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Is It Time for a Water Heater Check Up?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - 9:01am

Your water heater is an important appliance in your home. With the beginning signs of fall already happening, it’s time to start thinking about where to spend Thanksgiving, or maybe even where to go and get that last little dose of sunshine before winter takes hold. Spending a week or so away with family to vacation somewhere warmer, or to visit friends and family for the holidays can be relaxing and rejuvenating. However, coming home to a broken or leaking water heater will quickly bring that relaxation to a halt. Thankfully, there are a few simple steps that you can take to make sure that your water heater is protected from the cold temperatures while you are away from home.

  1. Turn off the power source to your water heater. Most water heaters are either electric or gas. If you have an electric water heater you can unplug it from the wall. If your water heater is gas, turn the gas off and make sure the pilot light is out.
  2. Turn off the water source to your water heater. Typically found on the top of your water heater the incoming water pipe should have a valve on it. Turn the valve all the way clockwise to turn it off.
  3. Find the drain valve to your water heater. Located nearly at the bottom of your tank, the drain valve usually looks like water spigot and should be threaded so that a water hose can attach. If you can’t attach a water hose and divert the draining water, you will have to drain the tank by placing a bucket under the drain value and draining it one bucket at a time.
  4. Open all of the faucets in your home. Wrap all of the pipes leading in and out of the water heater with pipe insulation wrap. And, wrap a water heater blanket around the water heater tank.

By following these simple steps you can ensure that your water heater and the pipes connected to it will not freeze or crack and leak while you are away from your home. A broken water heater pipe or tank can cause significant water damage, and if you are away from your home when it happens and not able to turn the water source off, the water will continue to leak until you can turn it off. The cost of not only replacing the water heater, but also of repairing the water damage could be devastating. Don’t hesitate to contact Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Albany if you need assistance or guidance on winterizing your water heater. We’re always happy to help!

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