If your home has hard water that contains a lot of calcium, then your water heater might be in danger of having internal scale buildup. Scale buildup is a problem because it leads to thick sediment that will blow out the water heater's heating elements and rupture the hot water tank. To prevent this fate, here is more information about water heater sediment and how you can eliminate it:
The Tell-Tale Signs Your Water Heater has Sediment Buildup Inside of It
There are three tell-tale signs your hot water heater's tank has calcium buildup inside of it. They are:
scale formation on plumbing fixtures
white particles floating in your water
a decreased flow of hot water in your home
If you notice any of these signs, then it is a sure sign your water heater has sediment inside of its tank that must be removed.
How to Remove Existing Water Heater Sediment
Since the sediment inside of your water heater will continue to build up and will eventually ruin the tank and heating elements if you don't take action, you must flush out the water heater's tank at least once every year. Thankfully, flushing out a water heater is a simple procedure that any homeowner can perform.
To remove the sediment buildup in your water heater, follow these steps:
turn off the water heater's power
turn off the cold water connection on the top of the water heater
connect a garden hose to the water spigot on the bottom of the water heater
place the other end of the hose in your bathtub
open the spigot and drain all of the water and sediment out of the tank
when the tank is empty, close the spigot and remove the hose
open the cold water connection and refill the water heater's tank
Finally, once the water heater's tank is full, you can turn its power back on. You cannot turn on the power before the tank is full because the internal heating elements will prematurely heat up and blow out when they come into contact with the cold water.
Preventing Future Water Heater Sediment Problems
If you do not want the hassle of cleaning out your water heater's sediment each year, then you can prevent its formation altogether by installing a water softener on your home's water system. A water softener is a simple appliance that uses salt to remove the calcium in your water. Without the calcium in your water, water scale and water heater sediment cannot form. The salt you add to your water softener is available at most grocery and hardware stores and is inexpensive.
Finally, when the time comes that you need to replace your water heater, purchase one that has an internal stirring mechanism. This type of water heater keeps the hot water stirred up and prevents sediment from growing on the heating elements and on the bottom of the tank.
To learn more, contact a plumber at a company like Mike Hensley Plumbing Inc.