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Is Scaling Really That Bad for Your Water Heater?

The short answer to this question is, “yes it is.” However, we understand that you deserve a bit more of an explanation than that!

The thing is, scaling is a very misunderstood problem among homeowners. It is the result of hard water—that is, water with a high level of minerals in it. These minerals include calcium, magnesium, and sometimes iron.

At this point you might be thinking, “but wait, those minerals are harmless!” And that is true, partially. These minerals are completely harmless for you to ingest. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for your plumbing system. What happens is that the minerals leave behind deposits in your pipes. The deposits build up, creating clogs and other problems. Plus, they can settle in your water heater.

Read on to learn more about this issue, and give our team a call if you suspect you’re dealing with scaling yourself.

How to Tell If Your Water Heater Has Scaling

Usually, a homeowner will notice something is up with their water heater if they begin to hear noises caused by deposit accumulation. This can show up as a popping sound, banging, or even a crackling noise. The general effect is always the same though—it’s jarring. There is no reason to panic, though there is reason not to ignore this!

These sounds occur because the mineral deposits are settling on the bottom of the tank, then as the water refills and the burners come on to heat the water, they get shuffled around and cause steam bubbles. The sounds made from scaling can be a bit alarming, particularly if you have a gas-powered system, but as long as you call for service right away, you can prevent damage to your water heater.

“Why Do I Need Professional Water Heater Service?”

Sure, scaling doesn’t put you in any immediate danger. But this doesn’t mean you should treat the problem casually. After all, the long-term effects are what can be problematic and costly, and this could all wind up being dangerous if you let the problem go on for too long.

Scaling creates an imbalance with the pressure in your water heater tank, and this can cause the system to break down or it can lead to overflow. Scaling can also wear down the bottom of your water heater tank so that the lining no longer provides protection against corrosion. As a result, you could develop leaks that lead to complete breakdown.

“What If I Had a Tankless Water Heater?”

We referred to tank water heaters above when describing what scaling is and what it does. This does not, however, mean that a tankless water heater is immune. The truth is, any type of water heater or boiler system can accumulate scaling.

The minerals will coat the coils and keep the system from heating up water properly. Also, in tankless water heaters, the scale can begin eating away at the heating elements, which will prevent them from effectively heating the water as they should.

Fortunately, this is an easy problem to prevent, whether you have a tank or tankless system. By scheduling annual water heater maintenance, you can ensure that your system is checked for this problem and more, before it has the chance to shut down the system.

When you need help with your plumbing in Waterville, OH, look no further than “Your Comfort Specialists” here at AW Heating & Cooling. Contact us today!

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