Looking for some water heater tune-up tricks to save up this winter? I've got you covered! Check out these tips to help improve your water heater’s efficiency while lowering energy bills.
Water Heater Tune-Up Tricks: Keeping Hot Water Flowing
Efficient Water Heater to Save Bills
Every day, my family relies on our water heater; from cleaning, drinking, to heating, so it can be quite expensive during the winter chill. You can keep your utility bill low by doing these tips. Performing regular water tune-up tasks saves you from repairs and makes sure that your water heating system continues to operate efficiently for years to come.
So, check out these helpful tips for a water heater tune-up to save up for the winter!
Your water heater should have clear access, apart from knowing the exact location of it. Sometimes, the tune-up comfort system is tucked away in a basement or in an attic where plumbing is hard to reach.
Make sure to keep at least 2 feet of space around your water heating system as it needs a good supply of oxygen. If the water heater doesn’t get enough oxygen, its efficiency is affected and may even damage the burner chamber and other parts of the system.
It is also ideal to keep it away from combustible materials since it is a source of heat.
3. Get To Know Your Water Heater
You should know the important information about your water heaters, like what type of heater you have (whether if it’s natural gas, propane, or electric), or whether it’s a tankless type or a storage tank type.
You should also keep note of some important information, like the model number, serial number, age, and gallon capacity for warranty purposes or if a repair company will ask for it.
4. Control The Temperature Setting Of Your Water Heater
Most technicians recommend setting the water heater’s temperature to 120 degrees. Setting it any higher can decrease efficiency and may even increase the danger of scalding.
5. Check Your Water Heater’s Thermostat
The thermostat is the one controlling the transmission of energy to the heating element to create hot water. If the thermostat is not working properly, it reduces hot water. You need to calibrate or replace it if this happens.
6. Drain Your Water Heater
Washing out the tank of your system will allow fresh and clean water to run through. This also helps to get rid of the sediment accumulating in the bottom of the water heater tank.
These sediments can cause big problems and may even block pipes that are necessary for your heating system to operate properly. Thus, getting rid of these sediments will keep your home more energy-efficient.
7. Know How to Turn Off The Water
It is very important to know how to turn off the water and the power supply to the water heater before facing a water heater emergency. The correct power supply should be labeled properly too.
In an event where leakage occurs, you will know which circuit breaker is used for the water heater so you can shut it off right away. This makes all the difference when you have water leaking all over as you can attend to it immediately.
8. Check All Electric Power Connections
If your water heating system does not produce hot water, check all electric power connections by using a handheld voltmeter. You need to tighten all power connections.
You may need to replace one or more components if you can’t find any power. Make sure to be very careful in working with the electric parts, but if you’re not comfortable carrying out this type of maintenance on the system, better ask for help from a professional plumber.
9. Install Hot Water Pipes Insulation
Adding an insulation wrap on every pipe leading to and from the water heater pipe is simple and inexpensive. Plus, it will definitely increase the hot water volume.
10. Install Hot Water Tank Insulation
Check out your water heater tank, if it feels warm, then you are losing some heat through the tank. You need to put insulation wrap around the tank.
This will definitely increase the system’s efficiency to produce hot water and keep it at the right temperature. The energy will surely pay back the costs substantially.
11. Install Hot Water Duct Insulation
All duct joints and seams should be inspected and wrapped using mastic (a special paste) to ensure sufficient hot water flow and to avoid loss of heated water.
12. Install Water Softener
Consider putting a water softener on your water heater to get rid of mineral sediments that cause unnecessary wear and tear on your water heating system. A water softener helps decrease standby heat loss inside the tank caused by these sediments.
13. Install Aerators On Your Faucets
Reduce your hot water consumption by installing aerators in all your faucets. Aerators lessen the number of water spills from the faucets causing less water to be wasted. So, you’ll definitely save much more on your water bill.
14. Check For Possible Leakage
Carefully check faucets and showerheads for signs of small leaks. If you find any, then it must be replaced right away. You’ll see how substantial it is to save a drip per second on your utility bills.
15. Take More Showers Than Baths
Consider taking more showers than baths. Taking more showers may reduce your hot water consumption because baths cost the average household massive water heating costs.
16. Maintain The PT Valve
The pressure and temperature (PT) valve is an important safety device on your water heater tank designed to prevent an explosion. Protect the heating element from extreme pressure and temperature by maintaining it regularly as needed.
17. Replace Worn Anode Rods Of Your Water Heater
If you notice a discoloration of the water, check out the anode rod. These rods slowly dissolve inside the water heater to prevent corrosion. When the coating of the rod thins or if it has thickened with mineral deposits, it’s time to replace it!
18. Schedule An Annual Water Heater Inspection
Make sure to schedule a periodic water heater tune-up. During a maintenance check, your plumber inspects parts of your water heater you do not safely have access to. After all, a well-maintained water heater is safe and runs more efficiently and effectively.
It saves you energy dollars. Plus, your water heater stays in good shape, allowing your entire household to enjoy hot water for years to come.
19. Consider Installing a Water and Gas Safety Valve
The water and gas safety valve will help detect any issue and will prevent unwanted expenses. It may cost much at first but will help you save money in the long run.
Watch this video from Sears PartsDirect and learn how to safely drain your water heater tank to keep your water heating system running efficiently and correctly:
My water heating system is hidden in the basement, but I make sure I do not forget about it. It doesn’t necessarily mean your system, as it gets older, needs to be replaced after getting less and less hot water. It may just need your care through regular tune-up!
Do you have any other water heater tune up tasks that you complete on your own? Let me know your tips and favorite tasks in the comments below.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 25, 2017, updated for quality and relevancy.