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June 8, 2023

Water Heater Safety Tips You Should Know

Your first soothing experience after waking up in the morning is a cozy shower with hot water. Every hot water faucet in your home depends on an efficiently working water heater and because the appliance generates an enormous amount of heat, you must be aware of water heater safety issues. From property damage to injury prevention, our experienced, well-trained technicians will help you stay safe. 

At Custom Climates HVAC, we believe in educating our customers on all things heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC). Today, we focus on an often overlooked, yet essential household device – the water heater. While water heaters provide us with everyday comfort, it’s crucial to know the safety measures we should implement to ensure their proper functioning. Understanding water heater safety not only helps protect you and your family but can also contribute to energy efficiency, longevity of the device, and compliance with safety regulations.

Understanding Your Water Heater

Before diving into safety tips, it’s important to understand the type of water heater you already have installed. Are you utilizing a traditional storage tank heater, a tankless model such as the highly efficient Rinnai water heater, or a hybrid system? The safety measures may slightly vary depending on your device but the general rules will apply across the board.

Water Heater Safety Tips


Proper installation of your water heater is a crucial first step towards ensuring its safe operation. Installations should always be undertaken by professional HVAC contractors who are trained to handle this task efficiently and safely. Professionals have the required knowledge and experience to install the appliance in compliance with local regulations and manufacturer instructions. By leaving the installation process to the professionals, you eliminate the risk of installation errors, which can lead to safety issues, inefficiency, and potential violations of local codes.


The location of your water heater plays a significant role in its safety and operation. It’s essential that your heater is installed in a clean, well-ventilated area, away from any flammable materials. Having your water heater in a cramped or cluttered space can lead not only to a fire risk, but also restrict the airflow necessary for it to operate efficiently. Careful consideration of the water heater’s location can prevent potential accidents and ensure optimal performance.

Temperature Settings

The temperature setting of your water heater is another critical safety aspect. Most water heaters come pre-set at a temperature of 140°F. However, the Department of Energy recommends lowering this setting to 120°F. This adjustment is not only safer, preventing the risk of scalding, but also more energy-efficient. The lower temperature reduces the heater’s energy consumption, leading to lower utility bills.

Pressure Relief Valve

The pressure relief valve of your water heater is a crucial safety feature that needs regular checking. This valve is designed to release excess pressure if your water heater is overheating or over-pressurized. If the valve is malfunctioning, it can lead to a dangerous buildup of pressure within the tank, posing a serious safety hazard. Regular checking of the pressure relief valve ensures that it is functioning correctly, and keeping your system safe.

Annual Inspections

Scheduling regular inspections with professional HVAC Contractors is a proactive measure that can detect early signs of wear and tear on your water heater. These experts can assess the condition of your unit, ensuring its safe and efficient operation. Regular inspections can identify potential issues before they escalate into serious problems, protecting your investment in the appliance.

Clearance Area

Lastly, it’s important to maintain a clearance area of at least two feet around your water heater. This space helps to prevent accidental contact with the appliance, which could result in burns or fires. A clear space around your heater also allows for sufficient ventilation, promoting efficient operation.

Water Heater Safety Regulations

Complying with safety regulations is paramount when dealing with water heaters. Proper installation and maintenance practices not only ensure your water heater’s safe operation but also help you avoid unnecessary fines and penalties. It’s best to leave these tasks to our licensed professionals who are well-versed in the most current regulations and codes.

Energy Efficiency and Safety

An energy-efficient water heater is typically a safer one. Regular maintenance, appropriate insulation, and proper usage can significantly enhance your water heater’s energy efficiency. High-quality models, such as Rinnai water heaters, are designed with both safety and energy efficiency in mind, making them excellent choices for your home.


Understanding and implementing these water heater safety tips is vital for every homeowner. Not only will they ensure the longevity of your device, but also the safety of your household. For expert water heater installation, repair, and maintenance services, trust the reliable HVAC contractors at Custom Climates HVAC. We’re committed to providing top-notch services that prioritize your safety and comfort at all times. Visit our website today to learn more about our services.

Remember, safety first, comfort second – and with Custom Climates HVAC, you’re guaranteed to have both.


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