Winterizing your Water Heater like a Pro

Winterizing your water heater is such an important step that many owners may do without! Imagine taking a shower in the dead of winter and having only cold water to rinse out the shampoo? It’s necessary to not only service your hot water heater regularly but also ensure that it’s prepared for the winter months.

Whether your system is electric or fuel-powered, here’s how you can make the proper adjustments for the winter season. Before you winterize your homes water heater, you need to identify what type of system you’re equipped with. The five main types of water heaters are:

Storage Tank Heaters

This is the primary type of heater that many homes come equipped with. Running on either electricity or fuel, this system’s water capacity is just the size of the tank. The reason why people often run out of hot water is that they’ve emptied the tank by taking too long of a shower or are running multiple appliances at once that need hot water.

Tankless hot water heaters

Becoming more popular in the modern home is the tankless heater. Heated by super-heated coils, the water is distributed in an instant giving you an endless supply of hot water.

Heat pump or hybrid water heater

This energy and cost-effective solution delivers water that is warmed by the heat in the air and the ground. Using 60% less electricity than traditional styles of water heaters,  this pump uses electricity to move the heat around, rather than being what generates it.

Solar powered water heater

This system uses the sun to heat water. It’s good for those who already have solar panels in place. This can save you a lot of money, especially on sunny days, but isn’t a practical solution for those who do not live in climates that have a lot of sunlight.

Condensing water heater

If you’re using natural gas in your home as your primary energy source, this is the method for you as it uses a gas heating system. It’s similar to your regular storage tank heater, but it is warmed by hot exhaust gasses that were used elsewhere such as a stove.

How To Winterize Your Water Heater

While leaving it to the professionals is always the best choice, there are a few steps you can take to ensure your heater is winterized.

  1. Turn off your water shut-off valve inside or outside of your home. After you’ve ensured it is fully turned off, unplug or turn off the fuel that’s powering your heater. To be sure it’s switched off, check the pilot light.
  2. Now you can drain the remaining water from the tank using a bucket or hose.
  3. Open faucets throughout your home including those located outside. This will ensure that the water is fully drained.
  4. Wrap your pipes that lead to and from your water heater. You can find wraps specifically designed to protect and insulate the heaters. While this is optional, it’s suggested for those who live in frigid climates.
  5. While most heaters do not need a professional to winterize, that is not the case for solar heaters. Leave that to a trained expert as it’s easy to damage the solar panels.

If you require immediate plumbing services and live in the Omaha area, consider ASAP Appliance & Plumbing Services. For more information, visit our website or call us at 402-706-9931 after-hours appointments are available.

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