Have you Winterized your Water Heater?

Have you Winterized your Water Heater?

It’s important to have your home ready for the coldest months of the year and have everything operating in proper condition. It’s especially vital to make sure that your hot water heater is maintained and running like it should, otherwise you face the risk of taking cold showers during the freezing months! Your hot water heater can also take a beating in the midst of the cold weather, which is yet another reason to have maintenance performed.

Regardless of the make or model, it needs to be winterized. Here are some ways to maintain your hot water heater:

  • Just like rinsing out a glass, your water heater needs to be flushed out and cleaned. After water continually running through it, there is a natural sediment build-up. If you’d like to do this maintenance step yourself, you can do it by turning off the water heater, let it cool down, then attach a hose to the drain valve and find a place to allow the water to properly drain.
  • If you have an older tank, insulate it so they can hold heat better. There are fiber glass insulation blankets that keep your tank warm so that the water pumping through your showers also stays warm.
  • A water tank needs an actual pressure release valve to keep it from bursting. During the winter time, it’s especially important to add this to your maintenance list. You can check this by lifting the lever on top of the valve a couple times to check for any leaks. There should be a faint hiss sound or water when you open it. If you don’t hear any of those noises, it’s time to replace it immediately. Make sure there is proper vent draft so that your water heater is not allowing excessive formation of carbon monoxide. This could pose a serious risk if it enters your home.
  • If you have a gas water heater, check for any gas leaks from the water heater shut-off valve to the burners. Any leaks could be dangerous and also costly, due to higher gas bills. .
  • Water leaks can also reveal a serious problem. Check to make sure that your water heater does not have any leaks which could also be costing you significantly more each month.

Some of this maintenance requires a professional’s help, and we’re here for you 24/7! Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to perform maintenance on your electric or gas hot water heater. Our maintenance will include things like flushing the water heater, relief valve testing, checking for water leaks, testing the emergency cutoff, inspecting the drain valve operation and much more! We want you to have peace of mind that your hot water heater is operating efficiently, and that your showers will continue to stay warm!

Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

Signs Your Water Heater Will Fail

Your water heater will give you signs that it is about to fail. Pay attention to make sure you are prepared.

Rusty water coming from your water heater can be a sign that it is rusting on the inside and might leak soon. Check if the water is only coming from the hot side piping in your home. If you have galvanized piping, though, it may be your pipes that are rusty. Do a test by draining several five-gallon buckets of water out of the water heater. If the water is still rusty when it comes out after several buckets, the water heater is most likely the issue.

If your water heater is more than 10 years old, think about replacing it. Look for the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker. This is on the upper portion of the water heater. The serial number will have the date that the water heater was manufactured. Typically, the first letter will represent the month. For example, “A” means January, “B” February, and so on. The two digits after that represent the year. For example 06 means 2006. If your code doesn’t look like that, check with the manufacturer.

Listen for rumbling or banging as your water heater heats up. Sediment builds up over time up on the bottom of the tank. As it is heated, it will harden after years. This is a sign that your water heater is not going to last much longer.

Look for moisture around your water heater. You might have a small leak or fracture in the tank. Heated metal expands, so a fracture would lead to leaks. When the metal has cooled the inner tank will stop leaking. Make sure the overflow pipe is not leaking. Check the fittings or connections to the tank. If they are dry, you may need to replace your water heater soon.

There are ways to help prevent a failing water heater if yours isn’t on its last legs, including inspections twice a year.


Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!