As an apprentice plumber, do not be surprised when your supervisor sends you out alone to take care of a faulty hot water system for a client. Now, you might be wondering why they choose a hot water system rather than a cold water system. The reason is that there is a lot that goes into the hot water replacement. Furthermore, dealing with a hot water system demands extra care to avoid accidents. Therefore, it is vital to be prepared for such an assignment, and having crucial safety tips at your fingertips is part of such preparation.

Inspect Aquastat -- When you first locate a hot water system, the first thing you should to do is look at the aquastat. It is the device that helps to control water temperature in the storage tank. The aim of inspecting the aquastat first is to ensure that it is in good working condition. Once you have ascertained that it is working, then you should lower the temperature to about 120F. By doing this, you will create a safe environment within which you can work comfortably. For instance, if you do not lower the temperature on the aquastat and there is a mishap during repairs, scalding hot water might gush out of the faucets and cause fatal accidents. Therefore, always make sure that the aquastat is set low before starting to work on a faulty hot water system. 

Check Temperature and Pressure Valve -- The next component you should inspect is the temperature and pressure valve. The primary function is to relieve built-up pressure in the water heater tank. The reason is the valve wears over time, and when that happens, it can be a ticking time bomb. While the immediate danger of a faulty temperature and pressure valve is leaking, it can turn the water heater into a house wrecking rocket. It can be pretty dangerous to anyone close to the hot water system. Therefore, be sure to flip the lever and put it back in place it. Notably, there should be some small release of hot water if the valve is in good working condition. If there is no water release, then you have a case of a faulty valve, which must be taken care of immediately. 

Remove Fire Hazards close to the Heater -- Most homeowners use the hot water tank area as a storage space, and that is dangerous. It is especially the case with hot water systems powered by gas. Therefore, if you find that the client in question does the same, then your first action should be to remove all fire hazards around the area. It includes flammable liquids and materials such as oils, coats, jump ropes and air freshener canisters, among others. It prevents an explosive catastrophe if the hot water gas cylinder has a tiny crack.