We’ve written at length about how hard water creates lime scale, which restricts the flow of water through the pipes in your home. Eventually, lime scale buildup becomes so advanced that the pipes need to be replaced in order to be rid of it. What about water heaters, though? How are they affected by hard water, if at all? Let’s take a closer look at how hard water interacts with your water heater, and the problems it can cause.
Most water heater tanks are very large, and aren’t really in danger of being restricted all that much by lime scale buildup. That isn’t what you should be worried about, though. Hard water can still negatively affect your water heater, mainly through an effect called sediment insulation. The area of the water heater tank that tends to experience the most lime scale buildup is the bottom of the tank. This is because the dip tube, which feeds new water into the tank for heating, terminates near the bottom of the tank. This is so the new water can be heated as fast as possible.
The problem with lime scale building up on the bottom of the tank isn’t that it will prevent the water from flowing into or out of the water heater. It’s that eventually the lime scale buildup becomes severe enough to actually insulate the tank. There comes a point where the heat from the burner assembly can’t actually reach the water because it’s shielded by all the lime scale. This sediment insulation can be cleaned out manually, but the best way to stop it is by installing a water softener to prevent the problem entirely.
If you would like to install a water softener in your home, call The Trusted Plumber. We serve all of Peoria, AZ.