Winter Water Heater Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

December 1, 2021 3:41 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

It’s easy to take hot water for granted. But when problems with a water heater arise, suddenly it becomes very apparent just how much we rely on that particular appliance every single day.

Winter is an especially hard time of year on plumbing, as the cold weather can wreak havoc on poorly insulated equipment and fixtures. Keep in mind also that your water is coming from outside, meaning during the winter it’s going to flow into your home at very cold temperatures. Your water heater must work extra hard to make up for those temperatures, so it’s important to make sure you stay on top of regular water heater maintenance so it makes it through a tough winter.

Here are just a few winter water heater tips for you to consider:

  • Flush the tank: Over time, minerals in the water will cause sediment buildup to accumulate in your tank. As that buildup increases, it could corrode the inside of the tank, resulting in leaks and potential tank failure. You can prevent this by flushing out the tank once a year. Turn off the water heater and let it cool down, then attach a hose to the drain valve and find a place to drain the water.
  • Insulate: If you know you have an older tank, you should take some steps to improve its efficiency to prevent it from prematurely wearing down. Older models are not as efficient as those coming onto the market today, meaning they may find it more difficult to hold heat, which increases the extent to which they must work to deliver hot water in the winter. You can use fiberglass insulation wraps for your tank to keep the heat contained within the water heater.
  • Inspect the anode rod: The anode rod is designed to collect corrosive elements in the water that may eat away at your tank lining. Over time the constant collection of corrosives on the anode rod could damage the lining of the tank. If your tank is more than a few years old, you should have it checked regularly by a professional, who will be able to determine if the anode rod needs repairs or replacement.
  • Check the pressure release valve: The pressure release valve keeps the tank from bursting. When you consider the frequency with which plumbing fixtures burst during the winter, it is important to make checking the release valve part of your winter water heater maintenance routine. Simply lift up the top of the lever two or three times and check for leaks. If you don’t hear water or a hissing sound when you open up the valve, it’s a sign there’s a leak and you’ll need to replace the valve.

These are just a few examples of some of the most important winter water heater maintenance tips for you to keep in mind as a homeowner. For assistance throughout the winter and to schedule an inspection and tune-up of your equipment, contact the experts at Cassel Air Conditioning & Heating Service today.

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