Water heater draft spill switch installed in NW DC

In the summer of 2012, James A. Wheat & Sons installed draft spill switches for the water heater for a family in Northwest Washington, DC.

Natural draft water heaters don’t come equipped with any kind of safety device that shuts the unit down if it isn’t drafting properly, and this can be very frustrating—even dangerous! Most gas appliances and all furnaces include a device or safety switch that will shut the unit down if the venting is clogged or back drafting. These safety devices generally detect excessive heat or check the pressure in the flue exhaust system to verify that the system seems to be drafting properly. This is important because if the system is not drafting properly, your system is not removing the carbon monoxide out of your home properly, and that can be incredibly dangerous—even fatal—for you and your family.

Most water heaters have a direct opening at the top of the water heater where the flue pipe or chimney goes to expel any gas. If the flue pipe or chimney becomes clogged, the flue gases can back up and enter your home through this opening—and since there are no safety devices to stop it, it can be very dangerous because that means gases such as carbon monoxide (CO) will be leaking into your home.

Above is a picture of a standard water heater with the safety device attached. As you can see there is a wide open gap between the water heater and the brown cap that the flue pipe is connecting to. Our safety device will shut down the system if excessive heat is being output into the room.

Fortunately for the family in Northwest Washington, DC we had installed the draft spill switch on their water heater over the summer because on December 12, 2012, we were called to the property because the water heater was not working. What we found was a completely clogged chimney.

The exhaust gases, including the deadly carbon monoxide, were getting backed up and seeping into the home. The only thing that stopped that from becoming a life threatening situation was the safety device we added to the water heater.

At James A. Wheat & Sons, we know that the real heroes are the soldiers, firemen, and police officers who put their lives on the line for us every day, but every once in a while, we get to take part in saving lives. It makes us proud to be able to say that we may have saved the lives of this family by installing the draft spill switch for their water heater.

If you’re worried your water heater doesn’t have a safety device equipped for just such an emergency, contact us today!

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What To Expect

Discover the Difference

Satisfaction Guaranteed

We stand behind every job we perform, because that’s what it means to be family. Your complete satisfaction is our guarantee.

Upfront
Pricing

You’ll never be stuck with an unexpected bill when your services are complete. We offer upfront, no-surprise pricing, so you can rest assured you’re only paying for the high-quality work you receive.

Trained
Technicians

Our secret to offering the best service in the business is simple. We hire quality people and continually train them to provide the best customer experience possible. We train weekly on service, equipment, diagnosis, and more. You can rest assured that our technicians will bring the industry expertise necessary to exceed your expectations.

Extended
Warranties

We work continuously to keep up with recalls, extended warranties, and notices regarding all plumbing, heating, and AC equipment that we may come in contact with in your home.

Commitment
to Community

We believe that as we grow, so should our community—that’s why we look for every opportunity possible to give back.

Easy
Financing

We understand the financial strain that often accompanies new system installation, home remodeling, or unexpected service calls. That’s why we offer easy financing to keep your household budget intact.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

We stand behind every job we perform, because that’s what it means to be family. Your complete satisfaction is our guarantee.

Upfront
Pricing

You’ll never be stuck with an unexpected bill when your services are complete. We offer upfront, no-surprise pricing, so you can rest assured you’re only paying for the high-quality work you receive.

Trained
Technicians

Our secret to offering the best service in the business is simple. We hire quality people and continually train them to provide the best customer experience possible. We train weekly on service, equipment, diagnosis, and more. You can rest assured that our technicians will bring the industry expertise necessary to exceed your expectations.

Extended
Warranties

We work continuously to keep up with recalls, extended warranties, and notices regarding all plumbing, heating, and AC equipment that we may come in contact with in your home.

Commitment to Community

We believe that as we grow, so should our community—that’s why we look for every opportunity possible to give back.

Easy
Financing

We understand the financial strain that often accompanies new system installation, home remodeling, or unexpected service calls. That’s why we offer easy financing to keep your household budget intact.

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Thank you for sending such great individuals, Matt and John, to our home today. It was initially scheduled to be just a service call to diagnose our plumbing problems, but it turned out that they could easily correct our problem.I want to tell you that these two young men were the ultimate prof...

Gloria M.

Dear Mr. Wheat:We would like to take a moment to thank you sincerely for helping us with our water leak problem. We had no idea of the magnitude or scope of such an undertaking. All of your service men were excellent and highly professional. They were courteous, considerate and informative ever...

Lloyd & Carole W.

This is a much belated thank you. The job that your service men did installing the fireplace units in our house was extraordinary. Our house is nearing a hundred years old and the interior fireplaces are huge solid brick columns extending to the foundation. Getting gas pipes up from the basemen...

John T.

I wanted to write a brief note thanking you for the work you did on our front sewer line. In particular, I wanted to remind you how good your three employees are (Adam, Bill, and Desmond). All were courteous, neat, punctual, pleasant, and extremely hard workers during the week they spent at our...

David J. S.

Thank you for the generous in-kind donation of Delta faucets and shower bathtub valves, valued at $1,500.00. This donation will help Rebuilding Together continue its work to keep families in need at home in safety and independence.The course of one’s life can change in the blink of an eye. Fo...

Susan H.

I recently contracted with your company to complete repairs to a damaged air return and install new heating ducts in my basement room. Please know that your staff completed the work in a professional manner and in the timeframe promised and I am writing to express my thanks for a job well done!...

Joe C.

First off, I wish to express our satisfaction with service performing on our air conditioning unit yesterday by your service technician, Cliff. My husband was impressed by the work that was done efficiently, quickly, and at a reasonable cost. My husband contacted your company yesterday morning....

Jan M.

I have been impressed with your company and its people from the day your sales person walked in here, through all service personnel, and now.By the way, this is a fantastic system. Our energy costs are much lower than before, the airflow is practically unnoticeable, the air temp inside is even,...

Mau V.

Tom, our service tech, was incredibly helpful and pleasant. Not only did he fix our much-missed kitchen faucet, but he was also kind to the family, including the energetic family dogs who played at his feet. There’s a reason we have a service contract with you!

Susan R.

I am thrilled to have found James A James A. Wheat & Sons! There is nothing better than a complete feeling of trust when I need someone’s help and expertise.

Terri J.

Technician was prompt, polite, and obviously knew his business. He thoroughly checked our fireplace insert, and made a check for CO in the room. His work reassured us that the insert and its inlet-outlet system had not suffered earthquake damage. That’s just what we needed to know.

David L.

Our technician, Tom, was outstanding. He was thorough, thoughtful, explained the work to be done, the cost, options, and seemed to take the minimum amount of time to complete the work. The technician’s helper, who came along with Tom, was also a great asset. It was a wonderful experience for ...

James G. R.

Dear Mike,I am writing to say thank you for the great service today. Tim Whistler came to install my gas oven and range. There were a couple of challenges along the way, beginning with the way the gas line had been routed up through my floor . Another challenge was the fact that I have propane,...

Patricia R.

I wanted to make a special note about how professional Mr. Carey was when he visited our home to conduct the estimate. In the last couple of weeks we have spent hundreds of dollars and met with multiple HVAC companies to fix our air conditioner, and we haven’t been impressed with any of them....

Nick H.

Danilo and Ken were here on June 16 to do my AC check. They were extremely thorough at the time and even made sure that my hose connections were nice and secure. today one of my units was not cooling (it may have been that a circuit breaker tripped—I thought I had checked but perhaps I didn...

Susan W.