Is Your Water Heater Efficient? How To Prep Your Water Heater For Cold Temperatures

Is Your Water Heater Efficient? How To Prep Your Water Heater For Cold Temperatures

The winter season brings homeowners extra bills with the gifts, feasts and celebrations of the holiday season, but what many do not realize is the amount of money they may be wasting on their energy and water bills through the inefficiency of their hot water heaters.  To help you avoid wasting money this winter, your local Seattle Roto-Rooter has given some suggestions to keep your energy and water bills low and make your holidays easier:


-        Check the Pressure Relief Valve (Temperature & Pressure Relief Valve or “T&P”): Designed to release pressure if the water heater’s tank becomes over pressurized. These valves are crucial to the efficiency and safety of your hot water heater. For proper inspection of the valve, place an empty bucket or pan under the valve’s flow tube, which should run vertically down the side of the tank and stop just short of the floor. Pull the valve’s Trip Leaver and wait for an air stream, vapors or water to exit from the valve. If none of these reactions occur, contact your local Seattle Roto-Rooter to replace your pressure valve.


-        Flush the Tank: It is common for water heaters to collect sediments that lead to corrosion, leaks and rust. To clean out the tank, turn off the water, gas and/ or electricity running to the heater first. Then connect a garden hose to the tank’s drain valve, open the drain valve and pressure relief valve and let the tank empty into a floor drain or outside. Be sure to allow the tank to refill with water before turning on the power. This will help you avoid damage to the heating elements.


-        Stay Efficient and Save Money: While most manufacturers set the thermostat at 140°F, this can cause your heater to work harder than it needs to, so keep your water heater temperature at 120°F. This temperature allows your water heater to work more efficiently by reducing the mineral build-up and pipe corrosion.  It is also important to note that every 10°F reduction of your water heater temperature allows you to save 3-5% in winter energy costs. Perhaps the most important reason to keep the thermostat at 120 –degrees is to prevent scald burns .

Preparing and maintaining your hot water heater can be a daunting task , so if you think you need assistance, call your local Seattle Roto-Rooter today and we will make sure that your hot water heater is running smoothly and efficiently.

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