If they gave trophies to home appliances, water heaters would be winning one every year (and we’re not talking about the obligatory trophies they give to all the kids on the team). Nearly every appliance in your home relies on the water heater. If the sink gets clogged, sure, you might not be able to use your sink for the day. But if something happens to the water heater? The sink, the washer, and the shower are out of commission (unless you like freezing showers).
What we’re trying to say is: You have to take care of your water heater. One way to do that is by flushing the sediments that collect at the bottom of the tank.
What Is Water Heater Sediment?
All water carries minerals. Water that carries more minerals than usual is called hard water. When the water enters the water heater, the heating process separates the minerals from the water, and those minerals sink to the bottom of the tank. This can bring a few problems.
It’s rare that the water heater will make any noise. It’s definitely not a routine function! If you hear noises like popping or crackling in your water heater, it’s usually a sure sign that you have too much sediment in the tank. If it has gotten to this point, don’t hesitate to call up a plumber in Deptford Township, NJ to have the tank flushed.
Higher Heating Bill
Here’s where it starts becoming a problem. A significant layer of sediment will create a barrier of insulation between the burners and the water. This means the water will take longer to heat up! And that doesn’t just mean slower heating times. That means you’ll be burning gas for much longer than necessary and thus tanking efficiency. If you notice your water is taking longer to get hot in conjunction with a high heating bill, we suggest checking the tank for sediment.
Irreparable Damage to the Tank
When sediment is ignored for too long, it can be fatal to your water heater. Too much sediment can create super-heated pockets of air—hot enough that they might burn a hole through the tank itself. When this happens, you have no choice but to get the water heater replaced. Unfortunately, water heater tanks can’t be patched up like a tire.
Tankless Doesn’t Collect Sediment, But…
“No problem,” you might be saying. “I have a tankless heater, so I don’t have to worry about this.”
It’s true that you won’t have to worry about sediment buildup in a tankless model. However, hard water can also create limescale—a chalky substance created by calcium and magnesium—and that can take a toll on your tankless unit.
Tankless water heaters have a heating element that creates electrical resistance. This is how they’re able to heat your water on demand. This heating element is capable of collecting limescale, and that can be enough to drastically reduce efficiency.