We’re used to getting things fast these days. Have a question? Search online and get your answer in seconds. Want to watch a movie? Press a button and have thousands of films at your fingertips.
But what happens if you find yourself waiting for hot water to flow out of a faucet or showerhead? Weak hot water pressure is typically caused by mineral sediment that creates partial clogs in the water heater’s pipes. In most cases, draining and flushing the tank can remove the sediment and improve the hot water pressure.
What causes sediment in water heaters?
The water that comes into your home (either from the municipal system or well) includes trace amounts of naturally occurring minerals. If you have “hard water,” it means you have higher levels of minerals such as calcium or magnesium. These minerals are not generally harmful to our health, but they can build up inside a tank water heater. This sediment can build up inside the cold-water supply pipe into the water heater or the hot water outlet pipe that sends hot water to various outlets in your home.
If either of these pipes become clogged, even partially, it could affect the hot water pressure. The mineral deposits can also collect at the bottom of the tank, disrupting the heater transfer process, or float around the tank, causing a rattling or banging noise. Eventually, sediment can reduce the energy-efficiency of your water heater or decrease the unit’s service life.
How to remove mineral sediment from a tank water heater
About once a year (or more frequently if you have hard water), it’s a good idea to drain the water heater tank, then briefly flush it with fresh water. This will remove most of the sediment that has accumulated inside the tank.
To drain the water heater, you can hook a hose to the discharge valve found at the tank’s base. Be sure to turn off the unit and water supply before draining the tank. You’ll also need to discharge the water somewhere, such as a sink or outside. Remember, the water will be hot, so please be careful. While draining and flushing a water heater is relatively straightforward, you may want to have a plumber handle the job to ensure safety and avoid damaging your water heater unit.
Water heater maintenance in the Fredericksburg area
If you’re struggling with low hot water pressure in your home, don’t assume the issue will go away on its own (spoiler: it won’t). Instead, bring in the professional team at Robert B. Payne, Inc. We can evaluate your tank water heater and perform all the necessary maintenance to keep it working smoothly. Call us today at 540-373-5876.