Winter is almost here! The days are getting shorter and the weather is definitely chilling down. It’s time to get your home ready for the colder months of the year. One thing you need to get on your checklist is your water heater.

Here Are Five Steps You Can Take To Get Your Water Heater Ready For Winter:

1. Check the temperature setting. To prevent scalding, plumbing experts recommend setting your water heater temperature at 120ºF. Lowering your water heater temperature will also save you money. You can actually save up to 5% on your energy bill when you lower the water heater temperature by 10 degrees.

2. Check the pressure relief valve. Modern water heaters have a valve that will open if the pressure inside the tank gets too high. To test the valve, turn the water heater off and place a bucket below the valve. Pull the tip lever on the valve. A small amount of air and/or water should come out. If nothing comes out, or if a large amount of water comes out, have a professional take a look.

3. Check the anode rod. There’s a magnesium or aluminum rod that sits down inside the water heater tank. This rod helps prevent corrosion inside the tank. To check the rod, turn off the water heater and drain the tank. You can loosen the rod at the top and pull it out. If it’s less than 1/2″ in diameter, replace it.

4. Flush sediment out of the tank. Sediment can settle into the bottom of your water heater tank causing corrosion. To flush the tank, attach a hose on the drain at the bottom of the water heater and let the water flow out. Turn the water on and let it flow. This will help remove loose sediment.

5. Add insulation. All modern water heaters have a layer of insulation already around the tank, inside the outer shell. But, with a Minnesota winter, extra insulation is in order. You can find insulation jackets at a home improvement center. Just follow the directions and your water heater will be ready for the cold months ahead.

Each of these steps will help your water heater make it through the worst Minnesota winter. If your water heater is not performing the way it should, or if you need to get it replaced, give the water heater experts at MN Plumbing & Home Services a call today! Or, get a FAST, FREE BID on water heater installation NOW!