FHA Water Heater Requirements

An often overlooked FHA item that must also meet minimum requirements in order to get the green light from FHA is the water heater. The very minimal of these requirements, taken from the Homeownership Center Reference Guide, are:

  1. All water heaters must have a non-adjustable temperature and pressure relief valve and overflow pipe.
  2. The water heater must comply with local building codes regardless of its location including the presence of double earthquake strapping and proper venting.
  3. Rental water heaters are not acceptable.

This seems pretty basic however; the following are some points of interest that both appraisers and home inspectors alike look for during their inspections.

  • Overall condition — It is not enough to simply comply with the three guidelines mentioned above. The water heater should be in good condition and free from rust. Obvious signs of problems, such as leaks, would also be a concern.
  • Water temperature – An appraiser will also run a water test by turning on the hot water in the kitchen and baths to make sure it warms and is running properly.
  • Type of water heater — Although this is not a concern per say, just know that during the inspection the appraiser will make note of whether the water heater is electric, gas, or propane.

Another “must fix” is evidence of standing water in the crawl space. So if the water heater is the source of any standing water, repairs may need to be made in order to be in compliance. The same may be true for water in the basement, which can also lead to mold and compromise the structure.

Keep in mind the goal of an FHA appraisal is to make sure a home is safe and functioning properly for any occupants. Remember the three S’s – safety, structure, and soundness. Rusty water, water that is too hot or not warm enough, and similar problems could cause a home to be less than safe for the inhabitants.

A basic “must” for a home to pass inspection are functioning utilities. Aside from heat and electricity, this includes running hot water in the kitchen and baths.

The water heater may be a pricy item to repair or replace but it’s not an option when you’re looking to pass an FHA inspection. 

I hope you found this helpful and if you have any additional questions, thoughts, or comments please leave them down below.

Tri-County Appraisals specializes in appraisals for divorce, bankruptcy, estate, date of death, tax appeals, pre-listings, and more throughout the greater Fort Collins area. For more info contact us at (970) 999-1500, visit our website at FortCollinsAppraiser.com, or email us @ kenlavertu@earthlink.net.