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Cold Weather and Your Water Heater

Thursday, March 17, 2016 - 7:54am

Some of the worst winter plumbing problems prevent your water heater from working properly. Not only can this waste your money, but you may also suffer through cold showers or worse – you may lose your ability to bathe at home completely. Stay on the lookout for the following water heater problems:

  1. Your utility bills are skyrocketing. Your water heat has to work extra hard during the winter to keep your water warm. If you have a tank-style water heater, you’re losing heat to the elements every second that your hot water heater isn’t fully insulated. The water cools as a result, and your heating unit kicks on – burning more energy to reheat the water you’ve stored.

This constant cycling doesn’t just waste money and energy, but it also puts additional wear on your water heating system. An insulation jacket will help prevent major heat loss at the unit, while pipe insulation will preserve the heat as water moves from water heater tank to faucet.

  1. Your hot water takes forever to warm up. If you have a tankless water heater, you may be used to instant hot water in the summer months. However, once January and February arrive, it could take up to 30 seconds for your water to be sufficiently warm. The cold pipes running between your unit and faucet rob your water of their heat. Once they’ve warmed up, your water is delivered piping hot, but you’ll be wasting money and water in the process.

Insulation can help, as well as heated lines running through your pipes. Tank units with slow recovery time may be suffering from sediment buildup, so performing yearly water heater maintenance may improve how quickly your water heats up.

  1. Your hot water supply runs out too fast. Do your hot showers seem shorter once winter rolls around? You’re not alone. For homeowners in colder regions, the impact of cold water makes a marked difference on the longevity of your hot water supply. In the summer, your water is already partially warm, meaning you don’t have to add much hot water to bring it up to the desired temperatures. In the winter, you need to use more of your hot water to enjoy a bath of the same temperature. An easy fix is adjusting the temperature of your hot water heater during the winter months. If your water supply is warmer, it will have a bigger impact in smaller doses.
  2. You’ve tried all the easy fixes, and you still don’t have the hot water you need. If you’ve tried flushing your system, adding insulation, turning up your water heater’s thermostat and completing other easy at-home fixes, it’s time to call in a professional. Your water heater may be malfunctioning, or it may simply need a replacement.

At Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Oneida, our licensed plumbers are certified by Onondaga County for plumbing leak detection or any plumbing related project, such as water heater replacement, repair and maintenance. Contact us today to schedule a service call right away.

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