Hot water coming out of bathroom faucet.

4 Cool Water Heater Accessories

Water heaters are some of the least appreciated appliances in any home. People tend to forget about them until something goes wrong. If you’d like to get more out of your water heater, these accessories are worthy investments.

Expansion Tank

Water expands in volume when it’s hot. That extra volume has to go somewhere. An expansion tank is a must if your plumbing is on a closed-loop system -- meaning water can come in, but it can’t go out. In an open-loop system, extra water produced by your water heater can reverse course, alleviating pressure. But most new homes are on closed-loops, hence the need for an expansion tank.

A small expansion tank installed between the heater and the rest of the home’s plumbing takes the load off your water heater, sparing you costly leaks and spikes in water pressure.

Leak Detector and Alarm

A leaking water heater can cause thousands of dollars in property damage if left unchecked. Plug-and-play leak detectors cost as little as $50 and don’t require a professional’s services to install. Modern Wi-Fi leak detectors will send alerts to your smartphone at the first sign of a developing problem. More advanced models include an automated valve that shuts off the water supply line when a leak is detected.


Traditional tank-based water heaters tend to waste a lot of energy heating water even when nobody is around. A timer allows homeowners to effectively turn off a water heater during periods where piping hot water isn’t required. Many timers are well under $100. The latest Wi-Fi timers can be controlled remotely, which gives users a greater degree of scheduling flexibility.

Insulation Blanket

Insulation blankets can help you cut your water bill by preventing standby loss, that’s heat energy going to waste. If you have an older water heater, it may benefit from an additional insulation layer. Otherwise, newer models have sufficient insulation; adding more might cause it to overheat.

Turn to the Richmond water heater installation pros Mercy Plumbing. To schedule your appointment, call (832) 734-9731.