Gas hot water system technology is highly beneficial. It ensures a constant source of hot water for bathing, washing dishes, doing laundry and more, even if the power were to go out (assuming you are also connected to the municipal water system).
There are numerous other benefits, too, including the fact that they are often cheaper to operate than electric systems, and that they are available in a number of types, including storage and continuous flow options to suit your budget and needs.
With that being said, there are a few things you should do to ensure safety in your home.
Set Your Temperature Lower
Most of the time, a gas hot water system will be set to a relatively high temperature, around 60 degrees C. That is enough to scald a child within mere seconds. You can reduce that chance of harm without significantly reducing the heat of your water just by turning the temperature down to around 51 degrees C.
If you are not sure how to adjust the temperature of your system, contact your local plumber or the company that installed your water heater.
Note that it can take as long as 24 hours for the heat level in your tank to reduce. To check the temperature, you will need a thermometer – run the water at the tap until it gets hot, and then check the temperature. If it is within the safe range, you can go on without additional steps. If not, you will need to check the temperature again later, or make sure that you have adjusted your water heater’s thermostat properly.
Carbon Monoxide Sensors
With a gas hot water system, there is always some risk of carbon monoxide. This is an odourless, colourless gas that is heavier than air, and results from the burning of natural gas. If the installation area where your water heater is situated is poorly ventilated, it can allow carbon monoxide to linger or even spread throughout your home.
Carbon monoxide sensors (often combined with smoke detectors) alert you to this threat and allow you the peace of mind that you deserve. However, note that if you have a new gas water heater installed outside your home carbon monoxide is not a concern, as it vents into the atmosphere.
Check Your Ventilation Regularly
The vent where your water heater is located must remain free and clear of any blockages. Check the vent regularly to make sure that there is nothing blocking the opening. The vent shaft should also be the same diameter as the draft inverter located on the tank – neither larger nor smaller. Again, a gas hot water system installed outdoors will not have these considerations.
Upgrade When Possible
Older gas hot water tanks should be replaced when necessary. We highly recommend installing an outdoor gas hot water system, whether that’s a conventional storage tank or a continuous flow system.
If you need assistance with your gas hot water system, need support with vent maintenance or sizing, or anything else plumbing related, your local plumber can help.