Why sediment is bad for your hot water heater tank

If you have a conventional tank-style hot water heater, you need to flush it regularly to keep the sediment build-up at a minimum. There are natural minerals in our water that will settle out of the water over time and sit at the bottom of your tank. Sediment that is built up can decrease the energy efficiency of the hot water heater and if it gets to be too much – it can cause damage. Flushing your tank will extend its life and keep it operating at peak performance.

Learn more about it:

What is the sediment made from?

Sediment in your water heater tank might look like sand or brown grit.  In most cases it is calcium carbonate.  This mineral is present in water.  When your water heater heats the water it causes the calcium carbonate to precipitate out.  It then sinks and settles on the bottom of your tank.

What problems does sediment in the hot water tank cause?

Sediment built up on the bottom of your water heater tank could start to form a layer blocking your gas burner from the water.  It insulates the bottom and causes a slow transfer of heat to the water and could overheat the bottom on your water heater tank.  This overheating could weaken the tank and damage its glass lining, shortening the life of your hot water heater tank.

Excessive sediment builds up in your water heater tank can also promote the production of anaerobic bacteria in your water tank.  Although this type of bacteria is harmless, it still can build up a lot of gas and cause your water to smell like rotten eggs.  Learn more about bacteria in your water heater tank.

The sediment could potentially drift into recirculation lines and start to clog valves.  Overall, sediment in your hot water heater tank will decrease its efficiency and that is something you really want to avoid!

Flushing sediment from the hot water tank.

It is important to drain your hot water tank in order to flush out sediment build up.  Depending on your specific tank, and if you are mechanically inclined, you could attempt to drain your hot water tank yourself.  Learn more about how to flush sediment in hot water heater tank.

In some cases, this task might be a little complicated for a do-it-yourselfer and it is advised to contact the professional plumbers. You should also be aware that the water coming out of the water heater could be hot enough to possibly scald or burn you. If you are unsure, always call professional plumbers to assist with your hot water heater service, repairs and installation.

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