2 Tips To Winterize Your Water Heater

With winter fast approaching, the need for hot water in your home will likely increase due to plummeting temperatures. A water heater malfunction during winter would be disastrous, as it could mean no hot water for daily use when your family needs it the most. That is why it is essential that you consider winterizing your water heater long before winter strikes so as to avoid disappointments late on.

Here is a look at simple steps you should take to improve the functionality and efficiency of your water heater in winter.

Drain and refill

Draining the tank completely can help remove sediment buildup that can burn out the element during winter or even cause your hot water to be dirty and foul-smelling. You can then refill the purged tank with clean water from your main line.

Before attempting to drain the tank, unplug the heater from the power outlet and shut off the main water inlet valve usually located at your basement or the exterior house connection. You can now connect a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater tank and let water and debris drain out into a bucket or floor drain.

Once the tank is empty, turn on the water inlet and let cold water run out of the drain valve until it turns clear. You can then refill the tank with clean water and fire up the heater. With a cleaned out tank, you will typically improve the efficiency of the heating element, ensuring that you have a constant supply of hot water and reduced utility bills during winter. 

Insulate the pipes and tank

Ensuring the pipes that supply water to the heater don't freeze over during winter is of utmost importance. If the lines freeze, then the tank will be left with little or no water, which could lead to the element burning out.

Begin by wrapping fiberglass on all pipes connected to the water heater and then securing the insulation to the pipes using duct tape. If you have metal pipes that tend to sweat a lot, you may want to avoid using fiberglass insulation, as this could lead to mold concerns along the pipes. A better option would be to wrap such pipes with foam tubes bound firmly in place using tape.

You should then wrap the water heater tank with old blankets so as to slow down heat loss that would lead to more energy usage during winter. 

For more tips, contact a company that specializes in home water heater repair.