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Oh, that gave me a serious belly laugh at work. Jeez.

Sorry for the lack of focus -- new camera -- It's sitting on pavers on the right side but not the left.  It doesn't look too out of plumb in this shot but it was maybe 1" from top to floor.  The installer gets one brownie point for putting on a pipe-down but....this is soo bad.

Notice the duct tape around to protect the WH's finish from the strap which --- would have been better used around the dryer vent hose at least to seal it.

It should probably have had two straps for seismic hold down... and gas line looks like an opportunity for a small child to stand on and bounce.   That is also questionable... some states require a flexible connection between the appliance and the gas line - for seismic reasons.   It looks like the total length of the unsupported gas pipe might exceed four feet easily... and that should have been a code violation.   (can we say KABOOM...)

I really can't tell from the first picture how the venting is hooked up... was the plastic bag part of their vent system?  If so they may have suspected they had some kind of back draft problem... and tried to cure that with the bag?  I can't imagine a mechanical permit was pulled to install the heater... a licensed person would not have done that...  it had to be a DIY job.

This is also a powered vent hot water heater... nice electrical installation....   :-(   at least there would be a source of ignition for the broken gas line...  

One last comment -- click on pictures... the first picture changes when you click on it so you can actually see the blocking under one side.

Most gas hot water heaters are also supposed to be place about a foot above the floor -- such that fumes from a flammable source remain below the level of the pilot... this installation also lacks that....

As far as seismic activity -- this is PA not CA so no WH's have hold downs here...I don't like the gas line either but I think the reason why the WH is leaning is b/c they wanted to hook up to the existing line.

 I agree with seeing an opportunity for children's play.  I'll check the code on that.

 The plastic bag had the operating manual in it -- it's not part of the installation ( incidentally, the installation manual was no where to be found) -- had to look it up on line.  The new foil slinky hose connects to the existing 3" PVC running between the floor joists and out to the sidewall about 10' away.

 Yeah -- you should have to have a master plumber change out a WH in this municipality but it kinda looks like someone was flying under the radar on this one.  I think the WH power cord is plugged into the furnace outlet -- I forget just what was going on there...

Thx for the comment about the pictures -- I loaded 2 the first time and then couldn't find the second one so I loaded another one -- I'm still getting the hang of this software, I guess.

There's not room to put it up any higher than it is really.  But I'll mention no flammables storage to the homeowners.

I'm pretty sure code would also require separate outlet for the WH... it should not be piggy backed off the breaker for the furnace...even though it is a low current device.   Similar rules (some states) are for separate outlets for washer & dryers (even gas dryers).

I'd still check current codes about seismic ties for WH...the northeast and midwest has had earthquakes... and other disasters... so I suspect even the PA state buiding codes may require some kind of simple tie to the structure.

Since there is power going to the vent fan for the furnace... you should also check to see if there is a requirement for bonding the water pipes to the earth ground at the electric panel...

It's all better now.  It's sitting plumb with glued PVC venting and the gas line is shorter, closer to the wall, and strapped to the floor joist above.  And I checked the gas line from the basement wall where the meter is all the way to the furnace and WH -- no leaks.

Cool... a success story... without the fireworks...

Amen! -- you can say that again.

I have been in the HVAC trade since 1986. I have recently completed a Home or Real Estate Inspection course for the state of Texas. I was also a licensed HVAC contractor in CA, WI and Washington State and a inspector for the village in Illinois I lived in.  In any case this water heater would have been "flagged" for multiple reasons.  As already mentioned, the gas pipe not being supported, the length is not really the issue but the amount not supported is, the vent is absolutely wrong and as an inspector I would refer to the installation manual, and last but not least the seismic bracing. Most recommendations are for 1/3 from the bottom and 1/3 from the top for bracing installation. One thing to remember about real estate inspectors is, they are not inspecting for code. They inspect for safety and wear and tear. Obvious should be the key word in these types of inspections.  If it is an obvious defect it will be brought to the attention of the buyer, but it is not required to be repaired.

My 2 cents.

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