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Imagine jumping into the shower, expecting hot water, but cold water hits you instead. This can be enough to elicit a shriek from anyone, but it can also be a slip-and-fall hazard. Here’s another home plumbing risk: a scalding injury that may occur within seconds. Like the above, this can also be due to a faulty water heater.

To avoid those risks, prepare the water heating system in your Minneapolis, MN, for the fall season. Read on, as this guide outlines the steps you can take today.

Inspect for Leaks

Just like how you’d inspect for and fix leaks to prepare your plumbing for summer, do it for fall, too. Doing this before winter can also help you avoid more severe problems like tank failure.

Check the top and bottom of your water heating system and its valves to see if there’s water coming out. This is also an excellent time to clean the outside of the tank by wiping it down with a clean rag.

Your tank is likely leaking if you see water or the rag becomes damp. In this case, please call a local plumber ASAP to fix (and save) your system. You don’t want to put off repairs, as these plumbing problems can cause severe property damage.

Test and Adjust Temperature

Testing the water temperature helps confirm your heater’s thermostat works. Because if it’s not, you could be at risk of cold water shock or scald injuries.

The ideal water temp is 120 °F; any higher, and the risk for scalding also increases. Lowering your thermostat to 120 °F can also help you save on water heating bills.

Use a water thermometer to perform a temperature test. Your thermostat setting should be the same or close to the thermometer’s reading. If the former is too far off, call a local licensed plumber for help.

Check the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve

The T&P relief valve is a device on a water heater that discharges when the pressure inside the tank goes over 150 psi. It does the same if the interior temperature reaches or exceeds 210 °F.

In either case, the valve helps prevent the system from exploding.

T&P valves can fail to discharge even when needed due to mineral buildup that causes them to stiffen. This is a severe safety hazard, as pressure or temperature buildup can cause the tank to explode.

To reduce such risks, test your T&P relief valve every six months, including once in the fall. Wear closed-heel shoes when doing the test, and have a bucket ready below the drain pipe. Stand as far back as you can while still being able to pull the valve’s lever.

Water Heater Maintenance Can Prevent Home Plumbing Woes

Your water heater’s efficient and safe operation depends on its upkeep. And while the tips above are good starting points, nothing beats professional tune-ups.

So, consider Mr Plumbing and Drains your go-to for all your water heater and home plumbing needs. Our experts can do all the above steps and more; they can also flush your system and check/replace its anode rod. We proudly service Minneapolis and Saint Paul and offer in-home estimates.

Get in touch with us today; we’ll be happy to give your heater the thorough upkeep it needs!