We often don’t pay attention to our water heaters until something goes wrong. However, when our water heaters begin giving us problems, they quickly become our top priority. Properly maintaining our water heaters is the best way to avoid unexpected breakdowns and repairs.
As sediment builds up, it can reduce your water heater’s capacity.
Damage – Regular flushing helps prevent sediment from clogging/blocking your water heater’s pressure and relief valve. The pressure and relief valve is very important because one of its duties is helping to prevent your water heater from exploding. In addition, as sediment builds up, it can result in corrosion, which could lead to major repairs or force you to replace your water heater prematurely.
Reduced Efficiency – If you don’t regularly flush your water heater, sediment can build up on the bottom of the tank. Most water heaters heat water from the bottom of the tank.
Generally, you should have your water heater flushed once a year.
Noisy water heater – Lack of regular flushing results in sediment building up on the bottom of your water heater. In some cases, when the heating element is warming up the water in the tank, the water trapped under the sediment can begin to boil. This boiling can lead to the water heater rumbling and rattling loudly.
Takes longer for water to get hot – This forces the water heater’s heating elements to work harder and take longer to heat the water because they are also having to heat up the mineral deposits and sediment.
Lower water pressure – Without regular flushing, the pipes leading away from a water heater can become clogged and narrowed by hard water. The narrowing and clogging of those pipes can result in decreased water pressure.
What happens if I don’t flush the water heater?
Inside the unit, water comes in contact with a heating element, and presto – you get hot water. But if you put a solid layer of something between the heating element and water (like sediment) this can cause the water heater to not run efficiently or last as long as it should.
Then the bottom of the water tank overheats. This overheating causes damage to the wall lining that prevents the tank from rusting.
As a result, problems can range from minor to major!
On the minor end of the scale, there might be a small leak around the valve. Another minor issue might be that the heating element burns out and you have to take a cold shower. Inconvenient, but not catastrophic.
On the major end, worst case scenario, the tank rusts completely through causing the water heater to rupture. The leak – it’s not like a broken bucket with a set amount of water. The fact is, there will be a constant supply of water from the city continuing to feed the water heater.