Water Heater Safety Notes

Water heater safety is of extreme importance. The temperature/pressure relief valve along with its drain line must be properly installed, well maintained, and periodically tested for the safety of your family. Inspectors will/should not miss any problem with this component. Manufacturers recommend periodic testing of this valve to ensure it functions properly. On a gas water heater the flue pipe must provide adequate drafting to prevent CO2 from escaping into the living space. The pipe must not contact combustible materials, ie., drywall or wood framing. Here are several common problems I find when I inspect a home:

– The valve is improperly installed – The drain line must not run uphill, cannot be reduced from its threaded size on the valve, cannot have any threaded fittings after the original threaded joint on the valve, and must terminate within six inches of the floor or ground.

– Installed with improper materials – The drain line cannot be installed with PVC pipe, only copper, hard pipe, or CPVC is allowed.

– The drain line cannot run into another drain line.

– The flue pipe has become dislodged and is not providing adequate drafting. The pipe is not properly terminated with clearance from combustible materials.

Is your water heater safe? Let me inspect it for you for the sake of the safety of your family.