What Are FHA Appraisal Guidelines for Hot Water Heaters?

The FHA appraisal guidelines for hot water heaters are guidelines that the Federal Housing Administration uses when appraising homes. You can find FHA appraisal rules in HUD 4000.1. The HUD 4000.1 is the rule book for all Federal Housing Administration single-family mortgage loans, refinancing, and reverse mortgages.

What Do the FHA Appraisal Guidelines for Water Heaters State?

FHA appraisal guidelines for hot water heaters suggest asking the homeowner about different fuel types used to heat their water and inquiring about how often the heater is used and how long it runs.

The FHA’s appraisal guidelines for water heaters state that the appraiser should examine the heating systems to determine if they are adequate for healthful and comfortable living conditions. A heating system should provide comfort and good health regardless of its design, fuel, or heat source.

It is normal to encounter situations where the heating system installed is not well equipped to manage the entire residence. FHA appraisal guidelines for water heaters address this issue.

When The Appraiser Should Contact The Homeowner Of Deficiencies

According to the FHA appraisal guidelines for water heaters, the appraiser should notify the Mortgagee of the deficiency of MPS or MPR if the permanently installed heating system does not do the following:

  • Automatically heat the living environs of the house to a minimum of 50 degrees Fahrenheit, or 10 degrees celsius, in all GLAs, and in non-GLAs that contain building or system components. These components should be those subject to failure or damage due to freezing.
  • Rely upon a readily available fuel source, which is obtainable within the subject’s geographic area.
  • Provide comfortable and healthful heat.
  • Ensure the safety of the operators.
  • Have a general market acceptance within the subject’s area.
  • Operate without human intervention for long periods.

Additional FHA Appraisal Guidelines For Hot Water Heaters

Additional guidelines state that centralized systems are not required but, if installed, must be operational and meet the above-mentioned required standard.

Suppose the water heating system is not operational. In that case, the appraiser should indicate the level of deferred maintenance, provide an analysis and a report on the effect on marketability, and include the cost to cure.

The appraiser must also ensure that the water heater has a temperature and pressure-relief valve. These will help release pressure and safely divert escaping steam or hot water.

Water Heater Strap Code Requirement

Federal Housing Administration appraisal guidelines also require all water heaters in California and Nevada to be strapped to resist motion in the event of unforeseen circumstances such as earthquakes. 

You can achieve this by installing an over-the-counter water heater strap code.

The guidelines also state that all water heaters must be strapped in two locations. These are the upper one-third of the unit and the lower one-third.

The lower strap should be at least 4 inches above the water heater control unit.

Water heater strap codes are essential because of their dual purpose to protect the water heater and prevent injury to people. They ensure that the water heater is securely attached to the wall. Without water heater strap codes, a water heater will potentially tip over and cause injury if hit by an external force.

Suppose a water heater is installed in a room. In that case, the appraiser may require to file documentation proving that the appliance is strong enough to withstand vibration. The appraiser must also note down any other devices on the property which could be susceptible to damage from vibrations. Check your local FHA appraisal guidelines for hot water heaters strap codes requirements.

Water Heater Inspection Requirement

Inspection of water heaters is an essential part of the FHA appraisal guidelines for water heaters. An appraiser needs to know that the heating system should be inspected by an inspector and the report documented.

Guidelines state that only qualified individuals, such as licensed plumbers, may install water heaters. Inspections should also be done by a qualified inspector who will certify the compliance of water heaters in the home.

Operational Tests By Appraiser Requirement

According to the FHA appraisal guidelines for water heaters, the appraiser must make a concentrated effort to test all of the equipment required to be operational.

The appraiser must test all of the following:

  • The temperature and pressure relief valve.
  • Hot water at the thermostat setting or valve. Some valves require hot water supplied from a secondary source.
  • The venting of the water heater.
  • The water inlet and return lines.
  • Storage tank temperature control and relief valve.
  • Water heater strap codes.

Lines And Components Tests By Appraiser Requirement

According to the FHA appraisal guidelines for water heaters, it is essential to examine all accessible lines and components of the hot water heating system.

The appraiser must also inspect and verify all of the following:

  1. The condition of the water inlet and return lines.
  2. The level of insulation around the heaters on the water heater.
  3. The presence of an insulation blanket around the hot water tank.
  4. The presence of a temperature and pressure relief valve.
  5. The functionality of the temperature and pressure relief valve.

The appraiser must also test all accessible components such as valves, stops, and switches to determine if they are operative and tested.

If any of these items are not present, it may affect its safety or condition, which will hurt marketability.

And lastly, the appraiser must also test and inspect the entire heating system. Most of the time, it will be found that there are some significant problems with the system, especially issues that can cause safety hazards and issues that could affect its operation.

FHA appraisal guidelines for water heaters have also been updated to include inspection of hot water storage tanks.

What Appraiser Should Include On Appraisal Report

The appraiser should include information about the problem and its risks to the home’s condition in his appraisal report.

Some common problems include:

  • Missing thermostats.
  • Defective thermostats.
  • Inoperable pressure relief valves.
  • No PRV or missing discharge piping from the PRV.
  • Missing shut-off valves at the water heater.
  • Defective switches.
  • Defective and wiring.
  • Defective filters.
  • Defective water heater strap codes.
  • Defective pressure switches.

Are FHA Appraisal Guidelines For Hot Water Heaters Required?

It’s essential to understand that FHA does not create or enforce its code. Instead, it refers to the local code for water heater requirements where applicable.

Suppose the state’s local code requires only a particular type of water heater straps, pressure release valves, or requires a water heater to be on or off the ground. In that case, that’s what a homeowner, real estate agent or appraiser should adhere to during installation and operation.

The water heater strap code or strapping rule mentioned above is a good example. It is essential to understand the rule is enacted by the state of California rather than the Federal Housing Administration. But all appraisers within California are bound by FHA rules to comply with this water heater strapping rule. This is the case in all other states.

Importance of FHA Appraisal Guidelines for Hot Water Heaters

FHA appraisal guidelines for water heaters are an essential part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. FHA has made these guidelines to ensure that the home buyer gets a good quality home that is safe and durable enough.

These guidelines are essential to ensure that your buying property meets required health standards. They also go a long way in ensuring appraisers provide a comfortable living environment for home buyers.

FHA appraisal guidelines for water heaters are the only way for the appraiser to ensure that the property you are about to buy is safe and secure enough for your family. It is important to remember that these guidelines are not limited only to low-income properties. This is for every property and should always be followed to avoid any issues in the future.

Consult An Expert For FHA Appraisal Guidelines For Hot Water Heaters

Whenever in need of appraisal services, remember to consult experts. At ExcelAppraise, we are dedicated to providing the best professional services for home buyers.

If you have any concerns about the Federal Housing Administration guidelines for water heaters or would like to consult on any other issues, call us at 1-801-882-2292 or request a quote today! We will be happy to review your concerns or talk about a solution.

You can also contact us to learn more about our appraisal services and how we can assist you in meeting your appraisal needs. We look forward to working with you!

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