The Operating Systems, Lower Level, Interior and Exterior Inspection sections are EXTREMELY condensed versions of those found in our home inspection book: Home Inspection Business From A to Z
Real Estate Appraisers are not required to be home inspectors. However, I will include these sections anyway to give you some basic details about home inspections.
House Water Heaters
Usually the water heaters are a separate unit but can be immersion coils inside boilers. Separate water heater units can be gas, oil or electrically heated. An immersion coil system has water pipes that carry cold water inside a coil located in the side of the boiler. The coils are actually immersed in the hot boiler water, hence you get the name immersion coils.
The standard size water heater for a single family house is 40 gallons. Sometimes you'll find an oversized water heater in the house. It's not as energy efficient because a lot of water will be heated and then it will just sit in the tank without being used.
Check for any rust or water leaking conditions on the unit. The water heater should be kept on the warm setting for maximum efficiency and life expectancy. The life expectancy of a water heater is 10-12 years. A high temperature setting will cause the unit to constantly be heating water higher than is necessary which can cause premature failure.
During your interior inspection, check the water at some of the faucets and tubs. You want to make sure that adequate hot water is available.