Essential Water Heater Maintenance Tips for Winter

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During winter, people spend more time inside the cozy confines of their homes. (Even in sunny Tucson, the temperatures can drop to freezing.) As a result, water usage increases, putting extra pressure on drains, pipes and hot water heaters. Colder water entering water heaters makes the unit work harder to reach the appropriate temperature, and may cause other malfunctions. If you own an old heater (8 years or more), sediment accumulation may hinder the heating process. So, it’s good for you to flush your water heater or prevent pipe freezing by following these simple maintenance tips.

Caulk the Gaps

If your hot water heater is unable to keep the water warm colder air may be entering the area around the heater through leaked holes or openings. If you find these openings, you need to fill the gaps or wrap foam insulation around the pipes. Sometimes the use of a special insulating blanket around the water heater tank can reduce heat loss up to 45%.

Fix Faulty Parts

Sometimes you need will to change or repair the faulty parts that prevent your water heater from performing. It might be a broken dip tube that causes cold water leakage into your hot water supply, or a thermostat that may fail over time. Get in touch with a local Tucson plumber like RAM Plumbing for help.

Routine Water Heater Maintenance is a Must

Over time, sediments accumulate in all hot water heaters. The sediment build-up can reduce the efficiency of the heater, which means it takes more time to heat the water, resulting in a hike in energy bills. To prevent clogged water lines and higher energy bills, it is essential to drain your water heater at least 1- 2 times a year. If you need any assistance in this area call RAM Plumbing at 520.747.8089.

Maintain or Replace the Anode Rod

The anode rod in a water heater tank captures the corrosive elements in water, so that these elements don’t cause any damage to the inner lining of the tank. It is essential to maintain the anode rod (if it is 2- 3 years old) annually to prevent corrosion. If the rod gets covered in calcium, has missing pieces or has a reduced thickness (1- 2 inches thick), it’s time to get a new rod.

Check the TPR Valve

The temperature pressure relief, or TPR, valve is positioned either on the top or side of electric and gas water tanks. The main function of the TPR is to open if the pressure increases beyond the measured limit, to prevent an explosion. A Tucson plumber like RAM Plumbing can conduct a routine check up to ensure that the TPR valve is functioning properly, or help you find a proper replacement.

Tank & Pipe Insulation

Newer water heaters that have adopted the latest technology come pre-insulated. However, if you have an older tank, a fiberglass jacket can enhance the performance of the heater. You can also use foam pipe insulators to fit around the pipes. The insulation will help to maintain the water temperature in the pipes.

Nowadays, tankless water heaters, like Enviro Water Filtration System, have gained immense popularity. These heaters supply instant hot water to faucets and subsequently lower energy bills. However, these heaters also have certain disadvantages. For instance, in extreme cold they need to be drained regularly to prevent malfunctioning. An expert from RAM Plumbing can perform this task for you.

In case you feel that your water heater should be replaced, get in touch with Tucson’s RAM Plumbing. Our local plumbing experts can help you prioritize the size, cost and type of water heater you should purchase. Water heaters are categorized into 5 types based on their utility and functionality:

  • Heat pump water heaters
  • Solar water heaters
  • Conventional storage water heaters
  • Tankless water heaters
  • Tankless coil and indirect water heaters

Remember, routine maintenance of your hot water heater will increase its longevity, lower your energy bills and ensure hot water supply whenever needed. If you need any help or advice on maintaining your water heater during winter, contact the plumbing experts at RAM Plumbing in Tucson today. We’ll help you make the best choice for your home. 520-747-8089.

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