If you are a homeowner, your water heater is probably one of those appliances that you just can't live without. But what do you do when it stops working? Instead of calling a professional, some people will try to fix it themselves.

This post discusses two dangers you need to be aware of before trying DIY repairs on your water heater.

You Might Worsen the Problem

Water heaters are complex appliances with many different parts. Unless you're a trained professional, it's very easy to make the problem worse. What might seem like a small and easy fix could turn into a much bigger and more expensive problem down the road.

For example, say your water heater is leaking. You might think the best way to fix it is to simply tighten a loose valve. But in doing so, you might over-tighten the valve and cause it to break. Now you've not only got a water heater that's leaking, but you also need to replace a broken valve.

In addition, the source of the leak might not be the valve at all but something else entirely. And if you interfere with anything other than the source, you might inadvertently make the problem worse.

If you're not sure what you're doing, it's always best to leave water heater repairs to the professionals. They have the training and experience to properly diagnose and fix the problem –– whether it's a leak or something else.

You Could Injure Yourself

Water heaters contain water that's been heated to well over a couple hundred degrees Fahrenheit. So, if you're not careful, you could easily scald yourself if you open the water heater's drain valve or disconnect a water supply line without first shutting off the water to the appliance.

Another way you could injure yourself is by touching the water heater's heating elements. Most water heaters have two –– one near the top of the tank and one near the bottom. These elements heat the water inside the tank and can get extremely hot. If you accidentally touch one of these elements, you could receive a serious burn.

In addition, water heaters also have electrical components that, if mishandled, could give you a nasty shock. Sometimes the electrical system might contain frayed live wires. Or, the water heater might be plugged into an outlet that isn't properly grounded. Such risks expose you to the possibility of severe electrocution injuries.

Moreover, water heaters are usually located in tight spaces –– like in the basement or crawlspace. There's a huge risk of hitting your head or banging into something and getting injured while trying to navigate through these areas.

All these risks underscore the importance of taking proper safety precautions when attempting any water heater repair. So if you have little experience with these appliances, leave all repairs to the experts. 

For more information, contact a local company, like D & S Plumbing.