How Sediment Build-Up Affects Your Water Heater

Have you noticed that your water heater has recently begun acting strangely? Can you no longer count on reliably getting hot water when you need it? If so, you may be seeing the effects of sediment build-up. To see why sediment is problematic for your water heater in Alexandria, VA, let’s take a closer look at water.

The Science of Sediment Build-Up

Water is known as the universal solvent for its ability to dissolve more substances than any other liquid. That makes it incredibly useful, but it can also create problems in certain situations. It’s especially effective at dissolving minerals like calcium, magnesium, and zinc. In fact, 85% of the water in the United States contains enough dissolved minerals to be classified as hard water. Inside your water heater, heat causes those minerals to precipitate out in the form of sediment. Most of this sediment eventually accumulates inside the storage tank.

Signs of Sediment Problems

If sediment is allowed to build up too much, you’ll start to notice several clear warning signs. The temperature of your water will often begin to fluctuate as a result of your tank’s reduced storage capacity. You may also lose your hot water more quickly and have to wait longer for your water to heat up. In extreme cases, you may no longer have hot water at all. These are all indications that your water heater needs timely attention.

Solving Your Water Heater Woes

The appropriate fix for your water heater depends on a few key factors. If your heater is otherwise in good condition, you may only need to have your tank flushed to remove sediment. If your unit is aging or damaged, however, a water heater replacement is often the best solution. Water heater replacements are usually recommended for any systems that are older than 10 years. Additionally, many problems can be avoided altogether by simply keeping your heater well-maintained. You can protect yourself by including your water heater whenever you service your HVAC equipment.

Sediment accumulation is a common problem that most homeowners will have to confront eventually. Promptly dealing with the problem is important for your convenience and your safety. If your water heater is malfunctioning, check out Commonwealth Cooling & Heating’s water heater services or call 703-436-8028.

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