What are your holiday plans? If you’re like most people, your answer probably has to do with where and with whom you’ll spend the holidays or special traditions you’ll be celebrating. What you might not be thinking about when making these plans is your water heater. However, whether you’re heading out on vacation or staying home and hosting, it’s important to give your water heater a little bit of attention before the holidays are in full swing.
- If you’re going away for the holidays, consider turning off your water at the main valve. Why? Because water heaters never drain, so if a leak in the pipes were to happen when you were away, there would be nothing to stop the water from flowing until someone discovered the problem and turned it off. This type of situation can ruin everything you own, but if you turn off the water before you leave, you prevent this from happening. If you live in a climate where the pipes are likely to freeze, you might also want to drain your lines by turning on a faucet after you’ve shut off the main valve, and letting it run until the tank is empty. To refill the water heater once you get home, turn on the main valve and wait 15 to 20 minutes. When you can turn on a faucet and the water runs smoothly, it’s safe to use the water heater.
- On the other hand, your water heater may have a low or vacation setting. This will keep the water heater operating while you’re gone, but at a setting that uses much less energy. If you’re not in an area that is at risk for freezing pipes, it’s probably fine to use this setting or simply turn the water heater down to warm instead of hot.
- If you’re staying in town, make sure your water heater can handle your holiday plans. Are you having overnight guests? Do you plan to do extra laundry and wash extra dishes? It’s smart to check your water heater to make sure it’s working properly before the season starts up. If it’s more than ten years old, leaking, or not heating your water well, it may be time to invest in a new water heater. Consider a tankless model, which heats water on demand. If your water heater seems noisy, it may have a buildup of sediment. Draining and refilling it can often eliminate that problem.
Whether you’re staying or leaving, it’s a smart move to have a professional come out to inspect your water heater before you leave and make sure there are no issues that could cost you in the long run. At Puget Sound Plumbing and Heating, we’ve been taking care of business owners and homeowners in Seattle for over 20 years, and we can meet all your heating, cooling and plumbing needs. Family owned and operated, we provide superior service at affordable prices because our customers are our top priority. For help with your plumbing 24 hours a day, seven days a week, call (206) 350-0079 or contact us through our website.