Water heater safety

Stay out of hot water with these helpful tips

 A properly operating, well-maintained water heater provides the hot water you need quickly and efficiently. Whether your hot water heater is an older model or one of the high-efficiency, newer models, there are a few safety tips to consider.

If you’re ever unsure about the safety of your water heater, contact CenterPoint Energy's Home Service Plus® (HSP) immediately to have it looked at, and if necessary, repaired.

Turn down the heat

  • Set the temperature to 120°F to help prevent accidental burns and save energy. Temperatures of 140°F or higher can be dangerous to children and the elderly. It takes just five seconds to receive a third-degree burn from 140°F water.
  • Before adjusting the temperature on your water heater, be sure to read the instructions for your particular model.   

Keep flammables away

  • Keep the top of the tank free of dust, debris and flammable products such as paint, gasoline, solvents or adhesives. Also, never use these products near a water heater or any other natural gas or electric appliance because vapors from flammable liquids can ignite.
  • Older water heaters are not equipped with ignition-resistant technology, so are more susceptible to flammable vapors. In the right conditions, flammable vapors can travel undetected along the floor aided by air vents.
  • Consider upgrading to a newer water heater, equipped with ignition-resistant and more energy-efficient technology 
  • If your water heater’s in the same room as a clothes dryer, be sure to keep clothing articles away from the burner inlet, also remove any visible lint that may accumulate on the burner compartment inlet screen or door. Burner cleaning should be performed by a qualified technician. 

Special considerations for natural gas water heaters:

  • Flames: Natural gas appliance flames should always burn blue, not orange or yellow (with the exception of natural gas fireplace logs). If the flame is not blue, it may be a sign that the appliance needs adjusting or cleaning.
  • Check the burner periodically. If rust or scale is collecting in the burner compartment, it’s time to have it serviced by a professional. Water heater checks are complimentary with a furnace tune-up from HSP.

Leave major repairs to the professionals.
With more than 80 years experience, HSP can safely repair your appliances.

Schedule repair service!   
CenterPoint Energy's Home Service Plus repair and maintenance services are available to homeowners throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul Twin Cities metro area and in many parts of Greater Minnesota.  Schedule service now, or call 612-333-1664 in the metro area; toll-free 877-HSP-1664.