Sadly, most homeowners never even think about their water heater until the day that it fails. Then suddenly, they realize the immense value of this single appliance stuck in the basement or off in a utility closet and always overlooked. Hopefully, this one experience will teach a valuable lesson. Your Albuquerque home’s water heater needs some regular service and care if you want to continue to enjoy hot water in your home. And the most critical task to complete each year, or sometimes more frequently, is draining and flushing the holding tank.
Scale = The Death Of Your Water Heater
You might not like the scale because it is a constant reminder that you are not getting enough exercise and following a healthy diet. But the scale that will claim your water heater’s life is much different. Water scale is a buildup of minerals that are present in all water on the planet. And when they are present in a higher concentration, the water is considered to be hard. While you might know that hard water is detrimental to your skin and hair, you might not know that it is life-threatening to your water heater.
As water enters the holding tank of your water heater, the heavy minerals settle to the lower part of the tank. And over time, that scale buildup increases to form a layer that works as an insulator. The buildup covers the heating element in the tank and forces it to work harder to heat your home’s water. If left in the tank too long, that added insulator will overwork the heating element to the point of an early failure.
In addition, the mineral sediment is busy eating away at the inside of the water heater holding tank. Picture what road salt will do to the metal on your car if it is not removed regularly. The mineral sediment inside your water heater is doing the same thing to the holding tank walls. Eventually, you will discover a tiny area on the outside of the tank that is beginning to ripple or bubble. And soon, there will be water seeping through that damaged area. Unfortunately, once the tank wall is compromised, there is no way to repair it. The only solution is to replace the water heater.
Proactive Help For Your Water Heater
Eliminating the scale buildup inside your water heater holding tank is as simple as draining and flushing the tank using this process:
- Turn off the power to the water heater.
- Connect a hose to the drain valve at the base of the holding tank. Run the other end of the hose to a drain.
- Carefully open the drain valve to allow the tank to drain.
- Monitor the water coming from the tank. Initially, it will be cloudy from the sediment. As the tank drains, the sediment should be eliminated, and the water will become clear.
- Once the water is clear, close the drain valve to allow the tank to refill. Remove the hose from the drain valve and turn the power to the water heater back on.
Once the tank has been refilled, it will take some time for the unit to heat the fresh water supply. But in a few hours, you should have hot water and a clean water heater holding tank. If you live in an area with high mineral content in the water, flushing the holding tank every six months is a good way to prevent corrosion and increase the longevity and efficiency of the unit. Call (505) 308-2776 if you would like to have a All-Out Plumbing & Mechanical licensed plumber inspect your water heater and provide this essential service.