There’s a particular problem that many homeowners face, but don’t necessarily know much about–scaling in their water heater. Scaling is the result of hard water–that is, water with a high level of minerals in it, namely calcium, magnesium, and iron. The mineral deposits build up within the plumbing pipes and fixtures and can go unnoticed for a while… until scaling starts causing problems.
And this, scaling, is the #1 reason that your water heater needs annual professional maintenance! During this service, we flush your water heater and ensure it’s functioning as it should, for as long as it should.
How Does Someone Know If Their Water Heater Has Scaling?
Usually, a homeowner will notice something is wrong with their water heater when they begin hearing the sound created by the buildup of deposits. This can sound like a popping noise, a banging, or even a crackling noise. It can sound pretty ominous, but if you have the problem managed by a professional regularly, you don’t have to worry.
Strange sounds coming from any appliance in your home can seem scary, like something bad is about to happen–especially if you have a gas-powered system. But it’s not necessary to panic! The noise you’re hearing is the mineral deposits settling on the bottom of the tank and then getting shuffled around when the burners turn on and heat the water, causing steam bubbles.
Why You Need Professional Water Heater Maintenance
While you aren’t in any immediate harm if your water heater has scaling, it doesn’t mean you should treat this issue as a casual one. After all, the long-term impact of scaling can be a problem, not to mention costly. Plus, it can end up becoming dangerous if it’s allowed to go on for too long.
Scaling creates an imbalance in pressure in the water heater tank, which can cause it to shut off or even lead to overflow. It can also cause the bottom of the tank to wear out so that the lining can no longer protect the system against corrosion. As a result, you can develop tank water leaks that will lead to premature replacement needs.
“Wait, Does a Tankless Water Heater Need Maintenance?”
Yup! We know we’ve been talking a lot about tank water heaters, however, if you have a tankless system it is not immune to the problem of scaling. Any kind of water heater or boiler system can develop scaling, which insulates the coils in a way that prevents the system from heating up water as it should.
Tankless water heaters accumulate scale that can eat away at the heating elements, which has the same impact in a tankless system as it does on the coils in the tank system.
“Can I Flush My Water Heater On My Own?”
It’s always best to trust a trained and experienced professional for a job like this. The reason being, there’s less room for error. Our plumbers spend years getting the education and experience they need to successfully complete any type of plumbing job, including water heater maintenance and much more.