If you've been without hot water for a while, the sight of a brand-new water heater in place of your old unit could mean salvation in the shower. You might be tempted to immediately put your water heater to good use, but there's plenty you should do before you start indulging in the luxury of hot water. Here are a few things you should take care of prior to using your brand-new water heater for the first time.
Clean Up Before You Heat Up
There's a good chance that there's still leftover debris near your water heater from the installation process. Getting rid of this debris, along with any other flammable materials, should be the first thing you do before you start using your new water heater. This helps eliminate any potential fire hazards that could threaten both your water heater and your home
Fill With Water First
Filling your water heater tank before using your brand-new water heater for the first time should be a no-brainer. However, you'd be surprised at how many people forget this crucial first step. Heating a dry water heater tank by accident (also known as "dry firing") can cause damage to the tank and, in the case of an electric water heater, the heating elements.
To keep this from happening, make sure the tank is completely full before powering on your water heater. Don't forget to purge all of the trapped air from the hot water lines by opening up one of the hot water faucets in your home.
Patience is a Virtue
Keep in mind that it may take a while before your water heater is ready to dispense hot water. On an electric water heater with upper and lower heating elements, only one element will work at any given moment. You won't be able to use both at the same time to speed up the water heating process, since the unit wasn't designed to operate that way.
If you have a gas-fired water heater, it may take some time for the burners to heat up the entire tank, although it may not take as long as an electric water heater. It usually takes an hour for a 40-gallon gas-fired water heater to provide hot water, whereas a similarly-sized electric water heater could take up to two hours.
By keeping these tips in mind, you'll be able to enjoy hot water in your home without having to worry about any problems popping up later on.