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Vivian McCormick
Hints for Homeowners

Turning the Tide on Water Heater Damage

(Winnipeg) - Here's the good news for homeowners: There are ways to avoid the sinking feeling a leaking water heater can bring-without making waves in your budget.

Leaking water heaters can cause extensive damage, such as flooded basements, soaked possessions and damaged floors, or worse yet, dangerous situations due to gas leaks.

When many gas-fired water heaters leak, for example their pilot lights are snuffed out. This can result in a situation that makes water damage the least of a homeowners worries.

Experts say the key to stopping a water heater from springing a leak is early detection. In the past that meant constantly monitoring the device for deterioration to its body. Today however, homeowners have a number of different options for protecting their water heaters-and their homes.

For example, a valve can be installed on new or old water heaters that deals with leaks before they become major problems.

The valve, called WAGS (water and gas safety valve) helps to keep leaks from becoming floods by automatically shutting off a heater's water supply as soon as leaked water reaches three quarters of an inch in depth. In addition, the valve cuts off gas feeds when a water leak is detected.

The device is installed in a pan at the base of the heater, where it can sense the accumulation of water from a leak in the tank.

The valve has a spring loaded piston that is activated by a disc that dissolves in water. When the piston moves forward, it closes off the flow of water into the tank On gas-fired water heaters it also shuts off the gas line.

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R3E 1S5
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