Winter is nearing its end and most diligent tankless water heater owners took precautions to keep their system up and running during the cold season. Now the snow is gone and the temperature is starting to warm up, which means it’s time to de-winterize your water heater.
This process is fairly simple, as you’ll basically reverse what you did to protect your system in the first place. Even if you didn’t winterize your system, you’ll still find some useful tips in this article.
“Remove piping insulation and save it for next winter.”
1. Inspect your pipes
Uncover the insulation on your pipes to check for leaks that formed during the winter due to the frigid temperatures. You can decide to keep the insulation off and save it next year, or put it on after you’ve checked everything.
Walk the pipes to make sure there aren’t any leaks in the pipes. Even a very small crack can cause your utility bill to jump noticeably because it will drip hot water all day and night. Contact your local plumber for any big cracks, or consider using a strong adhesive that can handle high levels of PSI for any small leaks. Water-resistant adhesives will last longer than traditional adhesives and costs less than a meal at a fast food restaurant.
2. Turn down the thermostat
The Department of Energy recommends turning down the thermostat on your electric tankless water heater during spring and summer for a number of reasons. The most important would be to save money. Manufacturers normally pre-set the thermostat at 130 or 140 degrees Fahrenheit, when most homes only need it to be at 120 degrees. The least amount of energy used, the better. This is a quick way to find some easy savings.
Another reason the DOE recommends lowering the temperature is because 130 and 140 degrees can scald and injure someone at the faucet. According to the Burn Foundation, it takes just 5 seconds of exposure to water at 140 degrees to cause third degree burns. If a child or an older adult becomes shocked that the water is so warm, there’s a chance they leave their hand under the running water for a few more seconds than they should and a scald occurs as a result of it.
3. Install more tankless water heaters
Tankless water heaters are versatile and can fit almost anywhere. You can find them under a sink, in a small closet or above a washing machine. These innovative water heating solutions can actually save you more money in the long run if you install an extra system or two at point-of-use areas.
Consider the amount of space warm water has to travel from your basement. By the time it gets to your fixtures, it’s not going to be as warm when it came out. By placing it directly under the sink, the end user benefits from quicker and warmer water, and homeowners cuts down on their high utility bill because nobody is running the water for long periods of time anymore.
4. Service your water heater
You bring your car in for an oil change after winter, so why not have a professional take a look at your water heater? The DOE reported that these systems can last up to 20 years if maintained properly. For many homeowners, that could be all the time they spend in a single home before they move.
Purchasing a tankless water heater is a smart decision, but only if you routinely check it. Take a moment as the seasons change to make sure your electric tankless water heater is fully operational.