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What to Do About Water Heater Sediment Buildup

Every appliance in your household goes through wear-and-tear, and often requires a thorough cleaning. Although it’s easy to forget about it, your water heater is also another one of those appliances. One of the most common issues for water heaters in Salt Lake City is sediment buildup. In this post, we’ll tell you all about it, the dangers, and what you can do.

What is it?

Water heater sediment refers to any number of solids that don’t dissolve in your water. These solids, mostly minerals like calcium carbonate, will collect at the bottom of your water tank. The sediment might be mistaken for sand. Regardless of what it looks like, finding solids in your water heater is never a good thing.

Why is it a problem?

Collecting sediment is inevitable and doesn’t present a problem with the water heater itself. Rather, allowing your tank to continually collect sediment is the problem. When left unflushed, sediment can, at best, drive up the costs of your energy bills. At worst, it can ruin your tank permanently, setting you back a brand-new water heater and forcing you to replace it.

Higher water heating bill: The collected sediment will directly affect the ability of your water heater to do its one function – to heat the water! It’s crucial that the water and the tank’s heating element work seamlessly, but a layer of sediment will prevent that. Your water will take longer to heat up, which not only will lead to lower water temperatures for use in the home but will also drive up your heating bill.

Damage to the tank: Sediment won’t just prevent the water from being heated efficiently. During that process, the sediment can be prone to collecting the heat and not dispersing it through the water. This, in turn, will create hot spots, and these can cause damage to the tank’s lining. If this keeps up for long, the tank can develop a leak and need replacement.

Noises: Sediment can also be responsible for strange noises heard from inside the water heater. The sediment can trap bubbles at the bottom of the tank, and as those bubbles become heated, they can explode and pop. Essentially, what you’re hearing is water boiling beneath the sediment. These noises sometimes might be barely noticeable, but at other times, they can be loud and cause for alarm. The noises themselves are harmless, but they are an undeniable sign that your water heater has too much sediment.

Is it time to call a professional?

If you’ve only just begun experiencing any of the above issues, chances are that you’ve had sediment in your tank for a while now. Although many guides online can tell you how to flush your water heater tank on your own, those guides don’t account for the damages that continual sediment buildup can do to your water heater. That’s why recommend calling a professional, not just because they can guarantee a job done properly, but also so they can thoroughly inspect the tank for any damages.

Contact At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today. You can trust us to keep your family comfortable.

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At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air provides excellent heating, air conditioning, plumbing, indoor air quality, water treatment and water heater services throughout the greater Salt Lake City, UT area, including the installation of new systems and components, and the replacement of the old, as well as ongoing repair and maintenance. Established in 1980, we have served the home comfort needs of our local community for over 30 years. Whether you need your stop and waste valve replaced or a new "green," energy–efficient HVAC system installed, we can make sure that the job is completed properly. Our HVAC contractors are NATE–certified and we employ Master and Journeyman plumbers. We are confident in our ability to satisfy any issue that may arise in your home, 24 hours a day. Give one of our friendly staff members a call today to learn more about what we can do for your home.

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