How to Reduce Water Heater Safety Concerns by Water Heater Repair Denver Properly maintaining ones water heater is vital not just so it works to its full potential and can save some energy money, but for safety concerns too. Yes, it can blow up - it doesn't happen too often for homeowners, but obviously this is something that we don't want to have happen to you!
Vents Venting can be kind of technical but we will go over the basics here. The vent should be the same diameter as the draft diverter of the water heater tank. It is supposed to go up and out (for atmospherically vented heaters). Not other directs like up, down, up and out. For direct-vent water heaters, the vent should go out a side wall. As for power-vent heaters, the fan blows the fumes out, so there is some flexibility in the direction they are vented. Any roof or wall that the vent goes through should be a double wall. The single wall pass throughs should be screwed with three screws per section. If these basics are not adhered to, the vents can fall apart over time and carbon monoxide can be cause major problems within ones home. Of course we don't want that to happen! The only other concern with venting is that of backdrafting. The fumes can eat the vents with acid condensation. If enough of this gets on cold piping and the water heater it will not be a good situation for a properly working water heater. If the fumes go back inside the instead of being properly vented outside, the fumes can enter the living areas of the home. Soot problems can arise as well.
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Dielectric Connectors The steel water heater is connected to cooper pipes by the dielectric connectors. When two these two metals are put together in water electrolysis happens. The process corrodes one metal away to protect the other. This process is vital in protecting the inside of the water heater. Inspection for leaks should be done where the connections are made.
Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve This is kinda of an important part of the water heater, for it helps make sure the darn thing does not explode under pressure of the temperature exceeds the correct limits the water heater is designed for. Once a year (at least) the T&P valve should be inspected to make sure it is working properly, for they can be prone to failure. Simply pulling up on the handle water should flow freely out and stop when the handle is let go of. If it just runs or drips, or does nothing at all, it will need to be replaced. The drain lines for the T&P line should not be routed up, cuz water doesn't flow uphill too well. Make sure it goes down and or out please. If water is running out the drain line regularly, it is the sign of something wrong too. It could be one of several different things that we will not go into here - just contact a local plumber please.
Earthquake Straps Yep, even if you don't live in an earthquake zone and are required to have these on ones water heater, it is a good idea to do so. It seems like most all new homes in sub-divisions these days have the water heater in the garage. Yes, there is usually a concert curb in front of it so one does not drive a car into it, but things can accidentally knock it over so be safe and strap that thank in.
Temperature Setting It seems most residential water heater tanks have settings of warm - hot- very hot...and not degree settings. Some "tips" on conserving energy at home especially in the winter time, say to lower the setting on the tank to 120 degrees. That's great for saving energy but legionella bacteria, which causes Legionnaire's disease can grow at 120 degrees. By inhaling the mist from the water in the shower, one can inhale the bacteria. Try to find a medium between 130 and 120 degrees. Above 130 degrees is technically a scalding temperature so be careful.
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Anode Rods These typically are made of aluminum and there is nothing wrong with that in theory, though we suggest using magnesium ones. Let's say for whatever reason there is some type of emergency or disaster where one lives and one had to use the water in the water heater for drinking water (because lots of emergency preparedness people advise doing so). The water that comes out of the drain valve is the water at the bottom of the tank. If one has aluminum anodes, that water will be laden with aluminum compounds, which is not good for the human body. It is bad for the stomach, intestines and joints. The anodes help with rust protection and are vital in prolonging the life of the water heater. They can also help with odor problems with the water. Overall, magnesium anodes just work better for lots of different reasons like the health benefits, let build up of sediment, a quieter water heater, and they tend to work better with softened water.
Drain Valve Ok, just check it at least once a year to make sure the darn thing opens and works. At it good to drain and flush the tank at least once a year anyway (something you of course are doing already). If for some reason one needs to use the water during a disaster or drain it to quite a noisy tank and have not drained it regularly, and it doesn't open, it will take longer to correct the problem you are initially trying to fix.
Combustion Changer Hatch Since gas and oil water heaters breathe the air sucked in from underneath, combust with it and exhale it, it is important to keep the area around it, specially underneath the water heater, clean and swept. If if is not burning properly, it can cause drafting issues (mentioned above), as well as combustion and fume problems and potentially be a fire hazard. Some of examining the chamber and how the flame burns is objective so we are not going to go into a lot of detail here. it is important to see if the combustion chamber roof has a lot of rust or water markings or is black in color. These are not a good sign at all. One should see some blue flame at the bottom when it burns and orange and yellow at the top, however, the yellow should not be super high up. One should see gray metal, some white condensation marks are ok. Water Heater Repair Denver is available to assist with any questions you may have. We offer Water Heater Replacement and Installations, Drain Cleaning and just about any type of general plumbing repair.
Water Heater Repair Denver