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5 Effective Maintenance Tips to Get My Water Heater Ready for Fall & Winter

Whether you plan to go on a family vacation or have the entire clan over to your house this holiday season, there are things you can do to get your house in order before the festivities begin. One of your tasks should be maintenance for your water heater, and here are five things you can check on to get your unit ready for the upcoming season.

1. Temperature

Every water heater has a thermostat or setting control that you can use to increase and decrease the temperature of the water. By decreasing the temperature (set it to 120 F), you'll reduce the risk of burns and save money on your energy bills.

By increasing the temperature (set it to 140 F), you'll kill bacteria and provide the house with hotter water, which some appliances require.

2. Anode Rod

Water heaters are all equipped with something called an anode rod, which is a large metal rod that sits inside the tank and attracts corrosive elements. Over time, however, the anode rod corrodes and becomes less effective. When this process is complete, the anode rod must be replaced to prevent the tank from rusting. Every fall, part of your regular water heater maintenance should include inspecting the anode rod for corrosion, and replacing it when necessary.

3. Insulation

Many new water heaters are equipped with plenty of insulation on the inside of the tank to help maintain the temperature of the water.

But older water heaters and pipes are often not outfitted with insulation, and you can install this yourself to improve the efficiency of your unit and reduce your energy bills.

When you insulate the pipes, you may even be able to reduce the thermostat on the water heater by up to 4 F without altering the temperature of the water coming out of the taps.

4. TPR Valve

All water heaters are equipped with a TPR (temperature and pressure relief) valve that is designed to open and release pressure from inside the tank. This safety mechanism must be tested regularly because a faulty one could result in an exploding water heater. Simply open the lever to open the valve, and wait for the water to rush out. No water? Call the experts and have the TPR valve replaced immediately.

5. Sediment

Did you know that sediment buildup in your water heater can both reduce its efficiency and lead to premature corrosion? That is why most experts recommend flushing your water heater on an annual basis, as this will remove sediment and minerals from the bottom of the tank. Make sure you pour a few extra gallons of water through to remove all the sediment. And when it's time to refill the tank, make sure it’s full before you turn the power back on.

Fall and winter are a time for family get-togethers, celebrations, and vacations. To help prepare your house for an upcoming get-together or holiday, follow these simple maintenance tips to get your water heater ready for the cold weather. And if you have other questions, concerns, or plumbing problems to be addressed in your house, call the experts from Kellie Plumbing Inc, in Franklin, IN at 317-881-9316.