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Is Your Water Heater Ready for Winter? Four Steps to Maintaining Your Hot Water Heater

Shipton's Heating and Cooling in Hamilton provides maintenance tips for your hot water heater this winter.

Is Your Water Heater Ready for Winter? Four Steps to Maintaining Your Hot Water Heater

Right now, it is still a relatively balmy 15 degrees Celsius outside, at least during the day, but give it a week or two and we'll be heading down towards the freezing point.

This is precisely when your hot water heater is most likely to call it quits.

You don't want to wait until you are waking up in the cold and dark and looking forward to that toasty warm shower to discover your water heater has taken a sick day...or a sick week.

With all the stress this past year has delivered, this is really just adding insult to injury!

Yet this is exactly the time of year when our emergency repair crews at Shipton’s Heating and Cooling in Hamilton are working around the clock restoring hot water service all over the Ontario. So we thought now would be the perfect time to review some water heater basics.

Is your water heater ready for winter? Keep reading to find out! You can also contact our HVAC technicians at Shipton's! We offer 24/7 Emergency Service in Hamilton and the surrounding areas!


How to Know Your Water Heater Needs To Be Serviced

We've had an uncharacteristically warm summer season - so warm, in fact, that taking cool showers has been rather refreshing.

All of that is about to change.

The time has come when even the memory of summer's cold showers will feel like a bout of temporary insanity - a decision you can neither explain nor rationalize.

Let's make sure you know the warning signs that your hot water heater needs to be serviced!

1. Your water heater sounds like a marching band.

Even in all our ingenuity, we have yet to invent a water heater that is stone-cold silent as it powers on and off, but your hot water heater shouldn't sound like the brass section of a marching band, either.

Clanks, bangs, shudders, sighs, screeches or hums are all early warning signs that your water heater is running into trouble as it tries to do its job. Our qualified HVAC technicians at Shipton’s Heating and Cooling in Hamilton know what sounds to watch for and how to fix them! Contact us today for more information!

2. Your hot water supply runs out faster and faster.

Winter is a great time to find out how cold-tolerant the other members of your family are...or are not.

As soon as the hot water supply starts running out, you are likely to hear about it from the rest of your family!

When it becomes obvious that you are getting less hot water than you need to ensure that everyone gets their usual warm shower, this should set off warning bells that your hot water heater is overdue for maintenance....or replacement. 

Does your hot water heater need to be replaced? Contact our heating experts at Shipton’s in Hamilton and we can get your hot water heat replaced in no time!

3. Rust is the new least where your hot water heater is concerned.

Older water heaters are more prone to forming rust as well as mineral residue, especially if your local water is mineral-rich, "hard" water.

Rust isn't just unsightly and stinky. It can also eat its way right through your pipes, causing expensive water damage.

You may not always be able to see rust or mineral residue forming on your water heater either, especially if it is happening on the inside.

In fact, strange as it may sound, sometimes you will smell the presence of rust or deposits before you see it - there is a signature metallic odour that is a dead giveaway if you know what you are smelling.

In some cases, the first sign may also be visual. When your water starts to turn a brownish-red-orange colour, this can signify that rust has formed in the pipes of your hot water heater.

Here, there is an easy way to tell if it is your hot or cold water pipes that are rusting. First, run only cold water and see if the water runs clear. Next, run only hot water and see what colour water comes out.

If the rust-coloured water only appears when you run hot water, this is a tell-tale sign your hot water heater has rust. 

Having trouble knowing whether your hot water heater needs to be serviced? Our team of HVAC experts at Shipton’s in Hamilton provide quick maintenance visits! Contact us today!

4. Your water heater has developed a moat.

Speaking of water damage, once the situation has progressed to the point where you actually see condensation, drips or standing water near to your hot water heater, there is a risk that a crack has formed.

Micro-fissures and cracks can be nearly invisible to the naked eye, but can be "seen" through the presence of condensation, drips or pools of water.

Depending on the capacity of your hot water heater, imagine the damage that 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60 gallons of water could do to your home space. A drip today could all too easily become a flood tomorrow, but if you know what you are looking at, you can take quick action to ensure this never occurs.

Not sure what you’re looking at? Let our hot water heater experts at Shipton’s take a look! We can assess the situation and provide a solution quickly so that you can get back to enjoying your hot water in no time!


Four Steps to Hot Water Heater Maintenance

Please Note: Before you complete these four steps, be sure to shut off ALL power to your hot water heater for your safety.

1. Check the anode rod.

Over time, the anode rod that attracts corrosive elements can wear down and give out. Replacing it can avert a hot water outage.

2. Give the TPR valve a test.

The Temperature-Pressure-Relief valve has a big job to do - releasing vapour that could otherwise cause dangerous pressure build-up.

Periodically, the TPR valve can wear out and need replacement.

3. Flush out the hot water tank.

The best way to keep sediment from building up inside the hot water tank is to flush it at least quarterly.

4. Clear a safe space around the unit.

Always ensure a two-foot minimum perimeter between your water heater and stored supplies.


Get in Touch With Shipton’s Hot Water Heater Experts In Hamilton

Shipton’s Heating and Cooling in Hamilton is open and ready to take care of your hot water maintenance needs, including our popular 24/7 emergency repair service.

Give our friendly, knowledgeable technicians a call at 1-905-549-4616 or visit us online for prompt, professional, contact-less service, invoicing and payment options.

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