Home Water Heaters & Incomplete Combustion: What You Should Know

Posted on

Is your water heater in an area of the home that receives a small amount of ventilation? You may want to think about getting the room ventilated if you want the water heater to remain safe, as limited airflow can lead to incomplete combustion. Learn what you need to know about the function of a water heater and why incomplete combustion requires prompt attention from a specialist.

What Should a Homeowner Know About a Water Heater?

The first thing you should know about your water heater is that it is vital for it to be placed in a room with a sufficient amount of oxygen. The only way the water heater will obtain oxygen is from there being a window or vent in the room that allows air to circulate. It is the pilot light of your water heater that makes oxygen necessary, as oxygen helps the hydrocarbons complete combustion so that carbon dioxide and water is created.

When the hydrocarbons turn into carbon dioxide and water, it is how the water heater is able to produce warm air for your home. An inadequate amount of oxygen will lead to incomplete combustion, which causes carbon monoxide (toxic gas) to be produced instead of carbon dioxide and water. If your water heater is constantly not completing combustion, you should not waste any time calling a specialist to fix the problem.

What Makes Incomplete Combustion So Dangerous?

The carbon monoxide from incomplete combustion is what makes it dangerous, especially if there is something wrong with the water heater combustion chamber. Carbon monoxide can get inside of the ventilation system and cause you and your loved ones to fall ill. In the worst case scenario, carbon monoxide exposure can be fatal. Keep in mind that you won't be able to smell or see carbon monoxide.

If you start feeling dizzy or nauseous, know that this is a sign of carbon monoxide poisoning. You will need a specialist to inspect the pilot of your water heater and the combustion chamber in case they need repairs. The combustion chamber is in place to lead carbon monoxide out of your home, but cracks in it can lead to the gas seeping out before being ventilated. The specialist will also inspect to make sure your water heater is in a good spot for air circulation to prevent incomplete combustion.

Don't allow your water heater to put your life at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Make an appointment with a specialist like those at Wright Total Indoor Comfort so he or she can inspect the water heater and make the necessary repairs!