Minerals can build up in your hot water tank over time. If you have hard water, this can be an ongoing problem you have to deal with. Regular preventative maintenance can keep the situation from getting so bad that your heater clogs. Here's when to suspect your tank has sediment buildup and what you can do to fix it.
Recognize Signs Of Sediment Buildup
When your tank has mineral deposits in it, they may move around as water flows through the tank. This causes unusual noises, such as gurgling sounds. When the sediments heat up, they may crackle or pop. Besides unusual noises, your hot water may leave mineral deposits in your tub or shower. Although, if your home has hard water, the deposits might be from the cold water lines, too. Sometimes rust can form inside the tank and add to the sediment. When that happens, you may see flakes of rust in the water. If your water comes from a well and you don't filter it before it reaches your water tank, you could even see bits of sand and other tiny solids that pass through the water heater.
Clear Sediment By Draining The Tank
If you suspect your tank has sediment buildup, whether it is minerals, sand, or rust, you'll want to flush out the tank. You can hire a plumber to do this, which is a good idea when rust is present because that indicates the inside of the tank could be failing. If you want to flush out the tank yourself, be sure to follow the instructions that come in your owner's manual. You'll basically disconnect the tank from its power source and attach a hose to the drain valve so the water can drain into your yard.
Draining a hot water tank is usually an easy job if you do it regularly as a form of preventative maintenance for getting rid of sediment. If you wait too long, there might be so many deposits in the tank that the drain valve is clogged and water won't drain. You may need to call in a plumber then to consider your options.
Repair Or Replace A Clogged Drain Valve
Once your plumber has inspected the hot water heater and helped you decide if it can be repaired or if it should be replaced, he or she can remove the tank or repair the drain. If you're going to get a new hot water tank, then the old one can just be moved outdoors and tipped over to drain before it is hauled away. If you want to repair the tank, it may be necessary to have a new drain valve installed.
The water heater repair plumber may try various methods of clearing sediment out of the drain first, but if it's too corroded, then replacing it could be the only option. It's possible to replace the drain valve even with water in the tank, but you should expect some water to spill. Once the new valve is on, water can then be flushed out of the tank to drain sediments out and into the yard.
When was the last time you realized that you had a serious plumbing problem? About a month ago, I knew that I had to make some big changes, so I began talking with different plumbers about getting the job done. I told them that I wanted to replace the bathtub in the bathroom and the sink and faucet in the kitchen, and they took my requests in stride. Before I knew it, my entire home was updated and I felt great about the work. I wanted to start this blog to help other people to learn more about plumbing and repair.