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Some Important Water Heater Safety Tips

water-heater-plumbing-toolsYou may have heard stories about water heaters that turn into rockets that blast through the roof and into the sky because they haven’t been kept in good repair. This may sound a ­bit exaggerated, but it has been known to happen on occasion. (There was even a Mythbusters episode that discovered it’s not a myth.) But there are other smaller dangers that can develop in water heaters if they don’t receive regular care and some checks now and then.

We’ve put together a few tips to make sure that your water heater stays safe all around the year—and stays in great working condition. When you need extra assistance, such as repairs and maintenance, our plumbers can take care of it.

First: Always Arrange for Regular Maintenance

Routine maintenance is an important step for any heating and air conditioning system. But it’s also critical for water heaters, many of which are natural gas systems that operate on the same principles as natural gas furnaces. We recommend that you have maintenance done each year. One of our plumbers will come to your home and inspect the water heater, looking for gas leaks or broken heating elements, as well as checking on all the various safety systems, such as the ones listed below. The maintenance also includes important cleaning and adjustments that will help your water heater work at minimum risk of repair problems and energy inefficiency.

Second: Check the T&P Valve

What’s this? It’s the temperature and pressure valve. This valve releases extra pressure from a water heater’s tank to prevent pressure build up. Yes, this could turn the water heater into that frightful house-wrecking rocket you’ve heard about, but the more immediate danger is that it can cause leaks and lead to damage to important components. To test the T&P valve, flip the lever and then put it back in place; if it’s in good shape, there should be some small release of water.

Third: Lower the Temperature

The temperature on a water heater is run by a control called an aquastat. The aquastat should be set between 120°F and 130°F. If it’s set higher, it can create unsafe conditions—including scalding hot water coming from the taps! A setting of 140°F (we’ve actually seen some websites recommend this!) is definitely too hot.

Fourth: Only Let Professionals Handled Repairs and New Installations

Water heaters are major appliances, and they require professional training to repair or install. Never attempt to repair a malfunctioning water heater on your own or allow an amateur to do it. This can backfire in numerous ways. Rely on professional plumbers like our for any water heater service, from helping you to select a new one to cleaning off dirty burners.

For any water heater services in Winter Springs, FL and elsewhere in Central Florida you may need, contact our team. We’ve been taking care of water heaters since starting in business more than 40 years ago. We not only work on storage tank water heaters but also high-efficiency tankless water heaters and hybrid water heaters.

Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. has served Central Florida since 1975.

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