With fall already upon us and winter well on its way, holidays and family gatherings are almost here! The last thing you want is for Thanksgiving day to come with no hot water to wash the dishes, or it’s Christmas day and you can’t take a hot shower before going over to your family’s house. Prevent the words, “Your water heater needs replaced”, from being thrown at you this upcoming winter by following these easy steps.

  1. TPR Valve

The TPR valve, or the temperature pressure release valve, is made to automatically release water if temperatures or pressures are at an unsafe level. You can find it located on either the top or side of the tank (for gas and electric tanks). To make sure it’s properly working, lift up the lever on the valve. Release it, and you should hear pressure escaping or see water. The TPR valve will need replacing if it doesn’t, or if the water keeps coming out.

  1. Anode Rod

The Anode Rod is the main factor in determining the life of your water heater. This rod is on the top of the water heater and keeps it from rusting. Whenever the rod is corroded or coated in calcium, your water heater will leak and need to be replaced. These typically last about 5 years but should be checked annually.

  1. Flush

Sediment can quickly build up in your water heater, causing it to work unproductively. Deposits can clog your lines and result in higher bills.  By draining the tank 1-2 times a year, you can extend the life of your tank. First, turn off the power or gas to the heater. Turn the cold water supply valve off, and connect a hose to the drain valve, and open the valve. Open the TPR valve, as mentioned earlier, and let the tank release its water. When done, open the cold water valve to get the rest of the deposits out. Close the drain valve and TPR valve, and let your tank fill back up. All you have to do now is turn your power or gas back on!

  1. Adjust Temperature

You can save money by turning your temperature down, even if it’s by 10 degrees.

  1. Insulate

You may not need to worry if your tank is newer, but older tanks don’t include insulation. By insulating your pipes, the water will stay hotter longer and heat up faster. Not only will this save you roughly 12% on your energy bill, but it won’t take as long for your water to heat up in the first place. Be cautious when insulating; you don’t want to cover the top where the Anode Rod is, or the power or gas heaters.

Always remember that you shouldn’t try any job you aren’t comfortable with! Call a professional before doing anything you are unsure of.