Water heaters are useful to have, but if you have ever dealt with a build-up of mineral deposits in your water system, you will know that its maintenance can be hard work. Here are a few reasons why maintaining your water heater is very important!
What is Scaling?
Water heaters need maintenance because deposits from hard water will cling to the metal and eventually corrode it. This buildup is called scaling. This is what most technicians look for in checkups. Corrosion can become a problem affecting the entire water heater system, including pipes, the parts of the heater, and the tank itself. If left untreated it can be very costly to try and reverse, and otherwise might require a brand-new tank for it to be corrected. Tankless water heaters will also develop scaling.
This is because the buildup is created from extra minerals in your water, such as magnesium and calcium. This excess buildup is a natural result of hard water, which means water that has gone through a lot of purification. Scaling can affect the way your whole water heating system works if left too long. It will weigh down the tank and will wear away the linings of the tank wall. With the lining gone, water now touches the metal, and this leads to corrosion.
What are the Effects of Scaling?
Corrosion is a natural process that happens when metals are exposed to water or air for long periods of time, the materials will begin to rust. This will lead to drier and more brittle metal that can break and cause leaks. This is dangerous for water heaters, especially considering the continuous flow of water.
Apart from leakages, the second effect of scaling is that it can stop the water from moving properly. In some cases, it stops it from moving completely. When this happens, the jamming effects will be felt when the heater gives off low water pressure.
Additionally, the scales can form a layer that condenses at the bottom of the tank. This will make for a noisy experience when the heater is on. The noise will sound like a popping or cracking sound, but it is nothing to be afraid of. The noise is a result of air bubbles attempting to rise through the sediment as the water is heated.
How is Scaling Treated?
On your own, there isn’t much you can do to prevent scaling. However, a great treatment for the mineral deposits is a water softener. This is effective as it helps by converting the hard water mineral buildups to salt. This can also help with any scaling that filters through your pipes to the water that is used daily.
The second method of treatment is getting professional help. Part of professional maintenance is flushing your tank, which helps to rid it of the scaling that can cause harm to both the water heater and the rest of your plumbing system.