5 Maintenance Tips to Get My Water Heater Ready for Colder Temperatures in Fall & Winter

Winter is coming, is your water heater ready? One of the most important steps in order to prepare your home for the colder temperatures in fall and winter is investing some time and money into water heater maintenance.


Here are our five top maintenance tips for getting your water heater ready for fall and winter:

Tip 1: Check the Pressure Relief Valve

The pressure relief valve will prevent the water heater from combusting or breaking down in extreme situations. Different water heater manufacturers recommend testing the valve at different intervals, but to be safe, we recommend testing it every fall to make sure it’s working properly.

prepare-water-heater-for-cold-weatherThe best way to test the valve involves gently pulling up on it and ensuring that hot water is expelled from the discharge tube. If this happens, the valve is functioning and you’re good to go.

Tip 2: Inspect the Condition of the Anode Rod

Anode rods are often referred to as sacrificial rods. These are a vital component to any water heater because they prevent the tank from rusting. Anode rods are made from magnesium or aluminum with a steel core.

The anode rod reacts with the water and begins to corrode in order to protect the small amount of exposed metal in the water tank.

teflon-tapeIf your anode rod is completely corroded, you will need to replace it ASAP to ensure your tank does not rust and require an expensive replacement.

Tip 3: Flush the Tank

Emptying your water tank and cleaning it on an annual basis in the fall will help clean out sediment that settles at the bottom of the tank. Water tanks with excess sediment will corrode more quickly and require replacement sooner than a tank that has been emptied and cleaned on a regular basis.

Tip 4: Adjust the Temperature

During the winter, outside temperatures drop. This causes your water temperature to also drop. Because of this, keeping your water heater set at the normal temperature might not be enough to heat the water and send it through your pipes while maintaining a comfortable temperature.

checking-water-heater-temperatureBy increasing the temperature of your water heater by about 5-10 degrees, you will be able to enjoy hot water even on the coldest day of the year.

Tip 5: Insulate Your Pipes and Water Tank

If you are expecting extreme cold, we also recommend insulating your pipes and water heater. Insulating the pipes will block their exposure to cold air and prevent them from freezing and bursting. Insulating the water tank will help conserve heat, making it easier on your water heater and saving money on your energy bill.

For more help with preparing your water heater, call the Vernon, CT water heater experts at Water Heater Medic at (860) 896-3342 today.