If you need to replace your home's water heater, then it is a great opportunity to install some helpful accessories along with it.
Water heater accessories are designed to make your appliance:
- easier to maintain
- easier to repair
The four most popular water heater accessories are:
- drip pans
- metal stands
- expansion tanks
- earthquake straps
Here is some information on each accessory.
1. Water Heater Drip Pans
Nearly all water heaters will eventually drip or leak water. To help contain the water, you should install a water heater in a specialized drip pan. As the name implies, water heater drip pans are specifically designed for catching leaked water underneath water heaters.
Water heater drip pans are:
- readily available
- made of aluminum or plastic
Unless your water heater is installed in an area where water damage can't occur, it should always be sitting in a drip pan.
2. Water Heater Stands
Regular water heater maintenance should include yearly draining of the holding tank to remove any sediment buildup. This cumbersome process involves attaching a garden hose to the appliance's water outlet valve located on the bottom of the holding tank. To make the water outlet valve more accessible you can install the water heater on top of a metal stand.
Water heater stands are:
- made of strong galvanized steel
- available at most hardware stores
- designed to make maintenance and repairs easier
Especially if you live in an area with hard water and drain your home's water heater yearly, a stand is a must-have accessory.
3. Water Heater Expansion Tanks
If your water heater is exposed to very cold winter temperatures, then heating water will sometimes cause too much pressure to build up inside of it. The excess pressure will force water out of the emergency pressure relief valve and can lead to a shortened lifespan for the holding tank.
To absorb extra pressure, an expansion tank can be plumbed in between the water heater and your home's plumbing. Expansion tanks are simple to add when installing a new water heater and can greatly extend the life of your water heater in cold climates.
4. Earthquake Straps
Finally, if you live in a state prone to earthquakes, it is vital your home's water heater is strapped to the wall. Strapping prevents the water heater from falling over and causing a flood or electrical fire if there is an earthquake.
Earthquake straps are inexpensive, available at all hardware stores, and a very simple DIY project any homeowner can do.
For more information on water heaters, contact a service near you.