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What Does Scaling Mean for Your Water Heater?

water-heater-repair-manOne of the most common issues to face your water heater is also one of the most misunderstood—scaling. Scaling is a result of hard water—when your water supply has an excessive amount of minerals in it, like calcium and magnesium. These deposits build up within your pipes and fixtures and can go awhile unnoticed, but can have a big impact on your water heater or boiler system.

Keep reading to learn more about this issue, and when you need your water heater flushed, want to schedule maintenance, or need any other type of professional plumbing in Palatine, IL give our team a call!

“How Do I Know if My Water Heater Has Scaling?”

Typically, homeowners notice something is amiss with their water heater when they start hearing the noise created by the deposit build-up. This can present itself as a popping noise, a banging, or a crackling sound. The general effect, however, is the same. It is jarring, for sure, but there’s no reason to panic.

Strange noises coming from a water heater can lead homeowners to think something really bad is going to happen—particularly if they have a gas-powered system. But this isn’t necessary. The sound you’re hearing is the mineral deposits settling on the bottom of the tank, and then getting shuffled around as the burners come on to heat the water, causing steam bubbles. So don’t panic, but do call for service.

Why You Need Professional Water Heater Services

You may not be in any immediate danger if your water heater is impacted by scaling, however that doesn’t mean you should treat the problem as a casual one. After all, it is the long-term effects that can be problematic and costly, and could end up becoming dangerous if you let it go on for too long.

Scaling causes a pressure imbalance within the water heater tank that might shut off the system or lead to overflow. In can also wear down the bottom of the tank so that the lining no longer protects against corrosion. As a result, you could develop major tank leaks.

Tankless Water Heaters Are Not Immune

We’ve been referring to tank water heaters, but if you have a tankless system, your water heater is not immune to the problem of scaling. Any type of water heater or boiler can develop scaling, which coats the coils and keeps the system from heating up water properly. And tankless water heaters develop scale that can slowly eat away at the heating elements, keeping them from heating the water as they should.

Tips for Flushing Your Water Heater

Even if you haven’t heard any weird noises or noticed anything suspect from your water heater, you should still flush or drain your water heater tank every year. You can likely find a number of online tutorials telling you how to perform this service on your own. We recommend that you work with a professional so you know it’s done right, the first time, and you’ll be less likely to run into other problems. Your best bet is to have your water heater flushed each year as part of your plumbing maintenance.

For expert plumbing service, installations, or maintenance contact Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Our knowledgeable plumbers serve the North Shore and Northwest Chicago suburbs. Rely on Reliance!


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