Your water heater may remain unseen, hidden in a utility closet or sitting alone in a basement. Keep in mind, though, that it needs regular maintenance for safety reasons and to prevent water damage to your home. Nationwide® Private Client Risk Solutions recommends the following simple and low-cost steps to help prevent a failure.
Water heater parts
Most residential tanks hold 40 to 60 gallons and must be able to hold the pressure of a residential water system, which typically runs at 50 to 100 pounds per square inch (psi). Steel tanks are tested to handle 300 psi and normally have a bonded-glass liner to keep rust from the water, as well as insulation surrounding the tank. Other water heater parts include:
Temperature or pressure relief valve
A temperature or pressure relief valve helps prevent a tank from exploding if temperature or pressure exceeds safe limits. Unfortunately, residential valves are somewhat prone to failure. As part of your annual water heater care, test this valve by:
On residential tanks, the settings are normally warm, hot, very hot or something similar. There is so much variation on what these settings mean, but the right temperature is at least 120 degrees at the tap, which you can test with a meat or candy thermometer. It is important to keep the temperature close to 120 degrees to kill germs.
When leaving for vacation, set the hot water heater temperature at its lowest setting. This will save money and reduce the risk of any problems while you are away.
A poor draft can cause harmful fumes and carbon monoxide to come back into the room instead of going outside. To maintain good ventilation, make sure that:
Double strapping your water heater to secure it in place is required in states where earthquakes are possible. Even if you live outside a code-enforced region, proper strapping is recommended. If your water heater were to fall over, an unsecured water heater could sever the gas line and cause an explosion.
Additional water heater safety tips
Keep safe by following these water heater recommendations:
Contact a licensed plumber to assist you with the above safety measures, as needed. If you have any questions, please contact your agent or Nationwide Private Client Risk Solutions professional.
For more information on how you can help prevent losses, visit nationwide.com/solutionseries.
We offer this information to assist you in making decisions that can help mitigate your risk. While we cannot address every possible scenario or guarantee these tips will work for you, our goal is to support your efforts to protect yourself and your family.