Five Signs Your Water Heater Needs to Be Flushed

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Hard water can be tough on your hot water heater. The residue from excessive minerals in the water can lead to a host of issues. Fortunately, most are avoidable with annual flushing maintenance. Know the signs of mineral buildup so you can schedule a water heater flush when needed.

Water Discoloration

Discolored water happens when minerals in the tank build up or when rust affects the interior of the tank. The water may leave behind a white or yellowish residue from mineralization, or it may appear red or orange. Don't ignore water discoloration, as it is more than an unsightly inconvenience. It can indicate leaks developing in the tank or heavy mineral buildup. Flushing the tank may solve the problem by removing the residue.

Leaks

Hard water residue can actually lead to leaks. If the mineralization has reduced tank capacity, the water may overheat in the tank. This can lead to water leaking from the top overflow valve. Mineralization can also lead to rust and corrosion inside the tank, which may then cause holes or cracks to form. The result? Water leaking out of your hot water heater. If you notice any water on the ground around your water heater, you definitely need an inspection and you may need it flushed.

Loud Noises

Popping and cracking noises from your heater can be the result of sheets of mineral buildup inside cracking and falling off the walls of the tank. A few pops aren't a concern, but if the sound is becoming frequent then your water heater is probably past due for a routine flush.

Reduced Capacity

As mineralization builds up, it takes up space and the water holding capacity of the tank is minimized. You may find that you run out of hot water much sooner or more frequently than you used to. This lack of hot water isn't a mechanical failure on the part of the tank, but a loss of water storage space due to a lack of annual flushing. Remove the hard mineral buildup and your tank capacity will be restored.

Poor Heating

Hard water minerals can coat heating elements, thus reducing their ability to heat the water in the tank. Mineralization can also coat thermostat sensors so they don't take proper temperature readings. Generally, a tank flush helps solve the problem, but you may need to replace the heating elements as well.

Contact a water heater repair tech for more help. Some companies, like PlumbRite, know how helpful a tech can be.

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