Winter is the one season of the year when you’ll be using hot water for almost everything due to the below-freezing temperatures. Therefore, it is crucial you prepare your hot water heater for the cold season to avoid any disappointments in the future. The following is a detailed guide on winterizing your water heater.
How to Winterize Your Water Heater
Use the tips below to winterize your water heater in order to avoid breakdowns:
- Before you start working on the water heater, remember to unplug it from the power outlet if it’s an electric heater. If you’re using a gas heater, turn off the gas valve. After all, you do not want to get burned while servicing the water heater.
- Turn off the main water inlet. To do this, you will need to identify the incoming water line. In some homes, the main shut off valve may be located in the basement where the main water pipe enters the house. In many cases, however, the shut off valve is located at the exterior hose connection. Once you’re sure no water is getting into the tank and no heating is taking place, you can move on to the next step.
- Every water heater tank has a drain at the bottom. Before opening the drain valve, be sure to connect a garden hose to the connector of the drain. Use a bucket to collect water from the tank. Ideally, you should close the drain valve when the bucket is full and empty it before repeating the same process until the tank is completely empty. This should not take more than half an hour. Remember to open the air vent at the top of the tank. If you don’t, water will not come out of the tank.
- Open all faucets in the house, including faucets in the bathroom, basement and kitchen sink, and leave them open. They should drain some water before stopping.
- Insulate the water heater system properly to prevent heat losses. Use duct tape to hold the insulation material in place around the inlet and outlet pipes of the water heater. The hot water tank should also be covered with an insulating blanket and duct tape used to hot it in place. This will help to improve the energy efficiency and performance of the water heater.
Consider winterizing your water heater a few weeks before the onset of winter. Follow our blog for more articles that keep your HVAC system running efficiently and saving you money.