Finding Great Plumbing Supplies
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Finding Great Plumbing Supplies

After struggling for months to make my plumbing system work properly, I started realizing that part of the problem might be the supplies I was using. I began working hard to make sure that things were right, and it became clear to me that I needed to invest in different equipment. It was really incredible to see how much of a difference a few of the right plumbing supplies made, and I was able to get things fixed up. This blog is all about finding great plumbing supplies to make your home better than ever. After all, you never know what you will need to fix.


Finding Great Plumbing Supplies

What Every Homeowner Should Know About Backdrafts And Water Heaters

Shannon Obrien

If the water heater in your house is atmospherically vented, that means it has a hood that depends on gravitational movement to draw the exhaust gases from the water heater out of the house. Since exhaust gas is hot, the heat causes it to rise out of the draft hood and through the vent to the outside. Unfortunately, when the vent system malfunctions, it can create a condition called backdrafting. Backdrafting is when the exhaust gases pass into the room instead of passing through the exit vent. Here are a few warning signs that your water heater is backdrafting.

Dampness On Top Of The Tank

In most cases, the exterior of your hot water tank should be dry. If you're seeing condensation or moisture on the top of the tank, that's a key sign that there's a backdraft. The warm air condenses when it reaches the room's air temperature, and that condensation settles on the hot water heater's tank.

Corrosion On The Tank Surface

Typically appearing on top of the tank, if there's corrosion on the tank, that's another indication of backdraft. The moisture that results from the process causes corrosion on the metal surface of the tank. Watch closely for this type of damage because it needs to be addressed right away if it happens.

Melted Draft Hood Plastic

The draft hood on top of your water heater includes a plastic piece. When your electric water heater is backdrafting, the heat can actually cause that plastic to melt. If you're seeing melted plastic sitting on the surface of the tank, that's a sign that there may be a backdraft problem.

Condensation On The Cold Water Pipes

When the tank backdrafts, it releases heat along with that exhaust. As that heat builds up in the room around the water heater, your cold water pipes will start to develop condensation. That condensation on the outside of the pipes is the result of the contrast between the cold temperature of the pipe and the warm air around it.

Loose Or Misaligned Vent Lines

The vent lines are attached at the top of the tank. If they aren't secured properly, or they have loose joints, that can lead to leaks that cause backdrafts. In addition, if there's a sharp bend or angle in the pipe, especially near the tank, that can make it harder for that exhaust to flow through the pipes, building up pressure that can cause backdrafts.

The more you understand about this type of problem, the easier it is to identify it and fix it. Talk with a water heater installation contractor, like those at Ben Franklin Plumbing Services, about what your options are and to have your tank tested for backdraft problems.