The big question is, “How often is water heater maintenance needed.” Most homeowners need to learn the importance of water heater maintenance. Our water heaters usually sit in the corner of our garage until something goes wrong, and only then do we jump into action. But, why wait until something goes wrong? Performing maintenance on your water heater by draining it and clearing the sediment will promote efficiency and extend the appliance’s longevity.
Why Do I Need To Clean My Tank?
Hard water comprises high levels of minerals, primarily calcium, and magnesium. These minerals are naturally present in the earth’s crust and can dissolve into groundwater sources. When this water enters our water heaters or other appliances, it can lead to certain issues.
Here’s how hard water occurs in water heaters:
Water source: Water is sourced from underground aquifers, wells, or reservoirs. These sources can contain varying amounts of minerals depending on the geological composition of the area.
Mineral dissolution: As water percolates through rocks and the soil, it picks up minerals like calcium and magnesium. These minerals dissolve into the water, making it hard.
Water heater usage: When hard water enters a water heater, it passes through the tank and comes into contact with heating elements or a heat exchanger.
Heat application: As the water is heated, the elevated temperatures accelerate the precipitation of minerals. This process is known as scale formation or mineral deposition.
Scale accumulation: The minerals dissolved in the water become solid again and form scale or sediment. This scale can adhere to the surfaces inside the water heater, including the heating elements, pipes, and the inner tank.
The accumulation of scale in water heaters can lead to several problems:
Reduced efficiency: Scale acts as an insulating layer, reducing the heat transfer efficiency of the heating elements or heat exchanger. The water heater will require more energy to heat the water, leading to increased energy consumption and higher utility bills.
Decreased lifespan: Scale buildup can cause additional stress on the water heater’s components, leading to premature wear and failure. It can lead to corrosion, clogged pipes, and damaged heating elements, resulting in costly repairs or the need for replacement.
Hot water supply issues: Scale accumulation can restrict water flow through the pipes and reduce the amount of available hot water. It may result in reduced water pressure, longer heating times, or inadequate hot water supply.
Maintenance requirements: Cleaning or descaling the water heater becomes necessary to remove the accumulated scale periodically. Neglecting this maintenance can worsen the issues mentioned above and affect the overall performance of the water heater.
Perform Water Heater Maintenance To Ensure Optimal Performance
To mitigate the impact of hard water in water heaters, homeowners can consider installing water softeners or water conditioning systems. These devices work by removing or reducing the minerals responsible for hardness, thereby minimizing scale formation and extending the water heater’s lifespan. Regular water heater maintenance, including descaling, can also help manage the effects of hard water to ensure optimal performance.
How Often Do I Need To Flush My Water Heater?
To ensure the best hot water supply to your home, the recommendation for flushing a water heater is once a year. Another common question is, “Can the average homeowner complete the procedure?” Someone with basic do-it-yourselfer skills can flush a water heater.
How To Flush A Water Heater
There are two basic types of water heaters: gas and electric. And while there are two varieties, these directions are geared toward natural gas.
1. Turn the thermostat knob to “off”; it’s usually found toward the bottom of the tank.
2. Turn off the gas to your water heater. The gas valve is on the pipe leading to the pilot and thermostat.
3. Locate your cold water supply and turn it off. You can find it near the top of your heater.
4. Open your hot water in your bathtub or sink and leave it open during the whole flushing process.
5. Open the pressure relief valve. While this is not mandatory, it can help the water flow easily. Additionally, you’re checking your pressure relief valve in the process, killing two birds with one stone. Finally, have a bucket handy for underneath the drainage pipe of your pressure relief valve because the water may rush out and will probably be hot.
6. Connect a garden hose to the drainage spigot and take special care by pointing the hose outside or in a bucket.
7. Now, it’s time to turn on your spigot and let the water drain. Continue draining until your water runs clear.
8. Turn your cold water valve on and start flushing the water tank until the water exiting is clear.
Water Heater Maintenance Can Extend The Longevity And Performance Of Your Heater
In conclusion, regular maintenance of water heaters is of utmost importance for homeowners, and it is a service that Big B’s Plumbing takes seriously. Water heater maintenance offers numerous benefits in terms of performance and longevity. By adhering to a routine maintenance schedule, homeowners can avoid unexpected breakdowns, minimize repair costs, and ensure their water heaters operate efficiently.
Firstly, proper maintenance of water heaters helps identify and address potential issues before they escalate into major problems. Big B’s Plumbing understands that proactive maintenance can prevent costly repairs or even the need for premature replacement. Through thorough inspections, cleaning, and testing of critical components such as the pressure relief valve, anode rod, and heating elements, potential hazards can be identified and resolved promptly, ensuring the safety and reliability of the water heater.
You’ll Save Energy By Removing The Hard Water Sediment In Your Heater
Secondly, regular maintenance contributes to the efficient operation of water heaters, leading to energy savings and reduced utility bills. Scale buildup, sediment accumulation, or malfunctioning components can hinder the water heater’s performance, increasing energy consumption and decreasing efficiency. By engaging the expertise of Big B’s Plumbing, homeowners can ensure that their water heaters are operating optimally, delivering hot water when needed without unnecessary energy wastage.
Big B’s Plumbing Is A Wise Choice For Water Heater Maintenance
In summary, with the expertise and dedication of Big B’s Plumbing, the importance of regular water heater maintenance becomes evident. By scheduling annual maintenance, homeowners can enjoy peace of mind, knowing that their water heaters are in top condition, operating efficiently, and less prone to unexpected breakdowns. Investing in maintenance services offered by Big B’s Plumbing is a wise decision that not only protects the water heater’s longevity but also contributes to safety, energy savings, and the overall comfort of the household.