6 signs That Your Water Heater Is Filled With Sediments

Water heaters allow you to take a relaxing bath even when the rest of the world is freezing. However, you might eventually notice a slight decrease in the unit’s heating power, and this can be due to wear and tear. Another possible cause is clogging as a result of sediment accumulation.

If your heater is having difficulty heating up due to debris buildup in the pipes and tank, you need to determine this immediately. It would help if you learned to identify the signs of sediment buildup within your water heater.

How Does Sediment Buildup Occur?

Tap water can contain minerals like magnesium and calcium carbonate. These are easily identifiable as they feel similar to sand or crystals when touched. They accumulate fast, and over time, they become sediments that form a barrier between the heating unit and the water. The heater is then forced to use more energy to produce hot water, or it could stop working altogether.

What Are the Signs of Sediment in a Water Heater? 

Below are the signs you should look out for when determining if your heater is suffering from sediment buildup.

Temperature Fluctuations

A change or an increase in water heater temperature is often noticeable. This could be due to sediments collecting at the heater’s bottom and along the pipes. The buildup is affecting your unit’s ability to regulate temperature.

No Hot Water

The lack of hot water signifies that your heater needs to be repaired or maintained. The problem could be traced to a sediment buildup in the tank, which can also lead to freezing shower waters.

Rusty Water Smell

A sediment buildup in your water heater tank could result in cloudy water alongside a rusty smell, according to Aurora plumbing experts. Although the sediments are not really a major health risk, they can corrode your heater’s lining. The sediments can also produce a stench similar to sulfur or rotten eggs.

Increased Utility Bills

Another sign that your heater has sediment issues is a rise in utility bills. The buildup forces your heater to work harder so it can heat water efficiently. This does not only cause higher energy consumption, but it can also cause internal damage to the unit, and you may need to replace it.

 Drain Valve Leakage

A water heater’s bottom can collect sediment, which builds up in the drain valve. This can eventually result in a blockage or leakage.

Rumbling Noise

If your heater is making loud popping and rattling noises, it could indicate something is wrong. The sound can be alarming, but it does not mean replacement is your only option because the noise could be due to sediment buildup in the tank.

How to Remove Sediments From a Water Heater

Learn the various methods of removing sediments from your water heater as listed below.

Unit Flushing

Flushing the water heater every six months is recommended, and ideally, this should be done by a qualified plumber. However, flushing can also be done DIY, but only if you think you can handle it. First, ensure that your heater’s main power is turned off, including the cold water valve. This will prevent cold water from getting into the heater tank. Any remaining hot water should be allowed to cool for a few hours.

Afterward, attach a water line to the drain valve, ensuring its hose is secure to prevent leaks. The other end of the house should fall in a bucket. After securing this, turn on one faucet, open the drain pipe, and slowly turn on the drain valve so water can be removed. To test the heater, turn it on to see if warm showers will return to normal.

Maintain the Temperature

Maintaining water temperature is another thing you can do if your heater has sediment buildup. The accumulation will accelerate if the thermostat is set at a higher range than what is recommended.

Install a Water Softener

Installing a water softener is a great way to avoid sediment buildup in your heater. Water softeners are effective in eliminating ions that can cause water to harden. Although they can be expensive, water softeners are considered a good investment, not only for your plumbing but for your health as well.

Key Takeaway

Water heaters are essential home appliances, so caring for them is important. Among the dangers you should watch out for is sediment buildup, which usually accumulates at the base of the heater and sometimes along the pipes.

Signs like rumbling sounds, smelly hot water, and temperature changes are indications that sediments have collected in your water heater. This can be resolved through unit flushing, maintaining heater temperature, and installing a water softener. On the other hand, if your heater is showing other forms of damage, it is best to contact a plumber.

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