24 Mar

Water Heater Safety Tips: Prevent Fires, Burns and Explosions

Fires caused by water heaters seem to make the news regularly. We hear stories about water heaters causing devastating fires and injury, not to mention loss of belongings and even entire homes. We tend to take our water heaters for granted; if you are getting hot water when you need it, then water heater safety is essentially out of sight-out of mind. However, taking the time to regularly inspect your water heater and employ these water heater safety tips can go a long way in preventing a catastrophe. Please don’t accidentally blow up your home!

Water Heater Safety Tips 

1. Keep the temperature at or around 130 degrees. 

If the temperature is higher than that, you run the risk of scalding. Higher temperatures also encourage sediment build up and waste energy. 120 degrees is the recommended setting if you have infants and small children at home. Setting the temperature any lower can cause bacteria to grow in your water and make you sick. 

When you go on vacation, turn the temperature to its lowest setting. This will help prevent potential problems while you are away, and save energy.

2. Check for proper ventilation

A poorly vented draft can cause carbon monoxide and fumes to drift back into a room instead of going outside. A properly vented water heater will have a vent that goes straight up and out, without any drips. The vent should be the same diameter as the draft diverter.

3. Disaster proofing:

Earthquakes and floods, while not common, are a possibility in this region. Strapping your water heater to the wall will prevent it from falling over, which can sever a gas line. BOOM! Additionally, if your device is in the garage, raising the pilot light 18 inches off the floor will help prevent gasoline vapors from your car igniting the pilot light.

Strangely enough, strapping your water heater to the wall can deter its theft. Copper piping and water heaters are routinely stolen and sold for their value as scrap metal. 

4. Keep the area clear

Remove any combustibles and debris from around the water heater area. Keeping the area neat and clean can go a long way toward keeping your home safe. Keep flammable liquids away, even bug bombs. If you need to use those types of materials in the area, extinguish the pilot light temporarily while you are using the flammable. Also, don’t use pipe wrap or insulation within six inches of the draft hood or exhaust vent. 

5. Have a professional inspection done annually

A Casey’s Plumbing professional can come to take a look at your water heater and make recommendations for you as to the health and quality of your current system. We are the best in the business for water heater inspection, installation, and most of all, our fantastic warranty. We genuinely care about your experience with our service. Give us a call any time!

Westside: (Beaverton, Tigard, Lake Oswego) 503-620-9111

Eastside: (Gresham, Troutdale, West Linn) 503-253-0030

water heater safety tips

Stay safe!

About Karen Mares

A Portlander born and raised, Karen lives in Southwest Portland with her husband and children. Karen has kept journals throughout her life, and she began her personal blog, Random Thoughts From A Suburban Mom in 2007. She hasn't stopped writing online since, channeling her passion for words and information into writing and communicating through social media and blogging.