When ground temperatures plummet in the colder months, the water entering your home can get up to 25 degrees colder. This means your water heater has to work harder than usual. Ironically, this is also the time of year when we want to pump more hot water into our sinks, tubs, and showers. With all this activity, underlying issues start to rear their ugly heads.
A bad winter storm, a faulty part, or sediment build-up can wreak havoc on your water heater. That's why it's important to ask a Las Vegas plumber to inspect your water heater before the cold weather sets in. Let's see what all this means.
COMMON WATER HEATER PROBLEMS DURING COLD WEATHER
- Faulty Parts - If you have a gas water heater, it's important to keep an eye on the pilot, thermocouple, and pilot control valve. In electric water heaters, it's important to inspect the thermostat and heating elements. A licensed plumber will be able to assess all this and more. For example, they'll know if it's necessary to adjust the thermocouple or replace the pilot control valve in a gas water heater. Likewise, they'll be able to take a closer look at your thermostat and heating elements in an electric water heater.
- Lack of Insulation - While we know it's important to insulate your pipes, water heaters also need protection. Neoprene foam is the most common insulation material for electric water heaters. Gas water heaters do well with a fiberglass wrap secured by aluminum foil tape or wire. While insulation reduces the loss of heat, it can also raise the temperature of the water by two to four degrees. This could shorten your wait time for hot water and conserve more energy.
- Sediment & Mineral Build Up - Sediment and minerals tend to deposit on the bottom of water heaters. This is a problem because they suck the heat out of the warm water that was just produced.You know what that means. More energy is being consumed and you could lose some of your hot water. It's so important to have all the scale, corrosion, and sediment removed from your water heater, especially before it's about to work its hardest. If you haven't already done so, you should flush your water heater regularly to prevent damage.
Finally, we all have to keep an eye on the temperature of our electric water heaters. It should never rise above 120 degrees. Anything higher can cause electrodes to degrade and scales to fall into the water. This will make the water more acidic, eventually eating away at the anodes protecting your water heater's walls. A plumber will be able to see if this is happening and, if necessary, replace the deteriorated anodes.
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Routine maintenance on your water heater will save you money in the long run. But, when it's finally time to purchase a new unit, feel free to refer to these tips and tricks.