The colder weather reminds us how important our water heater is in maintaining our home comfortable during the winter months. Especially since the hot water heater is one of those home appliances that is out of sight, and out of mind until it stops working.

Here are several preventive measures you can take with your water heater to prevent a failed water heater and loss of hot water.

  • Make sure the area surrounding the hot water is clear from dirt and debris. A constant flow of air around the heater will help it to run more efficiently.
  • Insulate the water heater. Most hot water heaters can be fitted with an insulation blanket. This will help the water heater run more efficiently.
  • Check for leaks in the pipes around the top and underneath of the heater. If leaks are found at pipe joints, they can be tightened. If the leaks are around the tank or under the tank, it is time for a new hot water heater.
  • Many times the temperature and pressure relief valve will drain outside or into a plumbed drain so you should always be aware if there is any drainage coming from the T&P valve.
  • If you have a fuel fired heater check for a partial blockage of the flue, for improper air flow. This could cause an uneven burn of the fuel leading to the dangerous situation of carbon monoxide generation. Remember that an adequately burning fuel will glow a blue flame.
  • If your water heater is making odd noises chances are there is sediment building up in the tank due to corrosion. Draining the tank can sometimes cure the problem. However, it could mean that the water heater element or the water heater itself has reached the end of its life.