Water heater maintenance will ensure a water heater’s longevity and durability. But it’s not the only aspect of your Houston, TX home’s plumbing that needs a little care and attention. When it comes to winter, there are a multitude of tasks you can do to help preserve the lifespan of integral plumbing components and prevent unexpected plumber visits during the busiest time of year.
Insulate your water heater pipes.
You can improve your water heater’s performance by making sure that heat does not escape. Use an insulating blanket to insulate your plumbing or correctly-sized foam pipe insulation on your hot and cold supply pipes. Insulating hot water supply pipes helps prevent condensation, keeps the heat in, and ultimately helps prevent pipe freezing.
Check your water heater’s anode rod.
Anode rods play a crucial role in the performance and durability of your water heater, and they may require replacement by your local plumber if overly corroded. Typically, they are constructed from a steel that is wrapped with aluminum, zinc, or magnesium. These anode rods attract the corrosive particles in your water supply and help to reduce the likelihood of explosion.
However, the anode rod will eventually completely decay and should be replaced. This usually happens within 3-5 years. Your water heater tank will become corroded and “die” when this element breaks, which can cause a lot of problems for your water heater.
Drain your water heater tank.
As part of regular maintenance, a water heater must be properly drained by a professional plumber. Clogs can develop when sediment builds up around the water heater’s bottom. This sediment can be flushed out by draining the water heater. The buildup is usually made up of minerals and other debris, which if left unchecked can cause the heater to fail. Each water supply is unique, so some water heaters might need to be drained more often than others. Ask for a water quality inspection if you’re unsure about your water supply.
Set the water heater temperature.
High water temperatures can accelerate the formation of calcium carbonate, particularly in water heater tanks. This can lead to corrosion that can cause water heater failure which needs the attention of a plumber. Standard water heaters can be set at 140 degrees, but 120 degrees is the recommended sweet spot.
Keep outdoor water hoses disconnected.
Before the temperatures drop rapidly, it is important to disconnect outdoor water hoses. The water left in your hoses can freeze and expand, causing trouble. This expansion can cause both your pipes and faucets to freeze and possibly even burst. To avoid this, we recommend that you disconnect your water hoses until they’re needed in the spring.
Fix outdoor faucets.
After you have removed the outdoor water hoses, check the faucet and outdoor pipes for leaks. Leaky faucets can cause water damage and serious plumbing issues that you’ll need to call a plumber to fix, when temperatures drop below freezing. To be prepared for winter, fix any drips or leaks in your outdoor faucet before the coldest weather hits.
Turn outdoor faucets off completely and turn off the indoor valve for the outdoor supply. In Houston, TX households, this is usually located in the basement. For additional protection, cover the faucets with an insulation kit made of Styrofoam.
Get rid of drainage clutter.
Clear and clean your gutters in the fall. It is important that they can properly drain rainwater from your home. Rainwater that has accumulated in cluttered gutters will eventually freeze. Freezing water can cause roof damage, flooding, and other plumbing problems that could have easily been avoided.
Don’t neglect professional assistance.
You should call your plumber at least once per year to ensure that your water heater and household plumbing is in good condition. A professional plumbing company can check that your temperature and pressure valves are operating properly, as well as identify and resolve minor plumbing issues that you didn’t know you had.
Regular maintenance of your water heater, specifically, can help to prevent costly repairs and ensure that it runs efficiently. Those with professional plumbing experience can safely, accurately assess a water heater’s condition, flush any sediment, and take care of any niggling inconveniences quickly.
This will not only lower your regular energy costs, but also reduce the chance of needing a plumber to undertake repairs and replacements.
You’re unlikely to be able to assess the extent of your plumbing problem as an amateur. Let’s put it in perspective: You might decide you need to repair your shower leak. What you may not know is that mold is growing behind your shower wall. You’ll soon discover that the problem is more complex than you thought when you started the project!
Permits are required for most plumbing projects. This means that you must be able and willing to follow the Building Codes. You will need to have it pass inspection. The easiest and quickest way to ensure this is to rely on a professional.
Additionally, insurance companies don’t like DIY plumbing work. Your insurer may not accept a claim if your DIY plumbing job causes damage to your home or to the property of your neighbors.
DIY plumbing may seem like a great way of saving money until you consider all the associated costs. The tools of a professional plumber are expensive and not something that the average lay person will have in their garage. A professional plumbing company can supply hard-to-find parts easily.
bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of West Houston offers reliable and trustworthy licensed plumbing techs. We will not only fix any urgent plumbing issues, but we will also help protect your home’s water supply and plumbing for the long-term by using high quality materials and expert methods.
Our staff are not only qualified, but also have a lot of experience. We’re familiar with the intricacies of home plumbing systems in Houston, TX, so call a plumber from bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of West Houston if you need help today!