When the colder temperatures of fall and winter arrive, most people know it's time to get their homes in good working order and when it comes to their plumbing system, there's nothing more important in fall and winter than making sure the water heater is working properly.
However, many people fail to do so and often find themselves needing repairs on a cold winter night. To make sure you don't find yourself facing this situation, here are five maintenance tips you can use to ensure your water heater will be in great shape when cold weather returns.
Insulate the Pipes and Tank
If you're expecting a cold winter, be sure to insulate the pipes and tank. In doing so, you'll ensure the tank keeps working and the pipes won't burst. For best results, use foam insulation made specifically to fit around pipes and tanks. But be sure to put the insulation in place prior to cold weather, since this will make the project much easier and ensure the pipes and tank stay warm.
Flush the Water Heater Tank
To make sure your tank doesn't experience corrosion or a buildup of minerals, flush the tank before winter weather arrives. To do this yourself, simply complete the following steps:
- Turn off power to the tank
- Open hot water faucet for 10-15 minutes
- Turn off cold water valve
- Attach garden hose to valve
- Drain water into bucket
- Adjust tank temperature
If the weather is expected to get extremely cold, adjusting the tank temperature will keep the tank from having to work too hard to heat the water. By simply adjusting the temperature up to 10 degrees higher, you should have hot water no matter how much the temperatures dip outside.
Inspect the Anode Rod
Designed to attract corrosive elements such as dirt and minerals, the anode rod is responsible for keeping the water in your tank clean. However, as with most anything else, eventually, it may wear out due to old age. Therefore, it's crucial to inspect the anode rod prior to winter. If there are any problems with the rod, be sure it gets replaced. If it doesn't, you may find yourself with a water heater that's full of dirty water.
Inspecting the Pressure Relief Valve
If there is one part of a water heater that needs to work properly, it's the pressure relief valve. To make sure everything is fine, test it by raising and lowering the test lever. If the brass stem attached to it raises at the same time, all is well. If not, make sure it's repaired as soon as possible to ensure your tank does not have a dangerous pressure buildup.
If you're having problems with any of these water heater issues, now's the time to schedule a service appointment. If you live in Westminster, CO or the surrounding area, please call Craig Plumbing, at (720) 619-3380 today to ensure your water heater is working properly.