A tankless water heater is a must-have addition to any home, especially for those that find themselves in areas with particularly bitter winters. But like all pieces of equipment that works with heat, these little devices have their own share of dangers.

A hot shower should not come at the price of a raging fire or a deadly case of electrocution. The heat produced is by itself a danger to the household, while many of its electronic components present a dizzying array of problems. These problems are extremely difficult to spot unless the threat becomes imminent. As such, simple things like a nearby clothes bin or a defect in the electronic wiring can and will result in tragedy if left unattended to.

As safety is a paramount concern when it comes to water heaters, here is a brief but concise list of hazards to keep in mind:

DIY versus professional installation

Installation is the first step when it comes to tankless water heater safety. One erroneous step in the process can spell the difference between a safe home and a time bomb waiting to go off.

Matters like this may seem easy enough for some simple DIY work and some people are indeed capable of installing it themselves. Instruction manuals exist for a reason, and a little background in electronics and construction will help make the process doable. But still, a professional is most recommended for situations like this, as there are many fine points of heaters that require intimate knowledge in the field.

Nearby materials

Heaters produce heat, and that heat can cause a fire if not handled properly. This then makes textiles, cloths, papers, and wood into potential fire hazards if left carelessly near the heating element of the heater.

These fire hazards then have to be taken into careful consideration when installing and using a tankless water heater. All forms of flammable material must be kept far away from the heater, while construction components hidden in the wall like wooden supports must be properly insulated from heat in order not to weaken or even ignite as the heater is used over time.

Moisture content

Water heaters are designed to heat water, and are designed in such a way that they are most often water resistant. However, there are some substandard tankless water heaters that have some major quality issues when it comes to water resistance from outside the pipes leading into the heater.

The water resistance of heaters varies in levels. Some can withstand direct submersion, while the water resistance of other models can only tolerate misty and humid conditions in a room. Check carefully the moisture tolerance of a water heater, and consult a professional in how to handle any concerns with water resistance.

Article originally published at Source by Eliot Provencher