5 Maintenance Tips For an Efficient Water Heater This Fall & Winter
Winter is coming, and it's time to get your home ready for the deep freeze. While you may be focused on yard work and prepping the outside of your home, you should turn your attention to your water heater.
With these easy tips, you can have your home’s water heating system running more efficiently and avoid possible breakdowns.
1. Test the Pressure Relief Valve
Begin by shutting off the water supply to the heater and turning it off either at the electrical panel or by setting the thermostat to the pilot position, if yours is a gas model.
Put a bucket under the drain tube attached to the valve and lift the tab to open it. If no water comes out or if water continues to run after you have closed the valve, a new one will be needed. You can buy replacement valves at your local plumbing supply or home improvement store.
2. The Anode Rod
Made of aluminum or magnesium, the anode rod suspended in your water heater attracts the corrosive elements in water so that it rust before the tank does.
With a few gallons drained from the tank, remove the rod by loosening the hex head located on top of the tank with a 1 1/16” socket. You may need an impact wrench to do this. If the rod looks rusted or is thinner than ½” in diameter, it's time to replace it. Wrap Teflon tape around the new rod before installing it.
3. Flush the Tank
The water that comes into your home contains a certain amount of grit and sand, which can collect at the bottom of your water heater making it far less efficient. You can get rid of the sediment by emptying the tank. Attach a garden hose to the drain valve and place the other end where the water can empty safely.
Turn a hot water tap on somewhere in the house and open the valve to empty the tank. Once it's empty, open the cold water intake valve to stir up remaining residue and repeat until the water is clean.
4. Insulating the Tank and Pipes
A large amount of heat is lost through the walls of your water heater and through the pipes. If you add insulation to these, you will conserve energy and save on your monthly bills. Wrap a foil insulation blanket around the tank and cut around the thermostat, valves and pipes. Create a tight seal using foil tape.
5. Set the Temperature
One of the best ways to conserve energy is to lower the thermostat setting on your water heater. For every 10°F (13°C) cooler, you can achieve up to 5% savings on your energy bills. We suggest setting your water heater to no more than 120°F (49°C) to prevent scalding.
By completing these easy tasks, your water heater will be ready to take on the winter ahead in Cobourg, ON. If you'd like some help with your water heater maintenance and repairs, call the friendly experts of Guardian Plumbing at (289) 251-1626.