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McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
What makes a tabletop water heater different than a regular water heater?
Monday, June 11, 2018
It is a water heater enclosed in a white metal cabinet that looks at first glance like a laundry appliance without any control dials. We don’t see too many of them anymore, and they are usually—for some reason—installed in the kitchen or laundry room of older, country houses.
Pros and Cons Of A Tabletop
The advantage of their design is that it enables a homeowner to install a water heater neatly in a living area of the home with the pipes and valves concealed. Plus, the top provides usable counter surface.
The single disadvantage is that, because the plumbing is completely concealed, any galvanic corrosion or other plumbing problems that would ordinarily be visible at the top of a regular water heater are hidden. When we inspect one, it is usually the first time the top access cover panel has come off since it was originally installed. We found extensive corrosion and no T&P discharge piping concealed under the top panel of the older tabletop unit shown below.
Common Water Heater Installation Mistakes To Avoid
To learn about what can go wrong with water heater installation, see our blog post What are the most common installation mistakes with water heater replacement?
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Here’s links to a collection of more blog posts about WATER HEATERS:
• What is the minimum clearance to doors and windows for an outdoor tankless gas water heater?
• What is required clearance for access and working space in front of an electric water heater?
• Why is the water heater older than the house?
• Does a water heater need a shut-off valve?
• Why should a tankless water heater have an isolator/service valve kit installed?
• When was a gas water heater first required to be elevated 18 inches above a garage floor?
• Can the temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valve discharge pipe for a mobile/manufactured home water heater terminate under the home?
• What is the purpose of a thermostatic mixing valve above a water heater?
• Does a tankless gas water heater still work with no electricity during a power outage?
• Why do water heaters have a sacrificial anode?
• What is the difference between a manufactured/mobile home water heater and a regular water heater?
• Does a tankless water heater require a pressure relief valve?
• When is a water heater drain pan required?
• Why is there water in my water heater drain pan?
• What does it mean when a water heater Temperature/Pressure Relief (TPR) discharge pipe is "trapped"?
• Can I leave a gas water heater in place when remodeling a garage into a family room or bedroom?
• Where do I find the water heater in a mobile home?
• Does a tankless water heater in an attic require a drain pan?
• What's that powdery crust on the pipe connections at the water heater?
• What are the most common installation mistakes with water heater replacement?
• Why is my water heater making strange (rumbling, gurgling, knocking or banging) noises?
• What can I do to make my water heater last longer?
• How can I determine the age of a water heater if the serial number is missing or decoding it is impossible?
• How does a hydronic heating system work?
• What is backdrafting at a gas water heater?
• How do I determine if a water heater is gas or electric?
• What does it mean when a gas appliance (water heater, furnace, or range) has been "red tagged"?
• What's the valve with the flip-up handle on the water heater for?
• Why is an older water heater an insurance problem?
Visit our WATER HEATERS page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.
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