Division of Labor and Industry


Do's and Don'ts of Hot Water Heater Safety - Boiler and Pressure Vessel Safety - Safety Inspections


Did you know?

  • Hot water heaters should be properly sized for your house.
  • Extra thick insulation helps prevent radiant heat loss and saves energy and money.
  • Water temperatures above 120° F can cause scalding especially on young children.
  • Sediment build-up can cause premature tank failure, electric element failure, and excess costs on fuel bills.
  • Hot water heaters require yearly maintenance to ensure proper operation.


  • Set hot water heater temperature below 120° F.
  • Flush hot water heater through drain valve at least once a year to remove sediment build-up.
  • Test safety relief valve once a year to ensure proper operation (this device protects the heater from over-pressurizing and from exceeding 210° F.)
  • Keep area around hot water heater, clean and free of combustible and flammable material.
  • When leaving for vacation, set hot water heater temperature at its lowest setting.  This will save money and reduce the risk of any problems while you are away.
  • Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for recommended maintenance schedule.


  • Set hot water heater temperature above 120° F.
  • Keep combustible material or flammable material or flammable material within 18" of the hot water heater.
  • Never leave children unattended around a hot water heater.

Quick Links:

For additional information, contact:
Division of Labor and Industry
Boiler and Pressure Vessel Safety

1100 N. Eutaw Street - Room 605
Baltimore, MD 21201
Fax: 410-333-7827
e-mail: dldliboilerinspection-dllr@maryland.gov

Emergency telephone number: 410-767-2990