Your water heater is an incredibly important part of your home’s plumbing system, but many homeowners may not realize that it too needs maintenance or repairs until it’s too late. There is no good time to encounter water heater problems, but the winter is probably the worst time of year to find that your water heater is in need of repair or replacement. Beyond the cold, the repairs can be costly and difficult. Avoid these problems by being proactive about your plumbing and water heater maintenance this season. Here are our tips for taking care of your water heater this winter.
Check the Water Temperature
The temperature of your heater should register somewhere between 115 and 120 Fahrenheit. Keeping this temperature at the lower end of the range can go a long way when it comes to saving on your winter energy bills, while also making things a bit easier on your water heater during the cold winter months. If you’re having trouble getting hot water, you can turn your water heater up as well, but don’t exceed 125 degrees, as this can cause a dangerous scalding hazard.
Insulate Your Pipes
Heating the water in your home can be expensive through the winter. One great way to reduce heat loss and excessive energy costs is to insulate your pipes. When your pipes are totally exposed, it will be harder for them to maintain heat, causing your water to lose heat as a result and forcing your heater to work harder. A great bonus of insulating your pipes is that it is also excellent preventative maintenance. Insulation helps the pipes to maintain heat, which can prevent them from freezing. Frozen pipes can result in cracks and leaks that are often expensive to repair.
Test the Pressure Relief Valve
The fall and early winter are great times to check some important parts of your home, including the plumbing, for any necessary maintenance or repairs. A great place to start is with the pressure relief valve that both gas and electric heaters rely on as a safety device. This valve releases pressure if your heater becomes too pressurized. Test that it’s working correctly by opening it halfway and closing it again. If the valve does not snap back into place immediately, there could be an issue with the valve, in which case you should call a professional to make sure your water heater is in proper working order for the season ahead.
Flush the System
Flushing out your system once a year is a good way to keep your water heater working properly and consistently throughout the year. Over time, sediment builds up on the bottom of the tank, and this can reduce the amount of water your tank can hold, as well as cause rust and buildup in your pipes. Trust a plumbing professional to flush your system this year to make sure your pipes and water heater are in excellent shape to provide you with hot water all winter long.
Get in Touch With B&D Today!
Dealing with any plumbing concerns that require a professional to step in? Struggling with an absolute plumbing emergency that can’t wait? Let B&D Plumbing know. B&D Plumbing Inc. services the greater Washington D.C. metropolitan area, including Maryland and Northern Virginia. Get in touch with us by calling (301) 595-1141 or follow us on social media including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. As a small, family-owned business, we understand how important your home is—and we offer exceptional service that matches!