Like other appliances in your home, winter puts extra stress on your water heater. Cold air makes it that much harder to heat water, and you may have guests in your home who stay for the duration of the holidays. Your faucets, showers, dishwasher, and washing machine are going to get a workout this season, and your water heater is going to have to meet their demands. Here are some tips to make sure your water heater keeps working all winter.
Get an Inspection
The best time to get an inspection for winter is during the fall. A licensed plumber can check the heater and warn you about any small issues before they become large problems that are costly to fix. The best thing is you’ll be able to fix them before life gets really busy. The last thing you want is for your water heater to die in the middle of a holiday celebration. Consider a maintenance plan with your plumber to automatically schedule an inspection of your water heater at least once a year.
Insulate Your Heater and Its Pipes
Cold air swirling around your heater and the pipes that lead in and out of it make the appliance work that much harder. The best type of insulation is made of foam and is custom-made to fit around the tank and its pipe. It’s inexpensive and, like an inspection, should be done well before the really cold weather sets in.
Make Sure to Flush the Tank
Flushing the tank to get rid of rust and limescale should be part of regular maintenance anyway, but if you haven’t flushed the tank in a while, now is the time to do it. Fortunately, it is a simple process. Cut the power off at the circuit breaker, put the thermostat in pilot mode if the tank is gas-powered, and then turn off the cold water supply valve. This is at the top of the tank.
Let the water cool down for a bit. Then, connect a garden hose to the drain valve. Put the other end over a floor drain or just aim it to the outside. Open the hot water tap and let it drain. While it’s still open, turn the cold water supply back on to flush any leftover sediment out of the tank. Keep doing this until you can see no sediment in the water.
After this, close the drain valve and take off the garden hose while the cold water supply valve is still on. As the cold water runs, turn off the hot water tap. Then, turn the power back on, and check for leaks.
Learn More About Winter Maintenance Tips for Your Water Heater
Other things you may do to help your heater include inspecting its anode rod and pressure relief valve and adjusting the temperature so that hot water is always available. For professional water heater services in Santa Clara, CA or the surrounding area, contact Smart Plumbers & Rooters today.