Water Heater Not Working Efficiently? 5 Tips That Could Prevent Replacement

If you’re an Ann Arbor area homeowner who feels it may be time to replace your water heater, there are a few things you can do that may improve its performance before you shell out your hard-earned money. Maybe it seems that it’s taking the water longer than usual to heat up, or you’ve had an unwelcome surprise when the shower water suddenly turns cold.

Before you replace, give the following 5 tactics a try:

  • Perform a quick maintenance check. It could be something as simple as a pilot light or burner not working. Make sure your thermostat is functioning properly and considering flushing out the system.
  • Sediment that settles in the tank could not only damage it but interfere with performance.
  • Seal up any drafts. When your water heater is located in an unheated space such as a basement, the cold drafts can make it harder for your water heater to do its job. Seal around window frames and other sources of cold air with caulking or weather stripping.
  • Consider an insulating blanket. A water heater that’s warm to the touch is not as energy efficient as it could be. There are insulating blankets which are specifically designed for water heaters – but be sure to follow instructions carefully, particularly if your water heater is fired by gas or oil.
  • Inspect the dip tube. Dip tubes, especially those in a water heater that’s older, can break or crack. This tube is what allows cold water to enter at the bottom of your water heater’s tank while the water at the top remains hot. A crack or break could be letting cold water in, which means what should be hot water is only warm.
  • Insulate your pipes. When water pipes are not insulated, they are cold – which means the water running from your water heater to your shower, sink, dishwasher, etc. could be cooling before it reaches its destination. Install pre-split foam pipe insulation tubes on the water pipes that connect to the tank. At a minimum, insulate the first six feet of both the cold and hot water pipes.

Try the tips above, and you may be surprised to find that you won’t have to replace your water heater after all!

At Haley Mechanical, our job is to keep southeast Michigan homeowners’ homes running smoothly, whether you have problems with your water heater, air conditioner, or other equipment. Live in Ann Arbor, Dexter, Ypsilanti or surrounding communities and have questions about your water heater? Give us a call today.

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