Six ways to prepare your hot water system for winter

A hot water system is essential at all times of the year, but in winter, a reliable supply of hot water is particularly important. Here are some simple tips and checks to make sure your supply won't fail at the time you need it most.

Check your hot water tank

Make sure your tank is in good condition. You should look for any rust marks or other signs of corrosion on the outside of the heater. You should also check for any leaks. You want to be sure that your tank will keep working throughout the bad weather, and you should get in touch with a hot water plumber if you are in any doubt.

Check the environment

You should also check your tank's surroundings. Make sure that there is no cold air seeping into the room, as this could cause the tank to operate less efficiently (this is particularly important if the tank is in a cold basement). Also make sure there are no flammable liquids kept near the tank.

Check the safety relief valve

This valve is designed to drip when the tank is heating, as the water will be expanding and will need a safe outlet. However, it should not be dripping constantly. If this is the case, an important safety feature of your system is failing, and you should get it checked as soon as possible.

Insulate your pipes

There is no point paying to heat water if the heat is just going to be lost to the environment before you use it. Insulating your pipes, particularly exposed ones on the outside of your house, will ensure that your water stays hot, and your money stays in your wallet.

Flush the water heater

This is something that should be done regularly, preferably about twice a year. The beginning of winter is an ideal time to do it, as it removes any sediment that has built up in the system, which could be leading to inefficiency. By switching off and draining the tank, you will ensure that your system continues to work as well as possible.

Arrange an inspection

If you are in any doubt about your system, the safest thing to do is to call a hot water plumber to inspect it. You will then spend winter knowing that your system has been professionally inspected and that your supply of hot water will be reliable, safe and efficient.