If you've got hard water in your home, it could be harming your water heater. Minerals like calcium and magnesium can build up inside the tank, leaving scale deposits behind. Not only that but lime deposits can build up, as well. When that happens, you can end up with a broken water heater. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to help prevent scale and lime deposits inside your water heater. Here are four methods you can use to protect your water heater.
Flush It Out
To keep scale and lime deposits from building up in your water heater, you should flush it out at least once a year. This is a simple process that will only require a garden hose. Turn the gas or electricity off to your water heater. Close the water supply valve located on the top of the water heater. This will ensure that your tank doesn't refill while you're trying to empty it. Connect your garden hose to the water release valve located on the bottom, front panel of the tank. Run the garden hose out to a safe location for the water to drain to. Turn the water release valve on and allow the tank to drain. To help speed up the process, you can go in the house and turn all the hot water faucets on.
Soak It in Vinegar
To make sure all the scale and lime deposits are removed from the internal valves, you can soak the tank in vinegar. After the tank is drained, close the water release valve. Pour a gallon of vinegar into the tank using the opening at the top of the tank. Allow the vinegar to sit for about 8 hours. After the tank has soaked in vinegar, open the water release valve and allow the vinegar to drain from the tank. Turn the water supply valve back on and flush the tank for several minutes to remove the vinegar. Close the water release valve and remove the hose. Turn the gas or electricity back on to your water heater. Repeat this process whenever you flush the tank.
Install a Water Softener
To keep scale and lime deposits away, you should install a water softener in your home. A water softener will remove all the hard minerals that are damaging your water heater. The water softener will also protect other plumbing fixtures throughout your home including your water faucets and your washing machine.
If the hard water in your home is damaging your water heater, use the steps provided here to take care of the problem. Talk to a plumber like Ellsworth Plumbing & Heating Co about other methods to protect your water heater and extend its life.