4 Seasonal Checks Your Water Heater Needs This Fall 

Oct 10, 2022

As the weather starts to change and it gets chillier outside, having hot water at your home is essential. Since colder outdoor temperatures can make it harder for your water heater to quickly heat your water, you’ll likely want your water heater in the best condition possible. To ensure your water heater is ready for the winter, learn more about the top four water heater checks to perform during the fall.

1. Check the Condition of Your Anode Rod

Your water heater’s anode rod is responsible for protecting your water heater from rust. Essentially, the anode rod attracts rust to it, keeping it away from the rest of the tank. Over time, the anode rod will deteriorate due to the rust it attracts and will need to be replaced to prevent rust from spreading to the rest of your tank (and into your water!).

Before the winter, it’s best practice to make sure the anode rod is still in good condition. If you or a plumber open your water heater and can’t see the rod or most of it has deteriorated, it should be replaced by a professional plumber as fast as possible. 

2. Inspect Your Pressure Relief Valve

If your water heater has a storage tank, it should also have a pressure release valve. Since too much pressure in your tank can damage your water heater and even cause it to explode, one of the most important water heater checks is to test that the pressure relief valve is working properly. A correctly working pressure relief valve will release hot water out of your drain pipe when a plumber gently lifts the pressure relief valve’s lever. 

When only a little or no water comes out after lifting the valve, you’ll need an inspection from a plumber, who may need to replace the valve to keep you safe. If you notice leakage coming out of your valve, you’ll also need a plumber to replace it.

3. Find Out When Your Water Heater Was Last Flushed

Over time, minerals and sediment from hard water can accumulate in your tank. When this sediment is allowed to rest on the bottom too long, it can corrode your tank from the inside and cause your system to perform less efficiently. Alongside harming the performance of your system, too much sediment can give your water a yellowish color. Additionally, When the corrosion is left unchecked, it can end up damaging your tank so extensively that you’ll need a replacement. 

A good rule of thumb is to flush your water at least once a year. However, you may want to flush it every six months if your home relies on water with a high mineral content. Before the winter, check if your water heater has been flushed in the past year. If it’s been a while since its last flush, having a plumber flush it to remove the sediment can help extend your water heater’s life and improve its performance during the winter.

4. See If You Can Safely Raise the Water Heater’s Temperature

Usually, water heaters come preset at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Since any temperature higher than 120 can be dangerous and put you at risk of scalding, you should almost never raise it past that temperature. However, some homeowners like to lower their water heater’s temperature during the summer to save on energy costs. Over the winter, it’s often best to raise the temperature back up to 120, as setting it lower during the winter could cause it to take longer to heat your water when you need it.

If you’ve previously lowered your water heater’s temperature or you’re not sure what temperature it’s been set at, it’s a good idea to quickly check your water heater’s temperature dial. When the temperature is set below 120, you can raise the water heater’s temperature to 120. This temperature setting will help your water heater warm up your home’s water faster. If you raise the temperature to 120 and the water heater still takes a long time to heat your water, a plumber should inspect your unit for signs of damage.

Choose Newcomb and Company for Water Heater Service in Raleigh

If you’re looking for water heater repair near you in Raleigh or the surrounding areas, turn to Newcomb and Company. Our certified plumbers can perform multiple water heater services, including water heater inspections, flushes, and repairs. When your water heater is nearing the end of its life, our team can also recommend the best models for your home and replace your old one with the unit you choose. For homeowners on a tight budget, we also offer water heater financing to ensure you receive the right deal for your needs.

Learn more about our plumbing and water heater services today. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, please contact us.

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