Gas and Electric Hot Water Heaters
What to do if your gas or electric hot water tank is leaking?
If you discover a leaking or burst hot water heater, its important to act quickly before any significant property damage occurs. To lessen damage due to a water heater flood:
- Shut off the gas (if applicable) and water supply to the water heater
-a shut-off valve should be located on the cold water supply to the hot water heater. If not present, turn off the main water shut-off valve supplying the house. To turn off the gas, locate the valve on the gas line near the heater and turn clockwise until it stops.
- Switch off the electrical power supply to the water heater.
-locate the hot water tank breaker in the main electrical panel and switch off the breaker
- Call Garden City Plumbing Ltd. at 778-433-3123 to assess your hot water heater and water system.
In cases where flooding is extensive and damage has occurred, you should consult your homeowner's insurance provider for advice.
Hot water heater safety - Thermostatic Mixing Valves
Thermostatic mixing valves (sometimes know as hot water mixing valve or tempering valve) are valves that premix hot and cold water at the water heater or at a plumbing fixture such as a basin sink faucet. These valves help ensure a safe water temperature at the point of use.
If you have children or elderly people living in your home the risk of a hot water scald is increased. In many cases your hot water heater's thermostat may be turned up too hot. The Canada Safety Council recommends that hot water heaters store hot water at a temperature at 140F (60C) to reduce the chance of waterborne bacteria from forming. However, water stored at this temperature can cause 3rd degree burns and should always be mixed with cold water at the faucet or fixture.
We can assess the safety of your hot water system and install thermostatic mixing valves for point of use or the whole water supply system and ensure your water system's safe from bacterial growth and scalding temperatures.
Read more about thermostatic mixing valves from Watts Canada here.
Anode Rod Replacement
Did you know that you can prolong the life of your hot water heater and reduce the risk of a flood by performing some basic maintenance on your hot water heater? Draining the tank and flushing it out once a year is good practice to remove any sediment in the tank.
Checking or replacing the Anode rod every 1-2 years can extend the life of your water heater and prevent a catastrophic leak or tank burst. The Anode rod acts as a sacrificial metal rod that corrodes away before the inner walls of the water tank or the water heater elements corrode, leaving you with a weakened, rusting and leaking tank; a potential disaster. Checking the anode rod once a year lets you know if the anode rod has been depleted, if it is, it needs to be replaced.
Water Heater Drain Pans
A water heater drain pan should be installed underneath a hot water heater to protect your home from a leaking hot water tank or leaking, dripping relief valve. The drain pan must be connected to a drain to direct the water away if a leak occurs. If not, you may be in for some major damage to your home or property. Some insurance companies won't cover a homeowner if a hot water heater is not adequately protected from leakage.
If you are unsure if your water heater is protected or if you think you need a drain pan installed, call us. We Your plumber in Victoria, Oak bay, and Sidney and North Saanich.
Thermal Expansion Tanks
As water is heated in your hot water tank, it expands and raises the pressure throughout the pipes in your home's plumbing system. This pressure can trip the Temperature and Pressure relief valve located on your hot water heater and cause it to drip, leaving a mineral deposit in the valve. This deposit could render the safety valve useless, and potentially cause a dangerous condition. Higher pressures in a plumbing system can cause early failure of your plumbing system.
You can protect your plumbing system by having our licensed plumbers install a properly sized thermal expansion tank (or hot water expansion tank) in your plumbing system that allows for the extra volume from your water heater.
Detecting a water heater leak
Check out this very informative video about hot water heater leak detection.