Is Your Heater Ready For Winter
5 Tips To Ensuring Your Hot Water Heater Is Game-day-ready For Winter.
After a Winter’s morning walk along Bondi Beach there’s nothing more satisfying than a nice hot shower to warm up.
But wait, why is the water freezing cold?? Eeek the hot water system has busted. The worst thing that could happen in Winter!
To protect your hot water system this Winter; make sure it’s operating at the best of its ability; and keep your showers remain nice and warm, here are 5 quick tips you can do yourself to check your system.
[Side note: the best way to ensure your hot water system is functioning at 100% is to book in an expert appointment with your local eastern suburbs plumber – that’s us – but there are a few things you can do yourself right now].
Ok Here We Go; 5 Quick Tips To Check Your Hot Water System Is Ready For Winter:
Check the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve
Basically, if the temperature or pressure builds up too much inside your hot water tank, it can cause leaks, shorten the life of your heater and possibly explode (worst case scenario).
The temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valve are designed to automatically open and release excess pressure.
To check this value make sure you shut off the water and power supply to your property before placing a bucket under the drain pipe connected to the valve.
Lift the tab attached to the valve and allow some water to escape, then, close it again. If little or no water comes out when the valve is open, or if water continues to run after it has been closed, the valve most likely needs replacing.
Inspect the Anode Rod
There is a magnesium or aluminum rod inside your tank which helps to protect against rust. Essentially the rod attracts corrosive elements in water so that it rusts before the tanks rusts!
These rods typically last 3 – 5 years and you do need to replace the rod once it’s rusted to make sure the tank doesn’t start to rust.
To check the rod, make sure the power and water supply are off, then unscrew the rod’s hex head located on the top of the tank with a 1 1⁄16-inch socket.
Pull the rod out of the tank (this could take a bit of muscle). If it’s down to ½” in diameter or less, replace it with a new one – which can be purchased at most hardware stores).
Flush the Tank
Do you know what lies at the bottom of your hot water tank? Like the bottom of the ocean – sediment and sand can accumulate, making it more difficult for the system to heat the water. The harder your heater has to work, the shorter the life span!
You can flush the tank by attaching a hose to the drain valve located near the bottom of the tank.
Place the other end of the hose in a floor drain or somewhere outside your property. With the water supply turned off and the power shut off (or the thermostat set to pilot for gas models) open the drain valve.
Once the tank is empty, briefly turn the water supply back on to stir up the sediment at the bottom and allow it to drain.
You can repeat the process until the water runs clear. Voila – you have successfully flushed the tank! Aim to repeat this process 1 – 2 times per year.
Insulate the Tank
To prevent unnecessary heat loss and reduce your water heating costs this winter, you may want to insulate your tank and pipes.
You can find foil insulating blankets at most home improvement stores.
Cut it to fit around the pipes, valves, and thermostat on your heater. Wrap the blanket around the walls of the tank, sealing it using foil tape.
The top of gas water heaters should not be covered, but electric models can be capped with an oversized round piece of blanket taped down to the sides of the tank.
Adjust the Thermostat
Did you know you can save as much as 5% on your energy bill for every 10 degrees difference on your thermostat?
Adjusting the thermostat can also prevent scalding and ensure that you have a nice hot shower, every time.
The recommendation temperature is 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius) for hot water tanks.
We all take hot water for granted until we don’t have it! So make sure you keep your hot water flowing all Winter with these 5 quick tips.
Thoroughly checking your hot water tank is part of every Proximity Plumbing’s plumbing maintenance service. So if you want to get expert eyes on your hot water system, call us today on 0420 102 394 for a free quote. Plus we guarantee to be on-site within the eastern suburbs in 30 minutes.