How to Keep Your Water Heater in Tip-Top Shape

Posted: 2022-12-08

Staying comfortable at home in winter is more than just having the right temperatures in every room; you also need to have an uninterrupted supply of warm water. Thankfully, your water heater is there to get the job done.

If you’re using an older water heater and investing in a new one isn’t in the budget at least in the foreseeable future, what can you do to make it run as efficiently as possible?

Four Seasons Air Specialists is your trusted heating company in Hugo MN. Since the beginning, our goal has always been to provide outstanding HVAC products and services. In this article, we’ll be sharing a few tips to make sure your water heater provides you with warm water every time you need it.

Check the water level.

It is essential to regularly inspect the heater’s water level for a couple of reasons. First, running the water heater without water can cause serious damage to the system. Second, it can compromise your safety and cause accidents.

Some water heaters have a safety feature that monitors the water level and automatically adds more water when the level gets low. This allows the unit to automatically fill the water heater with the right amount of water and will instantly turn the system off when the right water level is reached.

Check the pressure-relief valve.

Located at the top or side of your water heater, the pressure-relief valve opens automatically if the pressure inside the tank gets dangerously high. This task is important as too much pressure can actually cause the tank to explode. To see if it’s working properly, place a bucket below the discharge pipe on your water heater tank and slowly lift the lever on the pressure-relief valve.

If the valve fails to release water when you lift the lever, you need to replace the valve. If you don’t mind taking a few steps, follow the next tips. Shut off the water, drain the tank, unscrew the discharge pipe and then unscrew the old valve. Using sealant tape, wrap the threads of the valve and screw it in. It should work by now.

Check your thermostat setting.

You can save as much as 5 percent in your monthly energy costs for every 10 degrees you lower the temperature. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends 120 degrees because it’s hot enough to avoid diseases and not hot enough to cause scalding. This temperature will supply enough hot water without consuming too much energy.

If you are living with children or the elderly, you may want to keep the temperature at 120 degrees. Experts state that it only takes two seconds for a child to receive a third-degree burn from water that is 150 degrees and five seconds if it is 140 degrees.

Drain sediments from the tank.

Over time, the tank can collect sediments that can diminish the unit’s efficiency level and shorten the water heater’s lifespan. To get rid of sediments that have settled in the bottom of the tank, simply drain two to three gallons of water. But to be sure that there are no more particles in the tank, let the water flow until it is sediment-free. To do this, open the drain valve slowly and let the water run until it’s crystal clear.

Insulate the water heater lines.

When water is transported through the pipes, the water loses heat. The longer the water travels, the more heat is lost in the process. To deal with this issue, insulate your water heater pipes. With the right insulation, your pipes can minimize heat loss while the water is being delivered to your faucets.

Not only does adding insulation to your pipes keep the water warm, but it also helps you avoid expensive water heater repairs. Ultimately, doing so will make your house safer, you don’t have to suffer being without hot water, and your budget won’t be affected by untimely repair costs.

Ask the Water Heater Experts

Four Seasons Air Specialists has been in the water heater business for over four decades. Our Forest Lake heating and air conditioning experts are knowledgeable in maintaining and repairing water heaters. To make sure you have hot water when you need it this winter, get in touch with us.