Water heaters are useful appliances in modern living. What some people don’t know is that these plumbing fixtures can become a hazard if not taken care properly. In the case the residential water heaters the responsibility is the homeowner to maintain their own heating system or have it inspected for potential problems. If you’re still not familiar on how to do basic residential water heater safety then you should check out these tips:
- Temperature and Pressure Relief valve must be working
The temperature and pressure relief valve is a safety mechanism of a standard storage water heater. Its purpose is to release water if ever the water heater cannot sustain the temperature and pressure anymore. By releasing water the valve helps subside the pressure and prevent the water heater from exploding.
Fortunately, checking the valve’s functionality is easy. All you have to do is pull the lever on top of the valve and observe if water is dispersing out. If you noticed that there is no water coming out or there are only drips then it’s clear that the valve is malfunctioning. Replace the valve or have a plumber do further inspection for other possible problems.
- Always set your thermostat within the recommended settings (48°C to 60°C)
The temperature setting of your thermostat should be within 48°C to 60°C. This recommended range prevents the water heater from going overboard with dangerous high temperatures. A word of caution: although it may sound like a great idea to go lower than 48°C to further lessen the risks of overheating and to save energy, it’s actually highly discouraged. The reason for this is that harmful pathogens can produce in low temperature. You could be of risks in acquiring water-borne disease so you should keep it safe and just stay within the recommended settings.
- Be careful when insulating your water heater
Insulating the water heater can aid in lowering heat loss and it can also protect the heating system from freezing. However, you must be aware of what you’re covering. You see, some parts of the water heater mustn’t be concealed. For example: the T&P valve needs to disperse water and therefore must have an open outlet.
Covering the valve will be disastrous for your water heater since the pressure and water can’t be released. Accumulated water and pressure will continue to build-up and will most likely cause an explosion. You need to be even more careful with gas water heaters since it needs a lot of inflow clearance to properly heat.
- Use straps to prevent your water heater from falling during an earthquake
You don’t have to live in an earthquake-prone area to consider using straps for your water heater. An earthquake can happen anywhere so you need to be prepared just in case it happens. Water heater tanks that fall during an earthquake can possibly cause fires or explosions. You can purchase a strap kit to tightly secure your water heater unit in place.