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Water Heaters and Winter Weather: What Homeowners in Omaha Need to Know

It's officially wintertime in Omaha, Nebraska! But with colder temperatures comes the risk of plumbing problems, especially with water heaters - and believe us, Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Omaha solves numerous winter-related plumbing problems daily.

As a homeowner in Omaha, it’s important to be aware of how winter weather can impact your home’s water heater and hot water supply, what you should do to prepare for it, and what to do if any problems come up for you this winter!

 

How Cold Weather Affects Your Home's Water Heater & Hot Water Supply

When the weather is too cold, your home's water heater may struggle to keep up with demand and could suffer from a variety of issues. Here are some things you may experience due to the cold weather in Omaha:

 

Cold Weather Makes Your Water Heater Work Harder

Cold weather means it takes longer for your water heater to heat the cold water entering your home. This is because cold water absorbs more energy from the heat source than warmer water does.

Simply put, your water heater will have to work harder to increase the incoming water's temperature. This doesn't only mean that you'll be waiting around longer for the shower to heat up, but you'll also be greeted with higher energy bills. This is especially true if it's been a while since your water heater has been flushed and sediment build-up removed!

 

Cold Weather Puts Extra Pressure on Your Entire System

Similar to how exposed plumbing pipes should be insulated to prevent freezing, your home’s water heater should be kept warm and insulated to prevent the water inside from freezing. This is especially important if your water heater is located in an unheated area of your home, such as a basement.

If there isn't enough insulation or other protective measures taken, cold winter weather could put extra stress on the entirety of your system. This could result in the following:

  • Complete system failure
  • Leaky pipes, valves, or joints
  • Water heater explosion
  • Reduced water pressure

And this is just the beginning - not to mention these can all cause costly amounts of water damage to your home!

 

Cold Weather Can Cause You to Run Out of Water Quicker

In winter, cold weather can cause water to cool down much more quickly in the pipes and force your water heater to take longer to do its job. This means you may run out of hot water sooner than usual, leaving the shower or bath feeling cold and uncomfortable.

It's important to be aware of this to ensure you have enough hot water for your needs by limiting use!

 

How to Prevent Water Heater Damage During Winter

So, what should you do to avoid water heater damage this winter? There are several things you can do to keep your home's water heater working efficiently throughout even the coldest months and combat the above problems.

 

Get Repairs Done As Soon As Possible

Whether it’s the dead of winter or the middle of the summer, water heater problems should be treated with urgency. Having a plumber inspect and repair your water heater sooner rather than later helps you avoid severe loss and gets things working in no time.

Signs you should call a plumber to service your home’s water heater:

  • Strange noises – Loud and strange noises signify frozen pipes or internal part failure.
  • Unexplained spikes in water bills – Unexplainable spikes in your water bill could be blamed on a leak or inefficient system.
  • Dramatic water temperature fluctuation – Winter hot water will run out quickly but shouldn’t fluctuate between hot and cold randomly during showers or while using the sink.
  • Your hot water isn’t hot enough – Poor water temperature can mean various things, but it's best to get an expert opinion.

 

Request Seasonal Water Heater Maintenance

It's important to have someone look at your system each season, especially before the winter weather arrives in Omaha! This can ensure that everything is in working order and up-to-date, plus provide you with the professional help needed to complete any tune-ups or repairs needed.

 

Insulate Pipes & Water Heaters

If you haven't already, invest in insulation for both your plumbing pipes and water heater if exposed or located in an unheated area of your home. This is a great way to keep the temperature in your pipes from dropping and can even help reduce energy bills!

Our recommendations on how to insulate your water heater:

  • Wrapping the water heater with an insulating blanket
  • Foam pipe insulation on exposed lines around the home
  • Use foam pipe wrap on connections

Remember, even one frozen pipe on the other side of the house can have ripple effects across your entire plumbing system, so it's important to ensure that your home is prepared for the cold winter weather!

 

Replace Your Water Heater

If your water heater already has one foot out the door, pre-winter is the best time for a replacement! Since your water heater already has to do more work during the winter, an old, inefficient model can put you at a higher risk for a breakdown.

A water heater that is 10 years old or older, making strange noises, or dealing with frequent repairs is likely nearing the end of its life. Installing a new energy-efficient unit before winter can help keep your home's plumbing safe and comfortable during even the coldest months!

 

Tankless Water Heaters Provide More Hot Water

If you dread the shower turning cold before you're done, consider installing a new tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters provide an endless hot water supply, so you don't have to worry about running out!

 

What to Do if You Have a Winter Plumbing Problem?

If you’re already experiencing winter water heater problems, don't panic! Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Omaha offers professional plumbing maintenance, repair, and installation services to keep your home safe and comfortable this season.

Homeowners turn to our Omaha plumbing company due to our:

  • Comprehensive range of water heater services
  • 24/7 availability for emergency plumbing repairs
  • Upfront and honest estimates - with no hidden fees
  • Team of experienced, trained, and qualified plumbers

If you're looking to prevent or recover from water heater problems associated with winter weather, turn to Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Omaha immediately. From our guaranteed parts and workmanship to our team of trusted Omaha plumbers, we give customers confidence through any plumbing situation!

Contact us today to schedule your job estimate and learn more about our Omaha water heater services!

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