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9 Things that Can Go Wrong During a Water Heater Installation

by Patti Althoff - Siwicki | Mar 28, 2017 | Property Manager, Plumbing, Water Heater | 0 Comments

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Do you need your current water heater replaced or a new water heater installed in a new building? If you do, there are some vital things you need to know when it comes to properly installing water heaters.

Calling all Professionals: Water Heater Installation Needed

Professional, licensed plumbers with the ability to pull permits are required for a water heater installation. The permits are important because it guarantees that the water heater installation is properly inspected for safety.  Water heaters that have not been properly installed and inspected can become a fire, explosion and health hazard for your building and occupants.

1. Bacterial Contamination

Legionella pneumophila is the bacteria that causes Legionaries disease.The bacteria can be found in potable water supplies and grows best in water that is between 95 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that water heaters should be set above 115 degrees in order to prevent the build-up of the bacteria in the system. Additionally, water heaters should be flushed of scale and other mineral deposits on an annual basis because legionella pneumophila can hide within the scale and dissolved contaminants.

2. Blocked Relief Valves

The Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve (TPR) is an essential water heater safety feature. It activates when the pressure inside the water heater becomes too great. If the TPR valve is improperly installed or blocked, the water heater can build-up too much pressure and explode, damaging the building and any occupants around the water heater or adjacent rooms.

3. Gas Lines

Gas water heaters require gas lines that provide fuel to the ignition system and burner. Improperly installed gas lines can leak, creating an explosion risk.

4. Ignition Sources

Hot water heaters must have a source of heat. This is often provided by either a flame, on a gas water heater, or a heating element, on an electric water heater. The ignition sources should be examined and cleaned regularly to remove any debris or dust. This helps prevent a hot water heater fire.

5. Improper Flues

Gas water heaters must be connected to a flue in order to properly vent combustion gasses. Improper venting and back-drafting can cause combustion fumes, including carbon monoxide to enter the building, resulting in a severe health risk to the occupants.

6. Improper Routine Maintenance

Water heaters must be properly maintained. This means inspecting the water pipes connected to the water heater, cleaning any debris and dust, checking the thermostats and safety valves and flushing the system. This helps prevent serious water heater safety issues and extends the useful life of the water heater.

7. Improper Thermostat Settings

Energy.gov recommends setting the thermostats on water heaters to 120 but no more than 140 degrees. Setting the thermostat lower decreases energy bills, prevents scalding and can slow the build-up of scale and other dissolved contaminants.

8. Water Leaks

Water heaters that are not installed correctly can leak, causing water and mold damage. If the leaks are not caught in a timely manner, the structural components surrounding the water heater can become severely damaged.

9. Wrong Size

Proper sizing of commercial and residential water heating systems are essential. If the water heater is too small, it will not provide enough hot water, and it will continuously run to create more hot water, which can cause the heater to fail prematurely and increase your energy bills.

Water Heaters Replacements and Installations with Althoff

Here at Althoff, we have professional plumbers that can install any size water heater for residential and commercial buildings, and they have the knowledge, experience and skill to pull the required permits and properly install the water heater. This helps ensure that your new hot water heater is installed properly and will provide you and your residents and employees with years of hot water.

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