Fall Water Heater Maintenance Tips


It may not feel like it right now in Shell Beach, but fall is here and cooler weather will soon follow.

That means there’s no better time to do some routine maintenance on your water heater to make sure that hot shower on a rainy morning doesn’t turn into an icy-cold wake-up call. Inspecting your water heater is especially important if you’ve noticed the water taking longer to warm up, discoloration or low pressure.

Our Shell Beach plumbers will inspect your system to alert you to any needed repairs to make sure your water heater is reliable all winter long.

Here are three tips to prepare your water heater for the season.

1. Drain and flush the system:

Have hard water? This tip is especially important. Sediment from minerals in hard water can accumulate in the bottom of your tank, causing your system to run less efficiently. Drain your tank by first turning off the power source to the water heater. Then, turn off the water heater’s cold-water supply valve, generally located at the top of your water heater. Attach a hose to the drain valve at the base of the tank and open all the hot water faucets in your home and let them run to assist in dispensing all of the hot water from the system. Finally, open the water heater drainage valve and completely empty the tank. When it’s empty, turn on the cold-water supply valve and allow it to run for 10 minutes to push clean water through the system and remove any lingering sediment.

2. Check the temperature:

Some water heater manufacturers set the temperature to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which could cause damage and is hotter than most households really need. Elevated temperatures can cause scalding, mineral buildup and corrosion in the pipes. It’s recommended to set your water heater to 120 degrees, which will also help you save big on losses of standby and demand heat. However, if your water is taking too long to warm up, the temperature might be set too low. Bump it up a few degrees to see if that fixes the problem.

3. Test the pressure relief valve:

A working pressure relief valve should release a burst of hot water into the drainpipe after you raise and then lower the test lever. Do this regularly to check the pressure and to clear out debris. If the valve is not letting out a big burst each time, call one of our Shell Beach plumbers to get a new one installed.

Water heaters are expensive and complex appliances that require consistent maintenance. For more helpful water heater maintenance tips or assistance with repairing or replacing your water heater, call Griffin Plumbing at 805-934-1949 today!

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