The hot water heater represents one of the greatest hazards in the modern home, yet far too many homeowners have never read their heater’s owner’s manual. Common dangers associated with these household appliances include severe burns from scalding water, electric shock hazards, explosions, and fire.
Because most water heaters reside in closets, basements and garages, and are for the most part hidden from our daily lives, many aren’t as aware as they should be of the maintenance and precautions which are necessary for safety. Many homeowners don’t know, for instance, that they should drain and flush a hot water heater every six months, to prevent sediment buildup. Others are unaware that hydrogen gas can build up inside electrically heated hot water systems when they remain inactive for two weeks or more. Hydrogen buildup requires carefully performed procedures to safely remove this flammable gas from hot water pipes. Many don’t know how and why water softening systems shorten the lives of water heaters, or that every electric hot water heater should be properly grounded with the correct gauge of copper wire.
Correct safety and maintenance measures covered in a water heater’s manual are extremely important for household safety, so every homeowner should study this to learn how to properly maintain their hot water systems. It’s also extremely important to understand the electrical dangers these appliances represent. Because a hot water heater contains electrical heating elements immersed in water, these elements can deteriorate with age and short out electrically to the water heater’s metal casing. When this happens, it’s possible to receive a severe and perhaps fatal shock when touching the hot water heater’s housing or connecting pipes. If you do not have the necessary skills to work safely around high voltage electrical conditions, you should always call a professional electrician any time you suspect a problem with your hot water heater or when you have any other electrical concerns.
When any questions about electrical safety arise, please call Bryant Electric Service at 512-402-8587. Our electricians are trained and equipped to identify any type of hazardous electrical condition, and to determine the proper repair procedures.