Water heaters are the silent sentinels of our homes. They receive very little attention from us on an annual basis, yet we expect them to perform at the highest levels every single day.

Instant hot water is required for the normal functioning of our homes. Without fail.

When the water heaters break, repairs are urgent and expensive. However, these appliance behemoths give us signs that they need maintenance or attention before catastrophe strikes. Identifying these clues is what today’s episode of The Arizona Report™ is all about.

Recognizing the signs of stress on your water heater early can save you hundreds of dollars in service calls or thousands in repairs after a flooding. If you are not confident about examining your mechanical appliances, a qualified home inspection can uncover deficiencies for you.

Join me and studio guest Dr. Dan Haydon to discuss water heaters. Dan is a veteran Phoenix home inspector and has evaluated thousands of water heaters for homebuyers since the 1990s. Here is my interview:

Don't Let Your Water Heater Get You Into Hot Water #8


Topics discussed with Dan Haydon in this episode include:

  • the main types of residential water heaters
  • visual conditions that could indicate a safety problem
  • why water heaters in some homes are elevated 18″ off of the floor
  • when water heaters require an emergency catch pan or drain pan
  • life expectancy of gas and electric water heaters
  • the mechanical item that every cold water line on a water heater should have
  • the risk of wrapping your water heater with a thermal blanket
  • a description of water heater maintenance
  • the TPR valve
  • the purpose of the sacrificial anode rod inside a water heater
  • why a sulfur odor develops at the faucet
  • problems with vent pipes on a water heater
  • what a browning of the exterior of a gas water heater means

This episode was recorded in our Scottsdale studio on August 23, 2017. It was initially published on April 13, 2019.


No electricity, no hot water, no heat – at times, we struggled. We’d wake up in the morning and wash with water we heated on a hot plate. And we’d go to bed at night wearing skull caps, sweat shirts, and gloves. – Jalen Rose, American professional basketball player, and ESPN sports analyst