Water heater maintenance should be done regularly before fall turns to winter. Fall and winter not only bring cooler weather, but they often bring a lot of visitors to your home. There are a number of holidays and events during these seasons that bring the family together. While you may be overjoyed with the anticipation of seeing loved ones or celebrating with friends, you should make sure that everything is working properly in your home. Imagine how inconvenient it will be if one of your systems malfunctions with guests in your home!
One thing that should be working in top shape, whether you have company or not, is the water heater in your home. This system makes it possible for you to have access to hot water in your home. it’s essential for everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and bathing. If you plan to have guests visit, you want to be sure that they can perform these tasks with ease. Not to mention, it will be cold! You will want to have access to warm or hot water. Here’s the maintenance your water heater should receive in preparation for the colder months.
Your water heater should be inspected annually, preferably before the cold months arrive. This will ensure that all of its components are functioning properly and that the heater is operating to its maximum capacity. Also, professional servicing will identify any flaws that could possibly lead to plumbing problems in the future. There are ways to maintain your water heater on your own, but if you prefer a professional to do it, here’s what you can expect:
- A check of the manufactures plate to record the age and capacity of the model. The average water heater will likely need to be replaced after 10-15 years.
- Inspection for leaks, faults, or general wear and tear.
- The shut-off valve should be leak-free
- The cold-water supply line enters at a point marked “cold” and the hot water line leaves a point marked “hot.”
- The temperature pressure relief valve, or the TPRV, is connected to an extension pipe.
- A temperature adjustment will be performed. The recommended temperature is between 120-125 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The drain valve, located at the base of the tank, will be checked for leakage or wear and tear. This should be opened and drained annually to clear the tank of any debris or clogs.
Water Heater Maintenance: What You Can Do
Any major malfunction will certainly require the help of a professional. However, there are steps you can take to help things go smoothly during the fall and winter months. If you’re confident in your ability to test your water heater’s function on your own, here are a few tips to keep you safe as well as efficient.
Flush the Tank
Flushing the tank is a step in the right direction when it comes to preparing for the cold or a house full of guests. Though a professional will perform a flush during routine servicing, you can certainly do it on your own if you’re pressed for time. Flushing the tank will filter out any debris or sediment that has gathered in the tank over the past year. Once it’s replaced with clean water, efficiency should improve.
Insulation to the tank and pipes connected to it can also boost the efficiency and performance of your water heater. Insulation will help keep the heat inside, where it should be. This way, water will stay hot on its way to your faucet or showerhead. You can apply insulation on your own.
Lower the Temperature
if the temperature is pre-set, there’s a good chance it may be too high. If it’s above 130 degrees Fahrenheit, you and your loved ones are at a potential risk of scalding. Use caution when adjusting, as wires may be exposed near the control panel.
Check the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve
Otherwise known as the TPR valve, testing this will let you know if it’s possible for the pressure to become dangerously high. After opening the lever, you will know there is an issue if water doesn’t immediately flow out of the discharge pipe.
Now you know what you can do to aid in water heater maintenance for this fall and winter. Even though you have an understanding, it’s important to contact a professional in a plumbing emergency, or if you’re simply not sure what could be causing any issues. Your water heater is an essential feature of your home, and its proper function will keep you and your guests comfortable this holiday season.
Call the plumbers at Jones Services today to schedule your water heater maintenance!