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When Is it Time to Get Your Water Heater Flushed?

by | Dec 15, 2017

Water heaters are pretty good at taking care of themselves, but did you know that you can get your water heater flushed? Once they are installed and turned on, they can keep providing your family with hot water for years and years before they start to show signs of wear. Some improvements you could make include insulating the tank or the outlet pipe, depending on the make and model you have, but most machines need nothing but an occasional check and an annual flushing.

Why do water heaters need to be flushed?

While Suffolk County keeps a vigilant eye on water quality and individual filters at your home’s faucets and refrigerator can keep your water clean of contaminants, even the cleanest water sources will lead to a build-up of sediment over time. Calcium and lime collect in your water heater, condensing the sediments into a collection of small, pebble-sized bits of build-up. Leaving it too long in the water heater can damage the heating elements and drastically shorten the lifespan of your heater.

Other potential damages include the build-up of sediment getting into your pipes and varying your water pressure. Once the hardened collections of sediments get into your pipe system, they can cause additional physical damage and be far more difficult to remove.

Even with water supplies that have very low levels of calcium and lime sediment, the build-up will gradually inhibit the performance of your machine. If you are not sure that your particular heater needs a regularly scheduled flushing, hire a professional to inspect the water heater and do a test flush. This might indicate that your machine can function well with a less regularly scheduled flushing and can do just as well with an occasional inspection.

When do you know it is time to get your heater flushed?

The general estimate is to get your tank flushed annually, and that estimate goes up with harder water because of the increased sediment. The more hot water your heater handles, the more often it needs to happen, and professionals can usually look at your general water usage, your model, and the sediment to give you a more refined estimate over time. Other signs that sediment may be building up in your water heater include:

More apparent signs of sediment will form around your faucets and water fixtures. Limescale and calcium build up in your kitchen and bathrooms over time, even though your water heater may be designed to catch most of it before it reaches you. However, if you start to notice the build-up replacing itself faster, that means there may be too much already caught in your heater.

You will notice that your water is not working as reliably as usual. This sign can take many different forms. Sometimes your water heater will start to use up more and more energy to keep its performance level because sediment is interfering with its usual heating cycles, or else the water will be cooler than usual because the same amount of energy can do less heating. If the sediment is interfering with the heating element more severely, then your water might be too hot: this is a sign that the sediment is more severely inhibiting your heater and can short it out entirely.

How can you get your water heater flushed?

Call a professional who can inspect your tank, especially the first time it is flushed. An experienced technician can inspect your water heater for leaks and damage, as well examine the general condition of the tank to give you estimated times for future flushes. They can also safely direct the heated water away from your home to prevent the risk of water damage or burns during the draining process. To schedule a time to flush your water heater, contact Waterheaters.com today.