5 Safety Tips for Dealing With a Propane Water Heater

Recent Posts


MS Propane is back with some tips for your propane water heater. It’s a vital part of modern life, and it’s hard to live without! 

1. Installing a New Propane Water Heater

When you get a new propane water heater, make sure to have it professionally installed and inspected by a licensed plumber. A qualified professional will make sure all of the pipe fittings are made correctly. That installer will also check the propane connection for any leaks before turning on the unit and igniting the pilot light. 

Make sure you know how to turn on the pilot light in the future. Most modern propane water heaters have a pilot light button that works very easily.

Once the unit is installed, it may take anywhere from four to eight hours to heat up the entire tank of water, depending on the size of your water heater. The larger the capacity, the longer it takes to heat up.

2. Set the Right Temperature

You might be tempted to set the hot water temperature toward the higher end of the temperature range because you want the hottest water for your dishes and laundry. We highly recommend starting at the lowest setting or second-lowest setting and adjusting from there.

When you do run hot water for the first time, turn on a kitchen or bathroom faucet. Feel the water with your fingertips to gauge the temperature. If it’s too hot, turn the hot water level down by one.

3. Keep the Top Chimney Area Clear

Most propane water heaters have a top chimney area that vents the heat from the burners to the outside air. This chimney, made of metal, will be hot to the touch if your water heater is in the midst of heating up the water. Do not touch the vent chimney or the top of the water heater because you might get burned. 

4. Noises You Might Hear Coming From Your Water Heater

You might hear some noises coming from your water heater, especially if it’s older. A popping noise that happens when the water is heating up usually happens if sediment builds up in the bottom of the unit. Bubbles escaping from the sediment in the bottom make a noise when they release. The sediment comes from minerals due to hard water, and there is a way to solve this problem (see tip 5). 

A banging noise called a water hammer, occurs when the pressure in the system suddenly stops or changes direction forcefully. Banging noises can cause a burst pipe, so be careful in the winter when pipes might freeze!

A whistling sound happens when water is being pushed through a small opening. Perhaps a valve isn’t working properly. It may have to be replaced by a professional plumber.

5. Drain Your Propane Water Heater Every 12 Months

This is especially true if you live in an area with hard water. Draining your water heater can prevent sediment or rust buildup in the bottom, which can reduce the effectiveness of your water heater. Removing sediment can also prevent your water heater from bursting. 

Draining a water heater is simple. 

  1. Turn off the pilot light. 
  2. Turn off the cold water going into the water heater.
  3. Connect a hose to the drain spigot at the bottom
  4. Run the other end of the hose into a sink or bathtub. 
  5. Turn the spigot to “open.” 
  6. Let the water continue draining for several minutes to make sure you get all of it out of your water heater 
  7. Remove the hose. 
  8. Close the spigot. 
  9. Turn on the cold water going into the water heater.
  10. Turn on the pilot light.
  11. Wait a couple of hours to enjoy hot water!

Propane Appliance Tips From MS Propane. We’re Heating the Way!

We hope you find these tips helpful. We can’t repair or fix your hot water heater like a plumber can, but we do offer propane delivery for your home or business.

If you have any questions about your propane supply or need propane delivery in Southwest Missouri, feel free to contact us!