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Winterizing Your Water Heater

Water Heater

Don’t Let Cold Weather Take Out Your Warm Water

If you live in Texas, and particularly if you’ve moved here recently from a northern climate, you may think that the weather here won’t require that you winterize pipes, faucets and water heaters. That would be a big mistake…it doesn’t take very long for sub-freezing temperatures to turn water into ice and cause significant damage to your water system.

With a water heater, though, you typically don’t have to worry about the water in the tank, unless it’s at a property that you’ll close down for the winter. If you have vacation property in Texas, or if you plan to be gone for a few days, it’s a good idea to take the following steps to ensure your water heater and water system won’t spring a leak in a cold spell.

Step One: Turn Off the Water

There should be a shut-off valve outside (or, occasionally, just inside of the house. Make certain you turn the water all the way off.

Step Two: Turn Off the Water Heater

If it’s an electric water heater, unplug it or turn off the breaker. If it’s a gas heater, close the valve. You may have to use a crescent wrench to get the gas line turned off. Check to make certain the pilot light is out. Find the control box on the water heater and make certain the knob is set at “OFF.”

Step Three: Drain the Tank

There should be a threaded hose bibb at the bottom of the tank . Get a garden hose and screw it tightly onto the bibb. If there’s a drain nearby, run the hose to the drain. If not, run the hose outside or into a bucket. If the water heater is in the basement and you have no drain nearby, you’ll have to use the bucket method.

Drain the tank as much as you can. This may take a while, as there can be sediment in the tank, slowing the flow of water. It’s not essential that you get all the water out, though, as long as there’s enough room in the tank for the water to expand if it should turn to ice.

Step Four: Open All Faucets in the House

This will allow most of the water in the pipes to drain out.

Step Five: Wrap All Pipes In and Out of the Tank with Insulation

This can be done with insulation specifically designed for pipes or it can be done with remnants of insulation from other jobs. Make certain you cover all the pipes and use duct tape to hold the insulation in place.

Public Service Plumbers

5610 Dyer Street
Dallas, Texas 75206
214-363-4477

We offer plumbing installation and repair services to individuals and businesses throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including Highland Park, University Park, Preston Hollow, Lakewood, Lake Highlands, Richardson, Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Allen, Coppell, Garland, Mesquite, Addison, Kessler Park, Farmers Branch, Grapevine, Southlake, Flower Mound and Lewisville.

We bring more than five decades of experience to our client. No job is too big or too small. Every member of our team has been in the plumbing trades for at least 10 years. In addition, our support staff offers more than 100 years of combined experience in the plumbing business.

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