How to Prevent Scale Buildup in Your Water Heater
You may not be able to see what’s lurking inside your tank water heater, but eventually, you’ll feel the effects one way or another. We’re talking about limescale and sediment buildup, which can decrease the performance, energy efficiency, and lifespan of a water heater.
While limescale is inevitable in homes with hard water sources, it doesn’t have to be a death sentence for your plumbing fixtures. To prevent scale buildup in your water heater, you can drain and flush the tank, add vinegar to the tank, flush the tank again, and keep up with periodic maintenance.
Benefits of removing scale from a water heater
If left unattended, scale buildup within a water heater can cause the unit to fail prematurely. Sediment buildup can corrode the tank’s lining, leading to a burst tank and potential water damage within the home. To get the most life out of your water heater and save yourself from the hassle of a major plumbing problem, stick to a regular service schedule.
Removing scale buildup from a tank water heater
Follow the three simple steps below to prevent scale buildup in your water heater.
1. Flush the water heater regularly
We recommend flushing the water heater twice per year if you have hard water and once annually otherwise. Flushing the water heater takes anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes, depending on your level of experience and the size of the water heater unit. Complete this step carefully, as the water flowing from the unit will likely be very hot. Follow the instructions on the water heating unit itself to avoid the risk of physical harm.
2. Add vinegar to the tank
Once the tank is drained, add a gallon of cider vinegar to the tank and let it sit for at least six hours. Cider vinegar is a mild acid that will not damage the water heater itself but can dissolve mineral buildup within the tank. Once you have let the vinegar work within the tank for several hours, re-open the valve and let water flow to flush the tank again. A full flush will eliminate any trace of vinegar remaining within the tank, along with the sediment buildup.
3. Continue with routine maintenance and regular inspection
Your water heater should be serviced at least annually to best prolong the life of the unit. If your water heater is fed by a hard water source, you should service and inspect the fixture at least twice a year to prevent scale buildup.
Call a plumber of water heater maintenance
If you don’t feel comfortable draining and descaling your tank water heater – it’s no problem! Instead, just call the expert team at Waldman Plumbing and Heating, Inc. We’ll take care of all maintenance tasks you can get the most out of your water heater. To schedule an appointment, reach out to (781) 780-3184 today.