Gas Hot Water System Maintenance: What NOT to Do?

Blog | May 9th, 2018

Treated properly, gas hot water systems are safe and efficient. A glimmer of a risk factor appears, though, if the equipment isn’t correctly maintained. Household owners and heating engineers minimize such risks by compiling instructive guidelines. They tell techs and system owners how to care for this advanced heating system. In this article, then, we’re going to invert that course of action and describe the system maintenance tips that are NOT acceptable.

Don’t Skip Service Periods 

If the gas hot water heater in question suggests a service every year or two, don’t take that suggestion lightly. Assume this tip is a command, an order that’s written in stone. As such, call in a service engineer when that major system checkup is imminent. Although the equipment seems to be functioning well, the temperature or pressure limiting subsystems may be defective. Don’t wait until the equipment is about to fail catastrophically.

Don’t Mess with the Pilot Light 

Located at the burning threshold of the gas heating appliance, tinkering with this essential equipment assembly is inadvisable. If the pilot flame won’t light, this seemingly innocuous defect could signal an underlying system defect. For example, a failing appliance thermocouple will stop the pilot from re-lighting. If the thermocouple has been triggered, a potentially dangerous system problem is likely. Call out the service technician.

Don’t Ignore Telltale Signs 

A leak on the floor receives a cursory wipe. If it gets worse, the reckless appliance owner resorts to a mop and bucket. The proper course of action is to treat this leak as a red flag, an appliance fault that could severely damage the hot water tank. Granted, a small pool of water could be growing due to heavy condensation, but why take the chance?

Stop Dismissing Fringe Elements 

If there are flammable cans of liquid or solvents nearby, clear them away. They’re fire risks. As for the carbon monoxide detectors in the building, they’re an essential electronic sniffing aid. Change their batteries periodically. Finally, don’t allow any venting obstructions. Remove obstacles so that the gas hot water system maintains a suitably ventilated outlet.

Most system owners know what to do when a gas leak occurs. Don’t turn on a light switch or produce a spark. Get out of the structure and call for help. Maintenance gaffes aren’t as well recognized. Clear flammable items, identify obstructions, and identify the risk factors. Most important of all, don’t carry out any repairs or maintenance checks when the gas water heater is in service. Like a live electrical wire, an active gas-fueled appliance must be safely disabled before any of the above maintenance tips are actioned.

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