How to Prepare Your Water Heater for Winter

A plumbing expert inspecting a water heater tank

We’re not too far away from the time when peppery scents fill our rooms, and the crisp weather comes knocking at our door again. Texas is gearing up for the winter, and we can’t wait to share stories with our families by the fireplace while sipping on hot chocolate and wrapped up in cozy blankets.

Here’s how you can winterize your water heater for the season and stay cozy throughout:

The Anode Rod Inspection

The anode rod is also known as the sacrificial anode rod because it sacrifices itself and rusts away to protect the heater tank. The anode can be found at the top of the tank and must be inspected before winter comes. Ideally, the anode rod usually lasts for five years but must be checked every year. Get your plumber to do it for you. If they notice that the rod has worn away to 1/4th of its thickness, it’ll need to be replaced. Similarly, the rod also calls for a replacement if there are visible signs of calcium buildup.

Cleaning Out the Tank

Over years of usage, lots of sediment and calcium can deposit in the tank, and accumulate on its sides. As a result, the tank’s operational efficiency and capacity reduces, lowering the amount of hot water that you get. To make the heater work in an optimal condition, you need to drain it at least twice a year.

The process is simple. Turn off the power, gas, and water supply. Let the water flow on the ground by connecting the hose to the drain valve. Don’t forget to open the drain valve and the TRP valve, so the water drains out completely. Once the tank is empty, flush it with cold water multiple times to get rid of the sediment.

We also recommend bringing a plumber to take a look at the tank and help you get rid of any calcification.

A plumber adjusting the thermostat of a water heater.

Insulate the Pipes

When the temperature outside drops, you want to retain as much hot water as possible. When hot water sits in your tank for too long, it can lead to standby heat losses. This also leads to excessive gas and electricity usage. The only way to deal with the issue is to insulate the tank as well as the pipes that lead away from the heater. This is particularly important if you have an older water heater tank because the new ones are by-default insulated. Please speak to your plumbing service and see what they suggest. A better idea is to switch to a tankless water heater for greater energy efficiency and cost-saving!

Pro Serve Plumbing is one call away to help you winterize your water heater for the upcoming months. Whether you need a yearly inspection or want to get a tankless water heater installed, we will get to it right away. Get in touch to learn more about our water heater services in Fort Worth, TX.