It can be disheartening to remove your old water heater and find signs of ongoing water damage. While some of the damage may have been caused by a leak, some damage could also be a result of condensation. Fortunately, there are steps you can take while installing a new water heater to reduce the chances of both leak and condensation-related water damage.
1. Opt for High Insulation
Higher insulation on the tank itself can reduce condensation simply because there will be less heat loss to react with the cooler air outside of the tank. There are two ways to improve insulation. You can opt for a tank model that has more insulation in the tank walls, or you can have your installer cover the tank with an insulating blanket. Opting for both is the best option when it comes to both condensation prevention and energy efficiency.
2. Insulate the Water Lines
Condensation can also form on the cold water inlet lines or the hot water outlet lines. The cause is temperature differences between the water in the pipe and the air outside. Pipe insulation around the exposed lines cuts down on condensation. It also prevents water from cooling too quickly as it flows through the hot water lines.
3. Install Improved Ventilation
All hot water heaters benefit from some ventilation, especially gas heaters that produce dangerous fumes during operation. Good ventilation removes excess moisture from the air around your water heater, which can cut down on condensation and moisture damage in the utility closet. Your water heater installer will assess the current ventilation at the time of installation. If condensation is a major issue, they may recommend upgrading to a fan-assisted vent as opposed to the standard passive vent.
4. Choose a Larger Drip Pan
Although you can reduce condensation, you still need to be prepared for unexpected leaks or damage. A good drip pan is what can rescue you from leak-related water damage. Installation of a new heater is the optimum time to upgrade the size of the drip pan since the water heater must be removed in order to put in a new pan. Choose a pan that is large enough to hold several gallons of water. If possible, opt for a design with an integrated drain so that it can easily route water away even in the event of a large rupture.
Talk to your water heater installation service for more tips to prevent water damage.