DIY Fall Water Heater Maintenance

Fall is here! With it comes crisper mornings, shorter days, and an overall increase in the amount people use their water heaters. So, in light of how much more you’re likely to use your water heater this Fall, our team of professional plumbers has put together a list of DIY Fall water heater maintenance procedures! So, before you get wrapped up with putting together your Halloween costume and decorating your house, run through the following steps to make sure your water heater is ready for the season.

Step 1 – Flush Your Water Heater Tank

You can feel free to skip this step if you have a tankless water heater.

If, however, you are like most of us and have a conventional tanked water heater, then you should flush out the tank once a year. As luck would have it, the best time to do this is in the Fall. Why, you ask? Because Fall is when water heaters start to see a seasonal uptick in overall use hours. In other words, people take longer hot showers when it’s colder out (hey now, we never said any of this was rocket science). To flush out your water heater, take the following steps:

  • 1 – Turn off power to the water heater
  • 2 – Shut off the cold water valve
  • 3 – Let the water in the tank cool for a couple of hours
  • 4 – Attach a hose to the drain valve on the side of the tank
  • 5 – Place the other end of the hose in a drain or a large bucket
  • 6 – Turn on a couple of faucets in your house (hot water taps, obviously)
  • 7 – Drain the tank by turning on the release valve (right around where you attached the hose in step four)

Once the tank finishes draining, remove the hose, close the release valve, turn off your faucets, turn back on the cold water valve, and turn the power back on to your water heater.

Step 2 – Decrease the Temperature Setting

This one may seem a little counterintuitive but trust us. This Fall, try reducing your water heater temperature by about ten degrees. Since people tend to use more hot water during the Fall and Winter, decreasing the temperature by a small amount will significantly reduce your energy bills for the two seasons.

Additionally, most people hardly even notice a ten-degree difference in water temperature. The only thing to be aware of when changing the temperature on your water heater is to keep the temperature over 120 degrees Fahrenheit and under 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, you run the risk of water-borne pathogens and burns and scalds, respectively.

Step 3 – Check the TPR Valve (Test and Pressure Relief Valve)

The TPR Valve (Test and Pressure Relief Valve) exists for one single purpose: to make sure your water heater doesn’t explode. That’s right; water heaters can explode. To test your TPR Valve, located the valve (usually on the underside of the tank), and turn it on. You should feel and hear water running through the attached discharge pipe. If, for whatever reason, you don’t hear or feel water running through the discharge pipe, then shut off power to the water heater and contact us immediately.

Contact Us for Help with Your DIY Fall Water Heater Maintenance

Even if you’ve been doing your best to keep up on your DIY Fall water heater maintenance, they still break down occasionally. So, if you’re currently facing water heater problems, or if you’d like help with your maintenance (no shame in that), then please feel free to contact the experts here at Domco Plumbing today! We’re always standing by to help you with all your water heater problems!