Thursday, January 14, 2016

Water Heater Safety

        Most of us take our Hot Water Heaters for granted, not knowing that it has a maintenance procedure that is mostly overlooked. This bit of information comes from personal experience. All hot water heaters come with a pressure relief valve usually located either at the top or side of the tank. It could have a lever, ring or other attachment to it. It is recommended that you exercise this valve (open it to relieve pressure) at least twice a year. Water deposits and normal contamination can and will cause this valve to stick closed and not function correctly. As water heats up the pressure in the water heater greatly increases. Until the pressure is relieved either by the relief valve or opening a faucet, toilet etc. the pressure can reach dangerous levels, especially at night when there is no household activity. Water leaks and major hot water heater explosions have been known to happen.

        My experience occurred when I noticed excessively high water pressure. It literally locked up a shower hot/cold valve to the point of not being able to turn it on. Upon investigating I found my relief valve stuck closed. After finally freeing it up and cycling it a few times to make sure it worked freely, my water pressure problem went completely away.

        Many, including myself, never realized the importance of this maintenance.

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