Keep the Heat: Five Ways to Protect Your Water Heater
Freezing weather can bring some amazing sights in nature, but it can also be damaging to your home. Your hot water heater will struggle to keep water hot when sub-zero temperatures hit, but the weather can also damage the unit. Here are a few steps you can take to protect your water heater and keep it in top condition.
Heated Wire and Insulated Tape
Pipes that are on exterior walls are vulnerable to freezing when the temperatures drop low enough. Wrap them in heating wire and insulated pipe tape to maintain a more consistent temperature and avoid this problem. This step should be taken with both traditional and tankless water heaters.
The local hardware store sells special insulated blankets that wrap around a water heater to help protect them from exterior temperature changes. The wraps are specially designed to be thin, so they’ll protect the heater without adding much bulk to the unit.
Foam Wrap on Pipes
You can also purchase foam wrap that slips over pipes and is cut to fit. Secure it with a little tape to help stop pipes from sweating in the summer and prevent freezing in the winter. Wrapping all pipes can help you prevent freezing. However, the pipes closest to exterior walls and areas are at the greatest risk and should be wrapped first.
Have the Tank Serviced
Sediment build-up in the bottom of the tank leads to premature failure, and you don’t want to lose hot water in the middle of a cold snap. This is why it’s smart to flush your water tank about once a year. Draining it completely will remove the sediment and prolong the tank’s life. If you aren’t sure how to do this maintenance yourself, you can call an agency like Need-A-Plumber Canada in Edmonton to show you how it’s done.
Maintain the No-Man’s Land
Your water heater needs plenty of airflow around it to maintain safe ventilation levels. Items that are stored close to the heater can impede the airflow and even create a fire hazard if you have a gas or propane system. Tank wraps are an exception because they’re designed to cover the metal without blocking the air intakes. Throughout the year, make sure that the area around the water heater is clear of debris, cardboard boxes and other items.
With a little care and some advance planning, you can prepare for the cold weather and keep your water heater safe. Taking these steps will reduce the chance of frozen pipes and help your heater run more efficiently.