Clothes Dryer Exhaust Ducts Require Annual Cleaning
House fires caused by dryers are far more common than are generally believed. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, fires caused by dryers in 2005 were responsible for approximately 13,775 house fires, 418 injuries, 15 deaths, and $196 million in property damage. Most of these incidents occur in residences and are the result of improper lint cleanup and maintenance. Fortunately, these fires are very easy to prevent.
Clothes dryers evaporate the water from wet clothing by blowing hot air past them while they tumble inside a spinning drum. Heat is provided by an electrical heating element or gas burner. Some heavy garment loads can contain more than a gallon of water that will become airborne water vapor and leave the dryer and home through an exhaust duct, more commonly known as the dryer vent.
A vent that exhausts damp air to the home's exterior has a number of requirements:
If you’re a new homeowner, then you may not have a lot of experience with water heaters. maintenance. Knowing how to care for your new water heater, and how to recognize the signs of a water heater problem, can help you take care of your new property.
Storage Tank Water Heaters
Water heaters are usually priced by the length of the warranty period. The longer the warranty, the more it will cost. The warranty period is a good indication of how long the unit will last. If the home has a water softener, the water heater will last longer due to reduced minerals in the water. Over time, most water heaters will develop a layer of sediment in the bottom of the tank from minerals in the water..
Control the Water Temperature
Many water heaters are designed to be kept at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Raising the water temperature over the recommended 120 degrees can force the water heater tank to work harder than necessary just to do its job. The higher the temperature will also increase the chances of scalding. Check with the manufacturer to determine what the recommended setting is for your water heater, then make sure that the water heater is not set higher than that recommended temperature.
Inspect the Tank Regularly
Inspecting your water heater tank on a regular basis can help you keep tabs on your water heater’s health and can also give you a heads up when water heater failure is imminent. When inspecting your water heater, look for signs of problems or potential failure. Some water heater tanks won’t display symptoms of failure before they break, but others will. Some of the problems to look for include:
Know When to Replace Your Water Heater
Water heaters are sold by warranty length or quality level. Generally, water heaters last around eight to twelve years. Knowing how old your water heater is can help you decide when it’s time to replace your unit. If you’re not sure how old your water heater is, look for a serial number on the side of the unit.
This serial number will contain a date code that shows when your water heater was produced. Date codes can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. If you can’t tell when the water heater was produced based on the date code, contact the manufacturer.
Once you know how old your water heater is, you can modify your maintenance habits based on its age. When your water heater reaches around eight years old, start having it inspected by a professional plumber at least once a year. Your plumber can give you a good idea of the health of your water heater and can help you decide when the heater is close to failure.
Find a Plumber You Can Trust
As a new homeowner, you’re going to need a good plumber that you trust to take care of your home’s water heater. Having the phone number of a professional plumber at the ready can help you take care of your home in an emergency and also gives you a resource in the event that you have questions or concerns.
Chuck retired from an engineering management career to start a home inspection business