Nothing can do quite as much damage to your hot water tank as minerals that build up on the inside. If you live in an area that has hard water, then there is a good chance that minerals like calcium and magnesium are accumulating in the tank.
Fortunately, it is a problem that is fairly simple to deal with. If you do not, the scale will buildup in the bottom of the tank and eventually form a hard crust. This, in turn, will damage the lining and end up shortening the lifespan of the tank significantly.
This is something that many companies advise that you do at least once or twice a year. It involves draining the water out of the tank. This removes all the suspended particles and prevents them from settling later.
Start off by switching off the power supply of the tank. This is extremely important, or you risk burning the tank out. Next, find the inlet valve that supplies water to the tank and shut that. This stops water from entering the tank while you are trying to drain it.
Now open the hot tap nearest the tank and let it run. Next, check the tank itself and look for the valve to drain it. If you are not sure where this is, check the manufacturer’s instructions. Being careful because of the heat, you then attach a hose that is long enough to reach somewhere that the water can drain off safely.
Then all that is left to do is to wait until all the water has been drained out. Once the tank is completely empty, switch the water supply back on again. Give it about thirty minutes or so to fill and then switch the power source back on as well.
If you live in a hard water area, setting the thermostat of your tank too high could exacerbate the problems with scale as the minerals are more easily released. 120° F is a good temperature to keep the tank on to resolve potential issues with scale.
You will still need to perform your annual maintenance, but this is a good way to ensure that the problem is not made much worse.
Vinegar can be useful in removing scale that has built up. You would drain your tank as normal but instead of filling it with water straight away, add about a gallon of vinegar. Leave it for at least five to six hours, or, if possible, overnight. Then drain the tank again and add some water to rinse it out.
When the water comes out clean, and there is no trace of vinegar, you can fill the tank again and then switch on the power source.
This is one of the surest ways to ensure that there is no limescale building up in the system. This helps to remove the minerals that will cause the problems, such as magnesium and calcium by adding sodium ions to the system.
It should be mentioned, however, that the sodium can cause the anodes in the system to corrode faster so that means checking and possibly replacing these every year or two, instead of every five to six years as is the normal case.
Anodes are not that expensive to replace but you will have to weigh up the costs and benefits for yourself.
This does cost some money to have installed, but it would be worthwhile in a hard water area because it prevents scale buildup in all the appliances in the home, and also helps to improve the efficiency of detergents and soaps.
Overall, the best course of action is the prevention of scale buildup. Regular maintenance makes that possible. Call us today for the water heater service Savannah GA people love!