Four Tips to Get Your Water Heater Ready for Winter
October conjures up the trappings of fall: football, orange and red leaves and cooler nights.
But it’s also the time of year Brooklyn residents need to consider getting their water heaters ready to tackle the hot showers that will be necessary to stay warm in the colder months ahead.
1. Insulate your water heater tank and pipes
If your water heater is not insulated, the standby hot water sitting in the tank can cool down. This can drive up your electrical or gas costs to re-heat the water in the tank for the next time you need it. Newer water heater tanks usually have insulation built-in, but if your home’s water heater is older, it may lack this feature. Purchasing a tank cover can provide an extra layer of protection. A professional plumber can measure the tank for you to make sure the cover is the correct size.
2. Clean out the tank
It’s a good idea to drain your hot water tank one to two times a year to rid the tank of excess sediment and calcium build-up. This build-up along the sides of the tank reduces the efficiency of the hot water and causes it to produce less hot water. Once drained, it should be flushed to remove all the calcification. You also should have a plumber check the tank regularly to make sure the build-up isn’t too great.
3. Assess the temperature and pressure
Make sure the temperature setting on your water tank is set between 120 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The factory default setting is usually at 140 degrees but turning it down to 120 can improve your energy consumption. While you’re checking the temperature, be sure the pressure valve is working properly by lifting the lever and releasing it. If you hear pressure or see water escaping, call your plumber to service the tank.
4. Check the anode rod
This essential water heater part purposely rusts away so your heater tank doesn’t rust. When you’re checking your pressure and temperature, also check on this rod, which should last about five years. If it’s coated in calcium or rust or is worn away to a sliver, it’s time to have your plumber replace it.
Brooklyn Water Heater Pros
These maintenance tips should help you keep your water heater in tip-top shape throughout the winter, but if you need assistance with any of these tips or suspect you need a new water heater, the plumbing experts at Petri Plumbing & Heating can assist you. Call us to schedule service!