Prepping for winter weather is an annual ritual for most New Jersey homeowners. There are certain things we know to do before the first snowflake falls, like scheduling a furnace inspection and tune up, making sure our cars can handle the treacherous conditions to come, and insulating exposed plumbing pipes in unheated areas of the house

Unfortunately, many overlook one major system – the water heater. You see, water heaters are more susceptible to problems and even failure during the winter months than at any other time of the year. We simply depend on hotter water and more of it during this time of year, which puts more strain on the system, its parts and components. Plus, the colder the outside temperature, the colder the water coming into your home. This puts added pressure on your water heater to deliver water as hot as you want it. And it doesn’t help that most water heater systems are located in unheated areas of a home, like the basement.

Yet following a few simple steps, you can help keep your water heater in top working order all year long.

Inspect the exterior of the water heater.

Look for rust, corrosion, or water puddling around the unit which could indicate a leak. This requires prompt attention from a licensed plumbing professional.

Check the hot water temperature.

Go to the faucet located farthest away from the water heater check the temperature of the hot water with a thermostat. For optimum safety and efficiency and safety, it should be 120 degrees F. If it registers above 120 degrees, dial back the water heater’s thermostat, wait a few hours, and check again. If the temperature is higher than the water heater’s setting, there may be a problem with the water heater’s thermostat.

Insulate the water heater.

Insulation helps raise and maintain the temperature of the water inside the tank, which in turn boosts energy savings and makes the system work more efficiently. This can boost hot water temps by up to 4 degrees F, saving you time and water as you wait for just the right temperature for taking a bath or shower, or washing dishes.

Drain the tank.

Drain the water tank once a year to remove sediment and minerals that can build up at the bottom of the tank. A build up of such impurities puts added strain on the system, lessening its operating efficiency. The result can be an increase in utility costs, a reduction in the lifespan of the system, and premature equipment breakdown.

It’s also important to have your water heater inspected once a year by a licensed and experienced plumbing professional. At Anthony’s Plumbing, Heating & Air, we do that and so much more to help keep all your plumbing fixtures and systems in the best possible shape. Why not contact us today to schedule service.