5 Maintenance Tips That Will Guarantee Your Water Heater is Winter-Ready

Weekend warriors and do-it-yourselfers know that the change of season brings a bunch of home maintenance jobs with it. One that’s often overlooked is your home water heater maintenance, needed to prepare for the colder months ahead. With these few simple steps, you’ll help prevent breakdowns and keep your energy costs in check.  If you would rather hire out to a professional plumber, we still encourage you to understand the scope so you can be more specific in your work requests.

1 – Check the TPR Valve

check-pressure-relief-valveA critical safety feature on your water heater is the temperature and pressure release valve (TPR). It automatically opens to relieve pressure inside the tank should it get too high.

Place a bucket under the drainpipe, and open the valve by lifting its tab. Water should flow into the bucket. If little or no water comes out, or if it continues to flow after you’ve turned it off, a new one may be needed.

2 – Check the Anode Rod

Made of magnesium or aluminum, the anode rod inside your water heater helps to keep it from rusting by attracting the corrosive elements in the water. Drain a few gallons of water from the tank, locate the hexagonal head of the rod on top of your tank and loosen it with a 1 1/16” socket to take the rod out. If it looks corroded or has shrunk to less than ½” in diameter, it should be replaced.

3 – Flush the Tank

servicing-a-water-heaterBy completely emptying out your hot water tank, you can remove sand and sediment that has accumulated over time, making it waste energy and work harder to heat your water.

Connect a garden hose to the drain valve and place the other end where the water can drain safely, such as a floor drain or outside. Turn a hot water tap on a kitchen or bathroom faucet and open the drain valve until the tank is empty.

4 – Insulate the Tank and Pipes

You can prevent heat loss and achieve energy savings by adding insulation to your water heating system. Wrap a foil insulating blanket around the sides of your tank, carefully cutting around the thermostat and pipes. Seal the blanket with foil tape.

On the electric heaters, you can cover the top of the tank with an oversized round section of blankets taped to the side. Note: the top of gas and oil-powered water heaters should not be covered.

Slide some 3/8” self-adhesive foam insulation on as much pipe as you can access, and peel off the tape to create a seal.


5 – The Thermostat Setting

checking-water-heater-temperatureYou could achieve as much as 5% savings on your energy costs for every 10° lower that you set your water heater’s thermostat. We recommend a setting of no more than 120°F to prevent burns or scalding.

After completing these tasks, you can refill the tank and turn your water heater back on once it is partially full. Your water heater should now be ready to take on the cooler days ahead.

If you’d like some assistance with your water heater maintenance, call Compton Plumbing Services, the Mesa, AZ area experts at 480-926-3931. We also offer other plumbing repair services such as camera pipe inspections, gas line repair, and drain cleaning. Schedule an appointment today to receive assistance with your plumbing issue!

Water Heater Services in Mesa & Phoenix, Arizona

Call Us: (480) 926-3931

Whether you are winterizing or replacing your water heater, Compton Plumbing can provide the professional service you are seeking.  Our team of highly trained and professional plumbers are available for water heater repairs or replacements.

Schedule a plumbing repair appointment with our team of certified plumbers in Mesa, Phoenix, and Scottsdale, Arizona.

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