Homeowners know that the privilege of owning a home comes with many responsibilities.
One of those responsibilities includes making sure that the hot water is always hot. You know if it isn't hot you will be hearing about it — from your wife, husband, kids or roommates.
Below are practical steps you can take to make sure your hot water heater stays in prime condition and that you're never caught without heat or hot water on a blustery winter day.
Monitor the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve
Tank heaters have a temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valve. The TPR valve protects the tank from any potential damage that can be brought about by excess water pressure or heat. If this valve is damaged or defective in some way, your tank can rupture from heat and pressure build-up. This can cause extensive flooding in your home and hundreds of dollars worth of damage.
Insulate Your Water Tank
An insulating blanket around your water tank can reduce standby heat loss by as much as 45 percent. This is an excellent and relatively inexpensive way to lower your energy consumption and monthly utility bills at the same time.
Insulate the Pipes
Use self-sticking foam pipe insulation (at least 3/8-inch thick) around the hot and cold water pipes. This will help prevent heat loss in the winter (and condensation in the summer) which means your water heater does not have to work so hard to maintain your desired temperature.
Drain Your Water Heater
Once a year, you should completely drain your water heater to get rid of sediments that collect over time. You can do this yourself by following the instructions on the manufacturer's manual, or contact a licensed Pittsburgh plumber to do it for you.
Adjust the Thermostat
After you have insulated both your tank and pipes, you can adjust the setting of your water heater and run it at a lower temperature. Doing so will help reduce the wear and tear on your heater and may significantly increase its life span.
Have an Annual Maintenance Plan
Maintaining your water heater properly may require the services of a professional plumber. This expense will be more than justified in terms of lower monthly utility bills and the privilege of enjoying an efficient and reliable water heating system.
If you need assistance with water leak detection and other water heater solutions, call us. You can always count on us for prompt, professional service no matter what your residential and commercial plumbing requirements may be.
Image Courtesy of: Brian Cantoni via Flickr