Water Heater Care Tips For The Winter Season

Posted: January 4, 2021

water heater service rhode islandThis season, the water heater in your Rhode Island home will be put to the test. Try these tips to help keep your water heater running efficiently and to its highest potential throughout the winter.

Tank Insulation

Check with your water heater manufacturer and order an insulating blanket for your water tank and for around your pipes. Once it’s on, an insulating blanket will cut back on heat loss and will require your water heater to spend less time running—all without having an effect on your water’s temperature.

The Best Hot Water Temperature

Although your water heater is likely set to hit its maximum temperature, 140°F, there’s no need to have it set for anything over 120°F. That 20-degree difference can prevent scalding—especially for infants and elderly family members. Lowering the temperature also a great way to save up to 10% on your bill!

Anode Rod Check

Your water heater’s anode rod—aka “sacrificial rod”—protects the rest of the unit from corrosion, by attracting the process to itself instead. An anode rod can last about five years, but if you have soft water you’ll probably have to replace it sooner than that. Stay aware of how it’s faring so you know when you need to replace it—doing so could help you avoid a tank failure due to corrosion. Your tank’s manual can tell you the best way to check the anode rod and how to go about replacing it.

Water Heater Tune-Ups

If you have not set up a tune-up for your water heater in the past two years, it’s time to get moving! Contact Vaughn so our technicians can check for any budding issues and handle them right away. They’ll also be able to tell you if it’s time to start thinking about an upgrade. (And although water heaters are fine with a tune-up every other year, your furnace or boiler still needs to be tuned up annually.)

Flushing A Water Heater Tank

A collection of sediment at the bottom of your water tank is a recipe for failure due to corrosion—not to mention difficulty getting water heated up. Flushing your tank will eliminate this issue. Here’s how to go about flushing your tank:

  1. Set up a hose to run from the drain valve, near the bottom of the tank, into a floor drain or outside. (It just needs to end up somewhere that water can drain into.)
  2. Cut off the water supply to the tank.
  3. Shut off the power on the water heater. If your water heater runs on propane, then set the thermostat to “pilot.”
  4. Open the drain valve.
  5. Briefly turn on the water supply once the tank is empty—this will get the sediment up from the bottom of the tank so that it drains.
  6. Before you close the drain valve, repeat the steps above until the water runs clear. Once this happens, put the water heater back at its original settings.

The Vaughn Oil team is here for you! Contact us to learn more about how we can help you. If you’re considering replacing or repairing your boiler or furnace, let us know and we’ll set up an appointment.