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How to Address Sediment Build-Up in Your Water Heater

Your water heater is integral to your home’s general comfort. How else are you going to shower? Take baths? Wash your clothes? Do the dishes without freezing your hands off? When your water heater isn’t working at peak capacity, it’s easy to notice. Water heaters are particularly sensitive to mineral build-up.

lot of water travels through and sits inside your water heater constantly. Over time, all that water will leave behind mineral and scale deposits, especially if it’s hard. That buildup can reduce your water heater’s lifespan, efficiency, and even its basic functionality. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to prevent scale buildup from becoming an issue.

Adjust the temperature.

Heat makes a difference when it comes to sediment buildup. It seems counter-intuitive, we know. Some materials dissolve when placed in high temperatures. Minerals like calcium and magnesium, however, are actually more likely to form deposits in high temperatures. Basically, the congeal together in heat instead of breaking apart.

Check the temperature on your water heater and make sure it’s no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. That is the recommended setting chosen by most manufacturers. Any higher and you’ll start having sediment issues.

Get a water softener installed in your home.

Any untreated (hard) water naturally contains trace amounts of heavy minerals like calcium and magnesium. Over time, the minerals in hard water build up inside the water heater’s tank and even your pipe’s walls. When enough minerals settle inside your water heater’s tank, they’ll significantly hamper its efficiency. If the problem gets bad enough, they could even permanently damage the water heater.

Hard water doesn’t just affect your water heater and pipes, either. It’s also abrasive on your skin, hair, and clothing, plus it creates soap scum. Overall, hard water is bad news for your whole home–especially your water heater. If you don’t have a water softener in your home, we recommend installing one immediately.

Get your water heater flushed.

Flushing your water heater at least once per year (twice is preferable) is a great idea for all homeowners. If you feel comfortable taking on the task yourself, we’ve got a guide to walk you through it. Even if you’re confident, however, we recommend calling in the pros to flush your water tank at least once per year.

When you flush all the water out of your water heater, you’ll take the sediment build-up with it. Flushing out sediment extends the life of the tank and its interior part and can even improve heating speed. If you want your water heater to work as well as it should, you should flush it out at least once or twice a year.

A little preventative effort goes a long way toward maintaining your home’s plumbing. That counts double for something as important as your water heater. You use your water heater every day, so it’s very important that you take care of it correctly. The best way to do that is to clear out sediment build-ups regularly.

If you ever want help flushing out your water heater, give Ben Franklin Plumbing a call any time. Our experts will make sure we clear out your tanks as efficiently and effectively as possible. We can help you with any other problems while we’re at it, too. We’d love to help, so just let us know how and watch us go!