Plumbing Tips from an Avid DIY-er

5 Safety Tips For A Propane Hot Water Heater

Water heaters probably aren't the first thing you think of when you're considering potential dangers in your home. And it's true that when well-cared for and safely operated, they can be reliable producers of warm water. But you need to be aware of the potential problems so that you can avoid them. Here are some safety tips for a propane hot water heater.

1. Make sure your tank gets drained regularly

If your tank doesn't get flushed out on occasion, the sediment that builds up can isolate the bottom of the tank from the rest of the water. This keeps it from being protected from rust, meaning that the bottom of the tank can rust out and cause leaking and flooding. As long as your water doesn't have a lot of particles or dissolved minerals, you'll only need to have your tank flushed around once a year.

2. Check the anode rod and TPR valve

The anode is what protects the inside of your tank from rust, so if it goes bad your entire tank is liable to rust out. Fortunately, these rods generally last several years, and checking yours is pretty straightforward. The TPR valve also needs to be checked on a regular basis. If there's water coming out of the valve, you should call out a professional for a service visit. Otherwise, having the valve checked once or twice a year by a professional is probably all that's needed.

3. Have professional maintenance done

Yes, a professional can check all the aforementioned items, but there's more to it than that. A professional can also check the the propane supply for leaks, make sure the venting system is working correctly and installed correctly (for example, the vent should lead straight to the outdoors with no doubling back on itself), and more. 

4. Install propane gas detectors and carbon monoxide detectors

These detectors can alert you if there's a problem with your venting or with your gas line. This is critical because, especially in the case of carbon monoxide, you might not otherwise detect the problem until after it occurs (and carbon monoxide is a life-threatening problem).

5. Be careful not to run out of propane

Running out of propane gas leaves you open to several hazards, such as leaks, condensation buildup, and more. So be sure to keep the deliveries regular and if you're running low, stop using your propane appliances until you can replenish your supply.

These five safety tips will help you live in harmony with your propane hot water heater and keep it in safe working condition. Contact a company, like All American Plumbing & Heating, for more help.