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Winter Water Heater Maintenance Guide


After spending a day outside decorating for the holidays or doing yard work, you want to be able to take a hot shower once you’re done. But what happens when you go to turn on the shower and cold water comes out instead of the hot water you were expecting? Yikes! 


Fortunately, you have our winter water heater maintenance guide on hand so you can prevent water heater issues before they occur, so you can take that hot steamy shower after a hard day’s work! 


Here are Frank Gay Service’s top seven tips for maintaining your water heater this winter season.  


Clear Space Around the Water Heater 


If your water heater is in a storage room, make sure that it is free from clutter. You should always maintain at least two feet of clearance around the water heater for it to operate safely. Remember, water heaters can get hot!  


Shut Off the Water Supply 


To perform proper water heater maintenance, you need to ensure that you are safe in doing so. Before performing any maintenance, turn off the power supply (the switch is usually located close to the water heater) and shut the water heater off at the water supply valve.  


Test the TPR Valve  


A TPR valve is a temperature-pressure relief valve. It opens to release vapor if the pressure inside the water tank gets too high, so it must work properly. 


Place a bucket below the pipe that is under the TPR valve and open the valve quickly two or three times. If the valve begins to leak, it needs to be replaced.  

Check the Anode Rod  


You will find the anode rod housed inside the water tank. It functions to attract minerals and other elements to prevent corrosion in the tank. Over time, the anode rod can corrode or get coated in calcium buildup. If this occurs, it will need to be replaced.  


To check the anode rod, lift it out of the tank and inspect it. If it is coated in sediment or is less than half an inch in diameter, you should purchase and install a new one.  

Flush the Tank  


Your water heater should be flushed several times a year to prevent hard mineral sediment from building up inside of it.  


To flush your tank, attach a hose to the drain valve and let the water drain out of the tank into a bucket. This will remove most of the sediment. If the water is cloudy, open the cold-water supply briefly to let more water into the tank. Stir the sediment, then drain the tank again.  


Repeat this process a few times until the water coming out of the water heater tank is clear from any sediment.  


Not sure if you want to flush your tank on your own? No problem! Call our expert plumbers at Frank Gay Services for water heater maintenance and we will ensure that your water heater is clear of sediment and is working properly!  


Adjust the Temperature  


Just before winter is the perfect time to adjust the temperature setting on your water heater. While it may be tempting to turn up the dial in the winter, it is better to maintain proper water temperature with cleaning and insulation and setting the temperature dial lower. Even just turning the temperature down by 1-2 degrees can make a significant difference to your energy consumption this winter.  


Insulate Your Water Heater  


As the weather cools down, it may be time to insulate your water heater. Heat loss can occur as hot water sits in the tank of your water heater, which in turn, can drive up utility costs due to the extra gas or electricity usage. Insulating your water heater can save you money!  


Modern-day water heater tanks usually already have insulation built-in, but if you have an older tank, you may want to consider purchasing an insulating tank cover that will provide an extra layer to help keep the hot water inside your tank hotter. Otherwise, it might be time to consider calling Frank Gay Services to install a newer more efficient water heater 


While You’re Here> Preventing Common Plumbing Problems  


Maintain Your Water Heater with Frank Gay Services  


Whether you need to flush your water heater, install a new unit, or replace an anode rod, our team at Frank Gay Services is ready to help! We are also available for emergency water heater repairs if your water heater malfunctions unexpectedly this winter.  


Take on cooler winter days with Frank Gay! Call us to set up water heater maintenance today—  (407) 329-9808   


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