First, pet peeves, then I'll get to the question... A number of things bug me about my clubs' checklists. When the CFI is telling me "just follow the checklists!" and yet the list has one setting the parking brake before start, but then before taxi, not releasing it, etc. it bugs the programmer in me. Also have to mention, I really get irritated with the Cessna "set fuel shutoff valve to ON" as fuel shutoff "on" to a programmer, or logical person, would mean the fuel is shut off after that step. They ought to call it "fuel enable" or "fuel flow" which would make sense being "on" meaning fuel is flowing. A shut-off is a negative thing, if "on" it shuts it off! But okay. These are nuance and "we know what they mean" but We have another point, about checking fuel (12 places on Cessna 172) for contaminant, water. I was "sure" (but wrong) that this was a Daily Inspection point. Meaning, as I understand it, the first flight of the day pilot has to do this, check it off in the log, and thereafter it is skipped in preflight. Checking now, I don't see the asterisk that is indicative of DI. But it does say you shouldn't move or disrupt the airplane before taking fuel samples "for a while". No time frame is given. So the main question to all of you experienced pilots is, HOW long is long enough? Say my rented plane comes in and lands, it's my turn to fly it, and I have to top up the tank for my flight. How long do I have to wait to check fuel at the 12 points to be sure I would see water if it was present? An aside, they also have you checking the elevator trim travel, in preflight, but then again in warm up too. Same thing with flight controls. I'm a stickler for checks, but even I think the chance of the flight controls to fail, or elevator to change between preflight and warm up is minimal. I'm only a dumbs student, so I don't dare question this logic. I would think this was a club that was doing extra good vigilance in their procedures, but the C172 I have been flying has had one of two landing lights out, even after the 100 hr. Check, and a door that doesn't lock, as well as vacuum system failure (just after 100 hr. Inspection). "Since we are VFR we don't need the DI an artificial horizon". I really wonder if this is the norm. It's a big club, but they only have one C172 with steam gauges, and it's been grounded lot of the summer. Yet still it is the same price to rent. I thi normal?