3 Ways to Reduce Sediment Buildup in Your Water Heater
Sediment is a big problem for water heaters, and it can affect both tank and tankless heaters. If you've had a problem with scale and sediment damaging your water heater or interfering with how well it works, you may be eager to find a solution so it doesn't happen again. Here are three sediment prevention ideas to discuss with your plumber.
1. Install a Water Softener
Some sediment comes from hard water minerals. Hard water leaves a scaly residue behind that you've probably seen on your glass coffee pot or faucets. Scale can be greatly reduced or eliminated by having a water softener installed. The first thing you may want to do is have your water tested to determine how hard it is and what the water contains. If hard water is a problem, then a plumber can install a water softener in the plumbing so water is treated before it reaches your water heater.
2. Install a Whole-House Filter
If the results of your water test show your water has silt, rust, or other types of sediment and particulates in it, your plumber might recommend a whole-house water filter. A water filter is not the same as a water softener. A water softener reduces minerals in the water, but it won't remove sand and other types of debris. You can have both a water filter and water softener installed if your plumbing needs it, or you may just need one type of water treatment appliance. A whole-house filter is installed in the plumbing where water enters your house so all the faucets in your home, as well as your water heater, are supplied with filtered water.
3. Flush the Tank Regularly
Preventative maintenance also helps control sediment buildup in a water heater. Your plumber can recommend the best frequency for flushing your heater depending on how fast sediment builds up. You might need to flush the heater once or twice a year when sediment is a problem. By getting rid of sediment, your water heater will have a longer life and a lower risk of problems. You can probably flush a tank or tankless water heater yourself, but if you don't feel comfortable doing so, call a plumber for help.
Flushing the tank is a matter of connecting a hose to the valve at the bottom of the tank and letting the water drain out to the yard or a floor drain. However, you'll need to take safety precautions by turning off the power, shutting off the water supply, and waiting for the water to cool off first.