Few appliances are more important, integral, or more potentially dangerous, than your home's water heater. It is for this reason that you can't be too careful when securing or injury-proofing your water heater. Some states even have laws that require certain safety features to be in place that you might not have thought of. In order to keep you and your family safe, compliant, and ready for a potential upgrade, here are three safety and maintenance features that you should consider when your water heater is being installed, even if they might not appear to be immediately useful.
The state of California requires all residential water heaters to be strapped to the wall via two straps at the top and bottom of the tank. This seemingly trivial safety feature is required in California due to the frequent earthquakes that take place in the region. It's easy to imagine how much of an issue a spilled water heater would be in the case of a catastrophe, especially if someone were close enough to get burned.
More Robust Piping
Many homeowners are making the switch to tankless water heaters since they take up less space and are more energy efficient than water heaters with tanks. Should you choose to upgrade to a tankless system in the future, the retrofit can be very pricey. In order to protect yourself against this, you'll need more robust exhaust and water piping that will handle the higher temperature required by tankless water heaters, and the piping will withstand other retrofits as well, even if you're just installing another tank in the future. "Protecting" yourself from prohibitively high installation costs might not do much for you in the long run, but this type of insurance policy will come in handy if you eventually choose to go tankless.
High Temperature Settings
When choosing the water heater itself, knowing the maximum temperature will enable you to make an informed decision about keeping your family's water safe. Specifically, having a water heater that will heat water to or above 120 degrees Fahrenheit will kill the harmful bacteria that may reside in your water, keeping your kitchen and bathrooms from becoming breeding grounds for disease and other microbial habitat. While this safety feature might not affect your plumbing or the condition of your water heater, it is certainly a condition that should be at the forefront of your buying decision when purchasing a new heater. Check out the sites of local heating contractors for more information.