As we enter the second half of the year, it’s more important than ever that your water heater is primed to withstand the chilly weather. By investing time, money, and perhaps some reliable professional expertise into your water heater, it can continue faithfully providing your hot water supply all year round. Here are some top tips to prepare your water heater for fall and winter.
Checking the Pressure Relief Valve
Most water heaters come with a pressure relief valve, which prevents the heater from breaking down or combusting under extreme conditions. Pressure relief valves should be tested at regular intervals depending on the heater manufacturer’s instructions, but checking it at least every fall is generally a good length of time.
To test the pressure relief valve, gently pull up on it and ensure that hot water is expelled through the discharge tube. This means that the pressure relief valve is functioning well.
Inspecting the Anode Rods
Also called “sacrificial rods”, anode rods are a crucial component of your water heater as they stop the tank from rusting. Anode rods are made up of a steel core surrounded by relatively more reactive metals like magnesium and aluminum. The anode rods react with the water and corrode in order to protect the tiny bit of exposed metal in the water tank.
Should your anode rods be fully corroded, make sure to get them changed as soon as possible – leaving corroded rods in can cause the tank to rust, damaging your water heater.
Flushing the Water Heater Tank
A thorough emptying and cleaning of your water heater tank at least annually will remove any excess sediment that has settled at the bottom of the tank. By getting rid of the sediment build-up, your water tank is less likely to corrode quickly or be damaged. Such regular cleaning saves you money in the long run because you won’t need to replace your water heater as quickly.
Adjusting the Water Heater’s Temperature
As the weather gets colder, it’s natural that your water temperature will drop in tandem with outside temperatures. As such, if your water heater remains at its usual setting, your water may not be sufficiently heated to the comfortable temperature you desire.
A simple fix is to increase the temperature of your water heater by 5 to 10 degrees during the fall and winter months. This ensures that you’ll continue to receive perfectly heated water even on the coldest days.
Insulating the Pipes and Tank
If you live somewhere with extreme cold during the winter, you may wish to go one step further and insulate all your pipes along with your water heater. Not only does insulation prevent pipes from freezing and bursting by blocking their exposure to cold air, but it also conserves heat generated by your water heater, saving you money on your energy bill.
We hope these tips will be helpful as we enter the winter season – may you continue to enjoy nice hot water every day! If you need any assistance with putting these tips into practice, feel free to get in touch with us at Water Heating Direct – we’d be glad to help!