For the most part, your home's hot water heater goes unnoticed. While it provides plenty of hot water throughout the year, you never even have to think about the appliance until there is a problem with it. Even though hot water heaters are very reliable, they can be susceptible to a problem that could cause energy inefficiently and a potential breakdown. This is what you need to know about sediment deposits, which will help you know why it is an issue that should concern you.
Why Is Sediment Bad For Your Hot Water Heater?
One issue that sediment brings to a hot water heats is how it displaces water and reduces the overall supply of hot water a heater can provide. The hot water in the tank will also dissolve those harmful materials found in the water, such as aluminum and copper, that will affect the water's purity. In addition, sediment can cause water pipes and the drain valve to clog, which will cause damage.
Sediment will also cause the tank's heating element to overheat if it is covered with enough sediment. The heating element will then be inefficient, since sediment prevents heat from properly transferring to water. Sediment will also conduct heat, which makes the very bottom of a hot water tank overheat, which will damage the tank's lining.
What Are The Signs of Having Sediment Buildup Inside A Hot Water Heater?
Unfortunately, you can't look inside a hot water heater to see if sediment is inside of it. That's why you'll need to look for signs of excessive sediment buildup.
An obvious sign will be the color of the water. If the hot water starts to change in clarity, you should drain the hot water heater to remove the sediment. Consider having a filter installed on the cold water intake for the tank, which will help prevent sediment from entering it.
You may also notice a sizzling noise that is created from sediment trapping water beneath the tank's heating element. As the water gets too hot, it will boil and make that popping or hissing sound.
The lime found in the sediment will collect on the inside of the tank, which will cause the surface to get hotter than normal. This excessive heat can cause the outside of the tank to contract and expand more than usual, allowing the outside of the tank to have visible cracks.
If the damage has been caused and it's too late to simply drain the tank of sediment, contact a company like Hillside Plumbing and Heating to have a new hot water tank installed.