While most plumbing equipment generally tends to be low-maintenance and long-lasting, it is, unfortunately, the total opposite when it comes to a water heater. Water heaters need to be maintained regularly, roughly once a year to ensure proper function. Not doing so can cause the build-up of sediment, which results in your water heater being damaged. As such, it is imperative to flush the sediment out of your water heater minimally once a year. Read on to find out more about the build-up of sediment in water heaters as well as how to get rid of them.
Build-Up of Sediment and Sludge in Water Heaters
While the water that enters your home through your water inlet is perfectly safe for consumption, they do contain minerals such as calcium and magnesium which can settle and collect at the bottom of your water heater tank, creating a nasty sludge that affects the heater’s efficiency. Thankfully, choosing water heaters with a circulator pump greatly reduces the chances of such an occurrence.
A build-up of sediment can lead to a variety of issues, including less hot water, higher energy bills, and even the occurrence of your water heater leaking or bursting.
Signs that It is Time to Flush Your Water Heater
- Unpredictable water temperature. If you find that the temperature of your water is not constant but instead goes up and down, it may be a sign that the presence of sediment is interrupting the heater’s operation.
- Increase in utility bills. With sediment collecting at the bottom of your water heater, it will need to work harder to heat water to the desired temperature, resulting in higher utility bills.
- The build-up of white scale on showerheads and faucets.
- Low water pressure. If you find that the water pressure has been consistently low or drops intermittently, it might be time to flush your water heater.
- Rusty or corroding water heater. When a water heater becomes rusty, the tank becomes more susceptible to leaking or bursting. Thankfully, AquaPLEX® technology can prevent that from happening.
Flushing Out Sediment
To flush sediment out of your water heater, you will first need to get ready a few simple pieces of equipment. This includes a bucket that serves as a reservoir, your typical garden hose, a wrench, as well as a water pump. Afterward, all that is left is to perform the following steps:
- Shut off any electrical connection or gas to the water heater tank.
- Connect the water hose to a drain valve and ensure that the other end of the hose is either placed in a large bucket or placed safely in a storm drain.
- Open up the drain valve and wait for the water to flow out. At the same time, you should also open your pressure relief and temperature valve.
- Collect a bucket of drained water for inspection.
- If sediment crystals are present at the bottom of the bucket, continue draining.
- Otherwise, close up the drain valve and wait for the tank to refill.
- Turn your water heater back on.