A common problem faced by even the best tankless hot water heaters is mineral deposits getting stuck in their tanks and components. These magnesium and calcium minerals form scale buildup that blocks pipes and weakens heating efficiency.
Flushing is an important practice to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your hot water heater. But what is flushing, and why should you regularly do it?
Water Heater Flushing
Flushing is systematically cleaning and removing mineral deposits from your water heater. This involves repeatedly allowing a solution to flow through the pipes, then rinsing with fresh water until no more visible residue exists. The water supply flows continuously through a hose for storage varieties until it is clear.
Water heater flushing should be done at least 2-3 times a year or more frequently if you have a hard water supply.
What Happens if You Do Not Flush Your Water Heater?
Neglecting to flush your water heater can damage the unit and decrease heating efficiency, leading to higher power bills. Below are the possible consequences of not regularly flushing your water heater:
- Sedimentation – Since minerals are heavier than water, they tend to settle at the bottom of the tank. If not removed, these could lead to significant scale buildup in pipes and sedimentation in the tank.
- Corrosion – sediments can be highly corrosive to the steel components of your water heater. To ensure they do not damage vital parts like the heating elements and pipes, flush your unit regularly.
- Clogs – As the minerals increase, the pipes could experience clogging. Clogs will often result in leaks and an unstable water supply.
- Decreased Capacity – For storage water heaters, excessive sediment buildup can take up more space, reducing the tank’s total capacity.
- Weakened Efficiency – Sediments can disrupt your water heater’s normal functioning and efficiency as they damage several components.
- Higher Costs – Repairing the damage incurred by excessive sediment buildup in your water heater is expensive. Have it flushed regularly so you can have peace of mind.
How Flushing Helps
There are dozens of reasons why regular flushing is vital to the health of your water heater.
First, it is the key to eliminating sediments and other mineral deposits in various parts of your water heater. Without these sediments impeding the normal functioning of your water heater, the unit won’t need to work twice as hard and risk its integrity.
Additionally, flushing ensures your water heater is safe to use. Flushing also involves thoroughly inspecting the heater, allowing you to assess the condition of several critical parts, like the pressure relief valve.