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Performance Plumbing Blog

Yes, Your Water Heater Needs Maintenance—Here’s Why!


The thing about scaling, is that it’s easy to clean out and off of facuets and drain openings. But it’s not so easy to clean out when it comes to your water heater—for that you will need professional maintenance.

When Mineral Deposits Get Left Behind

Have you ever noticed some flaky green, white, or yellow buildup around your faucet handles or some of the drains in your home? This is what scaling looks like—it’s the mineral deposits getting left behind thanks to hard water. They don’t drain away as easily as water does, and they cling to metal surfaces even as soap and water rushes through.

As a result, these mineral deposits can get lodged in the pipes, including those leading in and out of your water heater. In the case of a tank water heater, the mineral deposits can settle on the bottom.

Scaling Damage

Scaling impacts your water heater in a variety of ways. For instance, buildup can develop in the pipes and block water from moving through.

More common though, is the damage that occurs inside the water heater itself. The minerals build up at the bottom of the tank or settle on the heat exchangers of a tankless system, and make it harder for the water to get evenly heated. This results in decreased efficiency and unbalanced pressure levels in the system. Additionally, it leads to corrosion—which means soon enough you’ll find yourself needing a water heater replacement, potentially years before you would have otherwise needed a new system.

Scaling Signs

Perhaps the most apparent sign that scaling has impacted your water heater is the sound that it makes when it’s rattling around in the tank if you have a storage tank water heater. You might also hear this rattling when water passes through the tankless system. It occurs as steam bubbles attempt to get past the layer of sediment that the scaling has created.

Another sign of scaling is decreased temperature of your hot water. This is a particularly important sign to watch out for with a tankless system, when the deposits coat the heat exchanger and make it harder for water to pick up the heat. You may also notice low hot water pressure if scale has clogged up the pipes leading out of your water heater.

In Addition to Maintenance…

As you can see from above, routine water heater maintenance is important. It allows our technicians to thoroughly flush out your system and make sure we get rid of the scale that has built up over the past year.

In addition to maintenance though, you may want to consider the installation of a whole-house water softener. Water heater maintenance isn’t always going to cut it. Sometimes your hard water problem is a little too intense. In that case, we’ll install one of these systems which will tackle your hard water problem and provide a number of other additional benefits!

To learn more about water heaters in St. Peters, MO and to schedule service for yours, contact Performance Plumbing today.

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