Q:

What does a technician look for when inspecting a water heater?

A:

Quick Answer

Since water heaters create a significant amount of pressure, technicians look for signs that the water heater's structure is compromised and ensure that temperature and pressure relief valves are working. Gas-powered water heaters require investigating the gas connection to check for leaks.

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Full Answer

Water heaters are rated to withstand certain temperatures and pressures, but malfunctions and faulty sensors can cause the system to reach dangerous levels. To prevent explosions, water heaters have valves designed to open automatically if the system is outside safe limits. These valves are typically mechanical, not electrical, which ensures they open when needed. Technicians test these valves to ensure they are not blocked or obstructed.

Gas-powered water heaters, which are the most popular type in 2015, can cause problems if the gas line leaks, potentially leading to gas poisoning and even flashovers. Technicians check for premature signs of wear on these connections. They also check to ensure that both gas and water shutoff valves are reachable and function correctly.

Occasionally draining water from a water heater can also lead to better longevity, but sludge can build up near the base of the tank if it is not cleaned regularly. Since the integrity of the tank is necessary to ensure safe operation, technicians look for signs of wear before corrosion compromises the unit.

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