Preventing Scale Buildup in a Water Heating Element
Hard water can wreak havoc on your appliances, as it’s susceptible to scale buildup. This means that hard water can be especially difficult on your hot water heater, and can mean that your hot water heater will need to be replaced much sooner than is normal. There are ways to reduce scale buildup, however, and protect your appliances.
Basically, scale buildup is made up of the minerals in hard water, like calcium and magnesium. The buildup becomes a mixture of these minerals, and looks like small white particles. It may even appear to be small pieces of white paper in your water heater. Once it’s there, it’s extremely difficult to get rid of.
Flushing the System
One way to remove any mineral particles floating in your tank is to flush the hot water heating element. This should be done up to twice a year, if you live in an area with hard water. First, turn off the electricity or gas lines going into your water heater, and close the cold water supply coming into the tank. Using the valve at the bottom, attach a hose to the tank, and let it drain. If you’d like it to drain quicker, turn on a sink or bath close to where you’re draining it. Remember, the water coming out may be quite hot.
Another way to prevent scale buildup is through using vinegar. After draining the tank, close the valve, and pour a gallon of cider vinegar into the tank. The vinegar should soak for up to six hours. Then, turn on the cold water intake, and open the valve at the bottom to let the vinegar flow out. Once that’s done, turn on the gas or electricity to the heater.
Is it time to call a plumber?
Depending on how much scale has built up in your hot water heater, you may want to consider replacing the unit. Expert plumbers can also help with draining and cleaning your water heater. If you have any questions about scale buildup or are interested in a quote for a new water heater, call Waldman Plumbing today at (781) 780-3184.