Water heaters can have lots of things wrong with them.
One of the most common things that Home Inspectors find wrong is the TPRV (Temperature/Pressure/Relief/Valve) drain improperly terminated.
Even this one aspect can be done wrong in many different ways. Today I am just going to talk about when the drain line is terminated in locations that are not considered “readily observable.”
These valves occasionally leak a little, and sometimes even leak a lot, or may even fail catastrophically. If any of these things happen, like in a crawl space or under a deck, the leaking might go unnoticed for months or even years.It is not uncommon to find entire crawl spaces flooded from leaking TPRV drains.
Not only can this waste a lot of water, it creates moisture conditions in the crawl space that are conducive to wood destroying organisms and mold growth. This picture shows a TPRV drain and the pan drain of the water heater terminating improperly in a crawl space.
All of these pipes should be properly terminated at the exterior of the building to a location where they can be better monitored for leaking. There are also approved means of terminating these drains to the house drainage plumbing. Consult with your local plumber as to this option as it takes special knowledge to install properly.
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