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How To Take Care Of Your Water Heater Post-Winter

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Key Takeaways:

  1. Winter can be tough on your water heater, so it’s essential to check for winter-borne damage after the season has passed.
  2. Common problems include frozen pipes, corrosion, and leaks.
  3. To maintain your water heater throughout the year: regularly inspect all system elements, flush the tank every three months, check (and replace as needed) the temperature and pressure relief valve, test for leaks, and clean or replace filters annually.
  4. Neglecting proper maintenance can lead to increased wear & tear, higher energy bills, decreased efficiency, water contamination risks, and safety hazards.

Winter can be hard on your appliances, especially water heaters. Your water heater is vital to keeping warm on cold winter days and maintaining a steady flow of hot water year-round. Now that winter has passed, it’s essential to assess the appliance for winter-borne damage.

If you need help with post-winter maintenance, don’t worry! Accurate Backflow Testing & Plumbing will walk you through the essential steps for adequately taking care of your water heater after a cold season of heavy use. With just a few simple measures, you can bring peace of mind knowing that your hot water will be ready when needed – no matter how warm or cool it is outside.

Winter-Borne Damage to Water Heaters

Water heaters are vulnerable to a variety of winter-borne damages. From freezing pipes to corrosion, here’s a quick list of harm that should be checked post-winter:

1. Frozen pipes

If your home has older piping, it may not be as insulated as newer systems. It can lead to frozen water pipes in the winter months, which, if not addressed quickly, can cause severe and expensive damages like hose busts and system contamination.

2. Corrosion

Over time, moisture and condensation from heated water may corrode specific components within the water heater system. Since this type of wear is often difficult for homeowners to spot on their own, it’s essential to have a professional inspect the system before it’s too late.

3. Leaks

Cold weather and moisture can lead to cracks in the water heater tank. It causes leaks that could result in a more extensive repair bill and risk damaging nearby walls or carpets.

Once you have identified any damage caused by winter, it’s essential to take care of your water heater so you can use it without a hitch all year long. Here are the post-winter water heater maintenance steps to consider for both tank-style and tankless systems:

Post-Winter Water Heater Maintenance

Tank Systems

1. Regularly Inspect

Periodic inspections of your system help identify minor problems before they become large ones. Make sure to have an expert plumber inspect each element of your system at least once every two months. Look for any signs of damage or corrosion to the tank and connections. Consider examining it, especially after winter, as they are more prone to cold weather.

2. Check Your Anode Rod

An anode rod is a metal wire that attracts corrosive elements, protecting the interior walls of your tank from rust and other damaging effects of hard water. Regularly check it for signs of wear or corrosion, and replace it as needed.

3. Flush The Tank

The water tanks aren’t storing completely pure water; small pieces of debris are present. You may not be able to see them, but the debris can form sediment on the tank’s bottom over time. Flushing the tank will clean out any existing sediment and prevent new buildup. Even though you can’t see it, residue inside your heater reduces its efficiency. Aim to flush a quart of your tank every three months.

4. Inspect The Temperature And Pressure Relief Valve

It is a crucial step, as it helps prevent your tank from bursting open due to an excessive pressure buildup. Check this valve regularly and make sure it is functioning correctly. If there are any signs of damage or wear, replace it immediately.

5. Test For Leaks

Finally, inspect the entire system for signs of leaks or corrosion to the tank and connections. Ensure all valves and hoses are securely connected so that no water escapes while running tests on your water heater post-winter maintenance.

A well-maintained water heater is essential for energy efficiency and safety reasons.

Tankless Systems

1. Clean The Filter

Cleaning or replacing your filter helps ensure efficient operation and maximum longevity. You should get it done annually at minimum, but more often if you notice clogged pipes or odd noises coming from your unit.

2. Check The Temperature

Ensure you check the water temperature from your tankless system to ensure it’s not too hot. It can signal that something is amiss with the thermostat settings.

3. Avoid Overloading

Tankless systems are designed to handle only so much at once. Avoid overloading by staggering when multiple items need heated water simultaneously.

4. Don’t Ignore Signs Of Trouble

If you notice odd noises or excess moisture coming from your unit, you should take action quickly, as these can be signs of trouble. Consult with a professional if necessary to ensure safe operation.


Dangers of Avoiding Water Heater Maintenance

1. Water Contamination

If your water heater is not maintained correctly, it can contaminate the water supply. Sediment buildup can reduce water quality. Other than that, bacteria such as Legionella can thrive in water systems which can cause Legionnaires Disease. It could affect the health and safety of those using the water.

2. High Energy Bills

When you don’t keep up with regular maintenance and repairs, your energy bills will climb significantly due to inefficient operation or neglect. While performing maintenance and repairs may cost money in the short term, it will undoubtedly save you a long time. Hiring an expert plumber for water heater maintenance and repairs is best.

3. Safety

If not correctly maintained, gas-powered water heaters can malfunction and cause gas leaks or fires. To protect your safety and your family, always stay on top of regular maintenance appointments.

4. Increased Wear & Tear

Skipping out on routine maintenance will lead to higher wear and tear on the system. It won’t last long, resulting in more money spent replacing parts or purchasing a new unit altogether.

It’s best to have an expert plumber undergo a routine checkup to ensure everything is running as it should before any significant issues arise.

Related: 5 Surprising Ways Regular Plumbing Maintenance Influences Your Health


Ultimately, it’s essential to keep up on post-winter water heater maintenance and repair. It will help ensure that your system remains in tip-top shape throughout the rest of the year.

For tank systems, it’s essential to drain the tank regularly, inspect for signs of wear and tear, check for leaks, and replace anode rods as needed. Tankless systems should also be reviewed periodically to ensure no mineral deposits buildup that could lead to clogs or other issues with performance. Finally, if any unusual noises or smells arise, contact a plumber immediately to diagnose and fix the problem before it becomes a more significant issue. You can ensure your water heating system is ready for the coming seasons.

Professional Plumbing Experts in Bradenton, FL

Accurate Backflow Testing & Plumbing can help with your water heater maintenance or repairs in Bradenton, FL. We offer only the best installation and repair services for plumbing fixtures like toilets, sinks, faucets, water heaters, and sewer lines. We’ve insured professionals with up-to-date licenses, and our certified technicians will ensure that your plumbing system works perfectly.

In addition to your water heater, check your backflow preventer by scheduling an appointment.