hot water coming out of faucet

How Cold Weather Affects Your Water Heater

During winter, your entire plumbing system, including your water heater, is affected by the colder weather. When exposed to lower temperatures, water heaters endure a lot of strain as they work longer and harder to provide an adequate supply of hot water. In order to avoid dealing with an extensive amount of damage to your water heater, it is a good idea to learn how the cold weather can affect your system and what you can do about it. 

Cold Weather Cools Your Pipes

When the temperatures drop, your plumbing pipes and fixtures are directly affected. As they become colder along with the weather outside, the water within them cools down as well. It’s not uncommon for the water traveling from your water heater to your showerhead or faucet to drop as much as 10 degrees along the way. This is because your plumbing fixtures are also affected by the lower temperatures outside. When the water coming from your faucets isn’t as hot as it should be, many homeowners believe the problem is caused by the water heater, when it could really be caused by cooler fixtures.

When you aren’t sure what is causing your water heater problems, it is a good idea to bring in a professional plumber.

Other reasons why your water heater has to work much harder during winter include:

  • Your water heater is placed in an unconditioned, cold area of your home (most likely the garage or closet). This cools your system down and forces it to work much harder to heat your water.
  • The water delivered to your water heater during winter is much colder than normal due to lower temperatures outside. This means that your water heater has to work harder to achieve the desired water temperature.
  • Your family’s hot water demands increase during colder months, causing your water heater to work longer and harder to meet them.

How Does This Affect Your Water Heater?

When your water heater struggles to meet your hot water demands, it experiences a lot of wear and tear. Putting a lot of strain on a water heater often leads to problems with the system, costly repairs, and even premature system failure.

It is also common to see a huge increase in your water and energy bills during this time as your system is using much more energy to heat your water and your hot water demands are on the rise.

Signs That Your Water Heater Is Struggling

The last thing you want is for your family to be left without a functioning water heater. It is a good idea to become aware of the signs that your system is struggling, so you can bring in a plumber right away. Ignoring even the smallest of problems with your system can cause a serious breakdown down the line.

Signs that your water heater needs to be repaired include:

  • Your energy bills are through the roof
  • Your water heater is rusty
  • Your water heater is leaking
  • The temperature of your water fluctuates dramatically
  • Your water heater is making banging or knocking sounds
  • It takes a long time for your water to warm up
  • Your water is never hot enough

How to Avoid a Damaged Water Heater

There are a few things you can do to prepare your water heater for the colder weather and prevent repairs and replacements.

Tips for avoiding a damaged water heater include:

  • Raise the temperature on your water heater thermostat
  • Upgrade to a tankless water heater, if possible
  • Schedule routine, professional water heater maintenance
  • Insulate your plumbing pipes to prevent water from getting too cold
  • Upgrade your old showerheads and faucet aerators
  • Wash your clothes on the cold water setting
  • Avoid running the dishwasher unless it is full

How to Avoid a Damaged Water Heater

There are a few things you can do to prepare your water heater for the colder weather and prevent repairs and replacements.

Tips for avoiding a damaged water heater include:

  • Upgrade to a tankless water heater, if possible
  • Schedule routine, professional water heater maintenance
  • Insulate your plumbing pipes to prevent water from freezing or getting too cold
  • Upgrade your old showerheads and faucet aerators
  • Wash your clothes on the cold water setting
  • Avoid running the dishwasher unless it is full

Hi-Tech Plumbing & Air Is Here to Help

With nearly 60 years of collective plumbing experience, Hi-Tech Plumbing & Air is your go-to for all things plumbing. If your water heater is suffering from the cold, reach out to us right away. One of our licensed plumbers will carefully inspect your water heater and perform temperature readings on each of the fixtures in your home to determine whether the problem is caused by your water heater or fixtures. We will then explain your options to you and implement the best solution to ensure your water heater is taken care of.

As a leader in the plumbing industry, we have access to top-performing equipment and technology to keep your home as comfortable as can be. As a family-owned business, we understand the importance of a smooth-running plumbing system at home, and will always go the extra mile to ensure yours is taken care of. To ensure your family’s hot water needs are met, we offer recirculating pumps, which deliver hot water faster and help you reduce your water consumption. To learn more about these systems, give our team a call today.

Call (561) 708-4989 now. We look forward to serving you!

Categories