Water Heater help

I have not seen this before, can anyone tell me what’s going on here?
I really appreciate the help, thank you.


Do a search on this board and the old board for “flame rollout”. Look for an obstructed exhaust vent among other things. Oh, and call for a professional plumber to repair.

Looks like flame roll out Louis. There is supposed to be a sheet metal cover over that opening.


Thank you all, I have read a little about this on the board but not seen it in person. got my learning in today. Have a great evening.

I agree, flame rollout…but why? This heater is obviously very old and as a plumber I would recomend the replacement having seen this. Very dangerous!


Why? Because the general public does not know what we know as home inspectors, or should I say try to know. The breadth of knowledge is vast and if you stop learning you are dead. The average person does not have the time to understand the importance of things like flame rollout, and have an emotional attachment to the house they have selected. Most home inspectors would mention this condition as one that needed to be addresed ASAP.