New water heater

Are Plumbing Inspections Legit?

If a licensed plumber is hired to do plumbing work, there are no possible ways flaws can occur, right? Well, think twice. Take a look at some of the screw-ups I stumbled across, and you’ll be surprised to say, what if that happened to me? Would I know it’s wrong? What do I do? Prepare yourself before it’s too late, and you find yourself caught in a whirlpool sucking your pocket dry.

Final inspections passed aren’t always right

Faulty plumbing inspections are not uncommon minimal, but they exist. I’ve seen this problem multiple times where it’s so obvious it’s ridiculous. The naive are unaware of the circumstances that can occur after finalized mess-ups go undetected during the installation phase. A  finalized defective plumbing inspection ends up problematic in multiple ways. There will be a potential for substantial property damage, unnecessary insurance claims, and the big one lawsuits that end up costing hefty attorney fees. I can’t answer why or how defective plumbing can pass inspection. I don’t want to get into that, but rather show you a couple of images I took from a recent water heater replacement job.

Look closely at the water heater base, and you’ll see that the water service is too close to it. There is no excuse for this to have occurred in new home construction. It appears referring to the old water heater serial tag that construction was around 2004. Not only is this a significant plumbing defect, but it’s also a building inspection flaw:  

Can you imagine what did the contractor and the plumber have in mind here? It certainly didn’t meet the plumbing code.

502.5 Clearances for Maintenance and Replacement
Appliances shall be provided with access for inspection, service, repair and replacement…
A level working space at least 30 inches deep and 30 inches wide shall be provided in front of the control side to service an appliance.

International Plumbing Code

When you ignore the basics, the next guy (me) has a heck of a time to replace this water heater. I had to squeeze the old one out by the furnace’s return duct. It barely made it out! The new heater was worse. I had to pick it up over the water service base because the replacement unit is slightly bigger.

After I reviewed the situation, I said to the owner, “I can’t believe it” all the contractor had to do was fabricate the partition over one foot. The plumber, all he needed to do was place the new water service one foot more to the left. From all this, the initiation of the mistake started with the plumber and the plumbing inspector. It should have never passed a rough inspection.

The new water heater

Here is a picture of the replacement water heater I installed. If you look, you can see I had to arrange the gas pipe to fit just right so the main water shut-off valve would close:   

This water heater replacement is just one of the screw-ups I stumbled upon while doing my daily routines.  The mistakes are always there and shouldn’t be, but what can you do? I guess that is what keeps the professional plumbers apart from the non-pros.

Don’t be afraid to speak up!

If you suspect something’s wrong, don’t be afraid to speak up. You’re the one paying the bill! And if you want a professional opinion from an Experienced Master Plumber, Contact Vince to Schedule an Inspection.

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