Water heater defects can be dangerous, they are pressurized and HOT. Let’s take a look at this one in the photo and I’d like to point out a couple of major safety issues.
One, the TPR(Temperature,Pressure,Relief) valve that’s on the top(between the two pipes), needs a discharge pipe. The discharge pipe should route to the floor and terminate within 6 inches of the floor or get routed to the exterior.
If the water heater is overheated or over-pressurized due to a malfunction, the TPRV opens and the water escapes. If this doesn’t happen, the pressure vessel(water heater) could end up exploding and causing serious damage and /or injury!
The way this one is, if the TPRV opened, it would send scalding hot water straight out at someone’s face!!! Since the unit is in a kitchen closet, it is likely that someone would be nearby during this event.
Secondly, this is an electric water heater and must have a power source. That’s why there is a wire going into the top… but it has no bushing/clamp to protect the wire from rubbing against the sheet metal body. I am concerned about this because eventually it could cut the insulation shielding and make contact with the copper current carrier inside. This in itself would create a safety hazard of arcing/sparking and possible electrocution.
Main Water Shut Off
The last thing I will point out about this defective water heater is the shutoff valve is missing it’s handle. Even if the handle was present it wouldn’t even work because the valve stem is chewed up from pliers and it’s so corroded that it could be seized or simply break. This valve should be replaced so that the shutoff can be operated as designed! This is one of many reasons to hire a home inspector before purchasing your home!
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