Whether you have dealt with it before or just heard from your plumber that your water heater has a sediment problem, you are probably curious as to why sediment in your water heater is a bad thing and how exactly it gets there. Here are some of the most common answers to those questions (and a couple more!).
How Did Sediment Get in My Water Heater?
The water that you use in your home has thousands of tiny microscopic (in some cases) minerals and particles in it. When water sits in one place for a good amount of time, like in a water heater, those minerals and particles will settle and fall to the bottom of the water heater. These minerals and particles are typically described as sediment. Over time, the sediment in your hot water heater can harden and cause some problems.
What Type of Problems Can Sediment Cause?
You might recognize the word sediment as part of the term “sedimentary rock”. Well, that’s why you should be concerned about sediment in water heaters! Minerals in water aren’t necessarily bad for you, but solid build up in your water heater can affect the way that it performs.
- Displacement occurs when the sediment takes up a big portion of your water heater. If you have a 40-gallon hot water heater tank and sediment that takes up about 10 gallons’ worth of space, a surprisingly realistic amount, you have 25% less hot water than you should. This is an extra big deal if you have a big family and need every last gallon.
- Your water heater is almost definitely not working as efficiently as possible if there is sediment in the tank. If you have a gas water heater, they heat from the bottom of the tank. When the bottom is full of hard sediment, the heat will take a whole lot longer to make it through the layer of sediment to your water.
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