Essential Steps For Protecting Your Hot Water Heater

Posted on: 26 July 2016

Hot water heaters are an essential appliance for a modern home. Hot water is used in a large variety of applications and it is simply too inconvenient to heat water manually. However, hot water heaters can be safety hazards if the right precautions are not followed.

Size The Vents Properly

The vents need to be the same diameter as the draft diverter of the tank. Whenever the vent passes through a wall or roof, it will need to be double-walled. Vents that are connected need to be secured by at least three screws. Vents in earthquake zones are the most likely to come apart if they are not properly connected, but this can occur with any vent.

Maintain The Relief Valve

Water heater tanks would explode if it were not for the pressure relief valves. However, the residential valves will sometimes fail. To make sure that the valve is working properly, pull up on the handle and see if water flows freely out of it. Also, it is essential to flush the hot water heater once a year to prevent sediment buildup. Safety valves are essential, because the most dangerous hot water heater is one that will not shut off, which can cause it to overheat the home and pose a fire hazard.

Check For Gas Leaks

Another cause of a hot water heater explosion is a gas leak. Gas-powered hot water heaters can ignite if there is a gas leak and trigger a fiery explosion. If you ever smell natural gas, which has a rotting egg smell, contact your utilities to have the gas shut off and have a repair technician correct your hot water heater. Also, if you lower the temperature of your hot water heater, you are much less likely to suffer an explosion. 

Set The Right Temperature

Water heaters can burn or scald if the temperature is set too high. The hot water heater should ideally be set at 104 degrees Fahrenheit and no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Hot water heaters eventually wear out and will need to be replaced. If your hot water heater is older than 10 years, you should contact a water heater installation company that can install a newer model that will be less prone to fail and will be more efficient. You will always want to leave repairs and installations to professionals because the incorrect installation of a hot water heater can make it much less safe.

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