When outdoor temperatures drop, it’s a sure bet that everyone will be using more hot water inside. This includes using hot water for showers, hand washing and washing dishes. For your home water heater, the cold months means that hot water will be in higher demand, and wanted on a more frequent basis than other times of the year. While you should be doing regular preventative water heater maintenance, there are some things that need your attention come late fall and wintertime.
Follow these maintenance tips to keep your showers warm and avoid costly water heater repair in Las Vegas, NV:
- Insulate the tank: There is usually a lot of heat loss from your house during the cold winter months. This is a common occurrence, but don’t let your water heater be one of the things that loses heat! Luckily, there’s a way to seal in the heat, while conserving energy at the same time: add insulation to the tank. Simply wrap your tank with a water heater-specific insulation blanket, sealing up the edges with foil tape. If it gets really cold where you live, cut some insulation sleeves to secure around the unit’s pipes.
- Flush the tank: The water that fills your home water heater contains sediments, minerals and other elements that sink to the bottom of the tank and get trapped. This type of buildup can cause tank rust and act as a breeding ground for bacteria, which can get into the water you drink and the water you use to shower in and wash dishes. Get the tank flushed every year—draining the tank, running clean water through and refilling it with fresh water. Additionally, a tank that is full of sediments and other materials can make it less efficient at heating the water.
- Adjust the water temperature: In cold weather, you may want to adjust your water heater temperature to somewhere between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. At these temps, not only do you save energy and get plenty of hot water, but you’re also better protected against bacteria and other contaminants that may be in the water. Locate the thermostat on the unit and adjust the temperature accordingly.
- Limit hot water usage: Water heater leaks tend to occur during the colder months because the tank is being overworked. A key to preventing water heater leaks is to limit your hot water usage, and ask others living in the house to do the same. Having your tank inspected regularly can also help prevent leaks.
- Check the pressure valve: Cold weather will likely cause the tank’s water pressure to increase, because it’s constantly heating the water to a higher temperature. A water heater that is under too much pressure can stop working or break, which is why the pressure release valve needs to be fully functioning. This valve lets out excess fluid.
This winter, if you need water heater repair in Las Vegas, NV or require help with troubleshooting, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Orchard Plumbing!