Why It’s Necessary to Flush Sediment from a Water Heater
A water heater is an important piece of equipment in your home, so it makes sense that a regular maintenance schedule should be followed. Residential storage-tank style water heaters may heat up to 80 gallons of water to about 120 degrees. Most municipal water contains dilute mineral components which, under conditions of heat, pressure and containment, will solidify into sediment and sink to the bottom of the heater. Over time, the accumulation causes a number of dysfunctions. Schedule an annual service call to flush sediment from a water heater or be prepared for some of these headaches:
- High water heating costs – Sediment accumulating at the bottom of the water heater tank acts as an insulator between the water heater’s burner and the water in the tank. When this is the case, the burner runs longer to reach the thermostat setting, decreasing efficiency and increasing your monthly bill.
- Wear and tear – The longer the burner runs to heat water in a sediment-clogged tank, the greater the potential for overheating. Both the steel tank shell and the internal glass liner are damaged by overheating and the service life of the heater is reduced, usually by premature leakage.
- Bacterial growth – Corrosive anaerobic bacteria flourishes in the hot, sediment-rich environment inside a water heater. This bacteria eat away at the internal components of the water heater and cause maintenance problems, including leakage.
- Plumbing obstructions – Flakes of sediment may migrate into the household hot water line and cause expensive blockages, requiring replacement of large spans of pipe and/or hot water fixtures. Typically the drain valve for the water heater will also be obstructed, making it impossible to drain water in an emergency such as a leak.
- Noisy operation – Steam bubbles forming beneath the sediment layer may cause loud bubbling or groaning sounds inside the heater, disturbing the household peace and quiet.
Have more questions about what it takes to flush sediment from a water heater? Contact the experts at Sobieski Services.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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