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Prepare Your Water Heater For Winter

With winter’s cold weather on the way and out of town visitors coming for the holidays, many homeowners are asking themselves what can be done to stretch the hot water in their home. These tips will help you get the most out of your hot water heater this winter.

Inspect your Hot Water Heater

As a homeowner, you know that you’ll be in trouble if your water heater breaks down in the middle of a holiday party, long weekend, or when out of town visitors are staying in your guest room. To prevent this from happening, inspect your hot water heater for signs of distress. Things to look for include:

  • Corrosion
  • Extra moisture
  • Puddles beneath the heater
  • Soot around the burner

Hot water heaters that display any of these symptoms could be in danger of breaking down. If your water heater is showing signs of distress, contact your plumber immediately to find out what can be done to avoid problems.

Insulate the Pipes

Pipes that run through cold basements and crawl spaces can lose a lot of heat as water travels from the heater to the faucets. Insulating these pipes helps to hold in the heat, so water will still be hot by the time it reaches faucets and showerheads.

There are two ways to insulate pipes. Taping fiberglass insulation to pipes is a cost effective (but time-consuming) method. Alternatively, self-sticking pipe insulation is sold in hardware stores and home improvement centers, and is easy for homeowners to install personally without help from a professional.

Insulate the Hot Water Heater

Hot water heater blankets can help keep the heat inside the water heater. This may be helpful if your water heater is in a cold basement, however, if the installation is done incorrectly, the blanket can become a fire risk. If you want to insulate your hot water heater, speak with a plumber (such as one from Professional Plumbing Solutions) to ensure that it’s done correctly.

Turn up the Temperature on the Water Heater

When expecting guests or anticipating extra use of the hot water heater, temporarily turning up the temperature on the heater can help. Don’t allow the temperature of the tank to exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit, as temperatures above 120 degrees can be scalding.

Taking these steps will help to ensure that you’ll have all the hot water you need throughout the holidays. This way, you and your guests will stay warm and happy throughout the winter.

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