Water Heater Maintenance During the Winter

When temperatures begin to drop, that means it’s time for winter water heater maintenance. A little bit of upkeep here and there goes a long way in preventing the water heater from malfunctioning when you need it the most. Gear up for winter in Grand Rapids, MN by following these simple water heater tips.

Test the TPR valve’s performance

The temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valve is located near the bottom of your water heater and opens whenever too much pressure builds up inside the tank. The TPR valve is one of the most crucial components of any water heater and must function properly to avoid an explosion in your basement.

Checking the TPR valve is simple. Shut off the water and power supply to your water heater, then place a bucket directly underneath the TPR valve to catch excess water. When you open the valve, a light trickle of water should drain out. If this doesn’t happen, that means your TPR valve is malfunctioning and should get checked by a plumber in Grand Rapids, MN. Repeat this water heater tip periodically throughout the winter so you can detect a problem before it becomes a safety hazard.

Install a new anode rod

The anode rod is constructed with magnesium or aluminum and stands upright in the center of your water heater’s tank. These materials attract corrosive substances in your water supply and prevent them from damaging the inner walls of the water heater. Anode rods deteriorate over time and need to be replaced as part of your winter water heater maintenance routine.

To check the anode rod, unscrew its head at the top of your water heater and pull it out. Install a new rod if there’s only half an inch left in diameter. This water heater tip must be followed on a regular basis, but thankfully anode rods are readily available at any hardware store in Grand Rapids, MN.

Drain sediment from the tank

Sediment collects at the bottom of the tank over time, so flushing it out is an important step for winter water heater maintenance. Too much buildup forces the water heater to work extra hard, shortening its lifespan and increasing the need for repairs. Start by connecting a hose from the water heater to a drainage grate in the floor. Run water through the tank until it’s clear and free of sediment.

Lower energy costs with insulation

Water heaters have to work overtime during the winter because heat escapes from the pipes and water tank. You can improve the appliance’s longevity and cut back on energy bills by wrapping insulation around your water heater. Just like anode rods, foil blankets are easy to find at your local hardware store.

Despite your best efforts, a water heater can still break down when you least expect it. Nothing’s worse than a cold shower in the dead of winter, so reach out to the contractors at Rapids Plumbing & Heating Inc. the second you need help. Our team of specialists will arrive promptly to your Grand Rapids, MN home and come up with a solid plan for repairing your water heater.