What’s wrong with my hot water heater?
You wait forever for your shower to heat up, then have to rush through it to avoid running out of hot water. At the end of the month, your utility bills are sky high. On top of it all, you hear a something banging around inside your water heater. But it’s not that old! What’s going on?
Calcium deposits are the likely culprit!
Hard water is a big issue in our region. More than 85% of homes have hard water flowing through their pipes. The high temperatures in water heaters are especially good at leaching large amounts calcium out of hard water, leaving behind rock hard deposits inside the tank.
In both gas and electric water heaters, calcium deposits form around the heating elements which make them work extra hard, and may cause them to burn out. As a result, you waste water running it to get it hot, and your water heater ages prematurely as it works less efficiently.
How you can fight back against calcium deposits.
Taking action on your own is a cheap and effective way to extend the life of your water heater and save you a ton of money.
- Flush your water heater annually. — Once a year, turn your water heater off, let it cool, and drain it. Calcium particles will flush out of the tank along with the water.
- Treat with organic chemicals. — The most effective chemicals for combating calcium buildup are vinegar or lye. Once you flush your water heater, let the chemicals sit in the tank for a few hours, then flush it again before turning the heater back on for use.
- Keep it at the right temperature. — The hotter the water, the more calcium it’s leaving behind. Be sure your water heater isn’t set above the manufacturer’s recommended temperature, usually between 120ºF and 140ºF.
Stop calcium before it starts.
The most effective way to protect your home and combat calcium deposits, not just in your water heater, but in your home’s entire plumbing system, is to install a water softener. This solution stops calcium buildup before it starts, and saves you time and money in the long-run.
Get help from the professionals.
Regular water heater inspection and maintenance is the best way to ensure the longest life for your water heater. If you suspect calcium deposits are at the root of your problem, but you’re unsure, a professional can help diagnose and resolve your water heater issues.