great resource.

What model heater was involved?