Water Heater Tank Sediment

Does it take forever to get hot water again once it’s out?
Do you hear “knocking” or “banging” inside your water heater?

If you are experiencing either of these issues, it could be that your tank is filling up with sediment.

What is Sediment?
Basically sediment in your tank is made of deposits of calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate is a mineral that is present in the water supply and over time, it precipitates out and collects in the bottom of your tank. As it collects at the bottom of the tank, it can resemble sand, or in larger amounts, can resemble large chunks of sandstone-like material.

Is it toxic?
No. By itself, the water heater sediment is not toxic.

water heater sediment
Show your water heater some love or you’ll be calling me soon!
So why is it a problem?
There are several reasons why sediment buildup in your water heater can be an issue. A layer of sediment in the bottom of the tank can act as a heat sink or insulator. This means that the energy the water heater should be using to heat the water is really just heating up the sediment. If the sediment is deep enough, you can bury one of the heating elements which could cause it to prematurely burn out. By overheating due to inefficient heat transfer, sediment can contribute weakening the steel of the heater. Finally, as the sediment gets jostled around by temperature changes and air bubbles, it can bang against the side of the tank making odd sounds.

Can it be fixed?
Possibly. It really depends on how bad it is. The image above shows a tank draining water and sediment. If the sediment is too thick, draining the tank may be a moot point. Give Flowrite Plumbing a call today at 805.888.7523 and let us take a look at your water heater. With over 30 years of professional experience and exceptional reviews on Home Advisor and Yelp, you can rest assured that you’ll be good to go in no time.

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