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One comfort we value in the winter more than ever is hot water throughout the home. It seems to take longer than usual to “thaw” under a stream of hot water after you’ve been out in Cincinnati’s freezing temperatures. What you might not have known is that your water heater has to work extra hard throughout the winter months to keep up with your usage.

Are you running out of hot water, or not having as much as you used to?

With the ground temperature dropping, the water lines are getting colder and colder. That means the water going into your water heater is coming in at a much lower temp than it usually does, and it mixes with the hot water, lowering the overall water temperature, likely causing your water heater to have to reheat more frequently.

This is even more so when you have an older water heater, as the sediment that accumulates at the bottom of the unit tends to absorb much of the heat.

It’s also often the case that when our bodies are colder, we might take longer, hotter showers to warm up, using more of the stored hot water.

Preparing Your Water Heater for Winter

So how can you prepare your hot water heater for a Cincinnati winter?

Just turn your water heater’s temperature dial up to a toasty 125, or even 130. (If you have children or any elderly in your home, you may want to double think this, as their skin burns more easily.)

It’s probably set at 120 right now, which is the manufacturer’s recommended setting, and is likely denoted by a white mark on the temperature dial. On a gas water heater, you should be able to turn the temperature up using the buttons or the knob on the front of the unit.

Electric water heaters usually have their temperature controls within the unit itself, requiring tools. We recommend leaving their maintenance to a licensed plumber for safety reasons.

If you have any questions about winterizing your water heater, or any other aspect of your home plumbing this season, you’re welcome to call and get help from one of our licensed plumbers.

Make the BEST choice and call BEST Plumbing Service of Cincinnati for any of your home plumbing needs!

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