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Scaling and Your Water Heater: What to Know

water-heater-boiler-smileOne of the most common problems to afflict water heaters is also one of the most misunderstood. Scaling is an issue that stems from hard water, when the water supply has an excess of minerals like calcium and magnesium. Deposits build up in pipes and fixtures, but their effect is most noticeable in water heaters and boilers.

Learn more about this common issue in the guide below. Be sure to have your water heater flushed regularly, and call our team for repairs and more information.

The Signs of Scaling

Usually, people notice that scale is affecting their water heaters when they hear the sounds. This may be described as a popping noise, a banging, or a crackling. The general effect, though, is the same. It’s jarring, but it might not be as bad as it sounds.

Your water heater is not, for example, about to explode (as we’ve heard people describe it before)! The mineral deposits in the water settle at the bottom of the tank. As the boiler burner lights, heating the water beneath the deposits, the minerals get shuffled around as steam bubbles escape around them. That’s what causes the noise.

It Is Cause for Concern

So, you are not in immediate danger just because you hear your water heater making a popping or banging noise. But that does not mean you should treat the problem as a casual one. The long-term effects can be quite problematic and costly—even dangerous!

First, it can cause a pressure imbalance in the tank that may shut off the system or lead to overflow. It can also wear down the bottom of the tank so that the lining no longer protects against corrosion, and you may develop major tank leaks.

Tankless Water Heaters Are At Risk Too

You may think that a tankless water heater would be immune to these same kinds of issues. This isn’t the case! Any electric water heater can develop scaling that coats the coils and keeps it from heating up properly. And tankless water heaters develop scale that can slowly destroy the heating elements, or at least keep them from heating the water properly.

About Flushing a Tank Water Heater

You may have heard before that you should flush or drain your tank every year. This is true even if you have not heard odd noises coming from the tank, as sediment can build up without sending any signals. A major hindrance, though, for many homeowners, is that they are unsure of how to perform the water tank flush.

While you may be able to do it on your own, we strongly recommend leaving the job up to professionals. They’ll know what to do if something goes wrong, and they can even help you to understand how to prevent sediment from building up in the first place. If you do decide to attempt this on your own, be sure to disconnect the power or gas from the water heater first, and stop water at the shut-off valve!

BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating Inc. offers complete services for water heaters in New Milford, NJ. Call today for exceptional customer service!

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BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating Inc. proudly serving all of bergen county, nj and surrounding areas

NJ Master Plumber: License # 12017 | NJ Home Improvement: Contractor # 13VH01946200 | NITC/ASSE 6010 Medical Gas Installer: Cert. # 12017602