If your bathroom plumbing will get a lot of use this holiday season, make sure your water heater is up to the task. With cold holiday weather, hot showers are common, so make sure you do these few things to confirm your water heater is ready to go before the first guest takes a shower.

1. Check the Pressure Relief Valve

This valve prevents excessive pressure build up in your water tank. If it’s not working as it should, it could result in a water heater explosion or rocket blast from your basement! But checking the pressure relief valve is simple; just place a bucket under it and actuate it to see if water continuously drains out. If it does, it’s working correctly.

2. Flush Out the Sediment

Every once in a while, you should drain the hot water tank to remove the built-up sediment. You can do this by completely draining the tank, then quickly open and close the cold water supply valve to add more water and stir up the sediment. Next, continue draining the hot water tank. You should see the sediment begin to flow out.

3. Check for Leaks and Drips

Using a flashlight, look around the entire hot water tank and surrounding areas. Check to see if you notice any shiny areas where water may exist. If you find some wet or damp areas, there could be a leak in the water tank or surrounding piping. You need to find the cause of these leaks as soon as possible to avoid any significant water damage. You might also want to know that long-term water damage is often not covered by home insurance policy.

For more plumbing advice concerning your bathroom and water heater, you might want to contact our experts at Smoak’s Comfort Control before the first guest arrives at your home.