Households in hard water-dominated areas have to be a tad more careful about their water heating appliance maintenance. Regular exposure to hard water creates a layer of mineral deposits in devices as well as pipelines, lowering their efficiency and inflicting severe, often irreversible damage in the long run.
If you are worried about calcium depositing in your water heater, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we will discuss how to remove calcium buildup in water heaters as well as share some early signs of excess calcium deposits, so make sure you read until the end.
Why Is Calcium Buildup Harmful to Your Water Heater?
The water that gets delivered to your home is almost always laden with minerals, especially if it’s from an unfiltered storage tank or the municipal water supply. Although these minerals, including calcium, are safe and even necessary for your health, they can be highly damaging to your water heater.
Excess calcium buildup will affect the water flow, interrupt the heat transfer process, and force your heater to work harder, ultimately corroding its internal components.
This makes it crucial to conduct routine mineral de-escalation of your water heater and other water-based devices to keep them fit and running.
Signs of Excess Calcium Deposit in Your Water Heater
Excess calcium accumulation can have a severe effect on your water heater’s efficiency. However, irreparable damage doesn’t happen overnight. You will get plenty of warning signs that indicate a rising level of calcium deposit in your heater, such as:
1. Loud Banging Noises
One of the first signs of calcium damage is unexplained, loud banging noises. These noises are caused by calcium sediments. Usually, calcium hardens and latches onto different elements of your water heater. However, with an endless flow of water, some small pieces often break apart and float in the system, causing the banging and rumbling sound. If you hear your water heater making such noises, opt for a deep clean-up and mineral deposit removal.
2. Strange Odor from the Water
Clean water is odorless. But if you find that your water has a strange metallic smell, it’s a sign of excess calcium deposits. That said, the smell could also be rotten eggs or dirt, depending on the impurities in your water.
3. Tinted Water
Even the slightest tint in water is caused by impurity. The color of your hot water may change from slightly yellow-orangish to green or brownish. Again, it depends on the impurities mixed in your water.
Sometimes, the color might not change, but you will notice the texture become a little foggy. This is also a sign of excess calcium deposits in your water heater. Since hard water minerals like calcium and magnesium easily dissolve in water, they are quick to react with water and change its color, making it easier for you to identify the damage.
4. Your Electricity Bill Is Too High
As mentioned earlier, excess calcium deposits make your water heater work harder than it would normally have to. Naturally, it will resort to using up much more energy than it usually does. Therefore, a sudden increase in the energy consumption of your water heater is a telltale sign of calcium deposits.
5. Heating Efficiency Goes Down
This is one of the most delayed signs of excess calcium deposit in a water heater. The heating efficiency of a water heater often plummets as the level of calcium in a water heater reaches either its peak or close to its peak.
How to Remove Calcium Buildup in Water Heaters
Avoid paying for expensive plumbing services and try our extremely easy DIY hack to remove calcium deposits from your water heater:
- Start by turning off the power supply to the water heater and disconnecting it from the cold water supply unit.
- Locate the drain valve on the base of the water heating system. Attach a hose to the valve and tighten it.
- Open the drain valve to bring out the water inside. Make sure you have a proper drainage facility to let the dirty water out.
- If you find white sediments in the water, it’s a clear indication of a calcium deposit.
- Once the tank is empty, pour vinegar, tile cleaner, or a commercial lime cleaner through the cold water inlet. Make sure you don’t allow gas buildup as you pour the cleaner.
- Wait a few hours before allowing the cleaner to flow out. This should be enough to dissolve the inner layers of the calcium deposit.
- If you see or feel gas brewing in the cold inlet, it suggests that the cleaner is still working on the deposits. In that case, wait a little longer before draining it.
- Next, connect the cold water inlet back to the water heater to flush it. Switch on the heater and allow it to heat the cold water. Open the nearest water faucet after a few minutes and check the quality of water flowing out. If the water heater has been cleaned well, you should find odorless, colorless water with no white sediments.
How to Prevent Calcium Buildup In Water Heater
If you want your water heater to last you a lifetime and work better, you must prevent excess calcium from depositing in it in the first place.
You can try:
- Installing a water filter in your home’s main water supply.
- Using a water softener to get rid of dissolved calcium from the water source.
- Cleaning and flushing your water heater every 6-10 months.
With proper care and maintenance, water heaters can last at least 10 to 15 years or more. You’d hate for an avoidable and curable calcium deposit to plunge your water heater’s lifespan and efficiency.
We hope our detailed guide on how to remove calcium build-up in water heaters has helped you not only recognize calcium damage in the early stages but also cure it without expensive professional help. That said, if you’re unsure about how to execute a particular step, we recommend reaching out to an expert as it will prevent you from causing irreparable damage to your heater.
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