Learn About Your Home’s Water Heater

December, 2013 by

Your home’s water heater is relatively simple, but its simplicity won’t keep it from eventually developing problems. Knowing how your water heater works, and how to handle issues that arise, can help you avoid problems that are more serious.

Wait….Where’s my Water Heater Again?

Many people completely forget about their water heaters, unless there is a problem. It’s usually a case of “out of sight, out of mind”–your water heater is likely in an out-of-the-way part of your home, and in most cases it does its job without a fuss. However, forgetting about them can be a mistake.

Worst-Case Scenarios for Water Heaters

Unlike some parts of your home, when a water heater fails, it sometimes doesn’t quit working completely. In some cases, you can find yourself dealing with gallons of boiling hot water, or you could even have a fire, explosion or release of carbon monoxide. It’s important to pay attention to your water heater–have it inspected each year, and have it regularly maintained by a professional.

The Basics on Water Heaters

Most water heaters are simple, and they have changed very little in the past half-century. However, they have undergone some refinements, and today’s water heaters are more efficient, last longer, and are safer. All heaters convert energy into heat, transferring that heat to your water. A pipe supplies cold water, and pipes also take hot water to your home’s appliances and taps. There are different designs available, but most water heaters in the US use a holding tank fueled by electricity or gas.

Safety and Maintenance

There are certain procedures you should follow to keep your water heater running safely, such as:

*     Having regular inspections. There is glass on the inside of your water tank to prevent rust, but the outside of the tank is vulnerable. Watch for flaking paint, leaks and corrosion.

*     Periodically draining the water heater’s tank to remove sediment, and asking a professional to test the thermostat and pressure valve to ensure safe operation





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