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Sediment Buildup in Water Heaters: What To Do?

A man uses a flashlight to help him see the water heater in a dark closet

A working water heater is critical for any home. You rely on your water heater daily, from comfortable showers to clean dishes. If your water heater stops working correctly, it can quickly become frustrating. You need expert water heater services to help. At Brian B. Quick, we have comprehensive water heater services to keep your home running. Let us give you expert quality and service from maintenance and repairs to replacements.

For your water heater services you can trust, count on Brian B. Quick! Contact us at (202) 427-5311 or online to schedule your appointment today!

What Kind of Sediment Builds Up on Your Water Heater?

Tiny particles in your water contribute to a sediment buildup in your water heater. Your water dissolves particles like dirt, rust, calcium, and magnesium. As the water in your water heater sits, those particles settle in the bottom of the tank.

Because they are heavier than the rest of the water, they don’t get pulled out of the tank when you turn on your hot water. Over time, the particles build up and form a thick layer of sediment in your water heater tank. That sediment layer can damage or reduce the efficiency of your water heater.

Signs You Have Sediment Buildup

There are signs homeowners can look for that help determine if they have sediment buildup in their water heater. They include:

  • No hot water: Sediment can block water flow, making it harder to heat.
  • Fluctuating water temperature: Sediment can get in the way of the water heater’s thermostat, creating uneven heating and water temperatures.
  • Strange popping or rumbling noises: The hot water in the tank can cause the sediment to heat and expand. These expanding particles make strange sounds.
  • Small leaks from the tank valves: Sediment causes valves to wear out more quickly, making them more prone to leaks.
  • Water takes a while to heat: The more sediment in your tank, the less efficiently your water heater runs.

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Steps to Clearing Out the Sediment Buildup

To get your water heater working properly again, you’ll need to clear out the sediment from the tank. Regular cleaning is also a part of good water heater maintenance.

  1. Turn off the power to the water heater and shut off the cold water supply.
  2. Open the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. The water should begin to drain. Allow it to empty until the water coming out is clear.
  3. Use a wet/dry vacuum to clean out the sediment at the bottom of the tank.
  4. Turn the cold-water supply and power back on. This will allow the tank to refill.

Dangers of Sediment Buildup

Allowing sediment to build up in your water heater is more than inconvenient. It can be a dangerous situation for your family and home. The dangers include:

  • Hotter water: Because the sediment insulates your tank, the water heater needs to work harder to heat the water. This can cause the water to be hotter than the thermostat indicates, which could cause burns.
  • Water tank failure: As the water heater works harder to heat your water, it can overheat, causing a complete tank failure.
  • Bacteria growth: Bacteria can grow in the layer of sediment at the bottom of your heater. Sometimes there can be enough bacteria to make you sick when using hot water.
  • Clogged drain valves: As the sediment in the tank shifts, it can clog drain valves, creating costly repairs.

The typical range of the cost of damages to a water heater from sediment can be anywhere from $100 to several hundred dollars. Several factors affect these numbers, including the level of damage and where you live.

Why Trust Brian B. Quick?

To keep your water heater working properly, practice regular sediment buildup removal. Our team of professionals can quickly and efficiently clean your water heater and ensure it will work for years.

Professional sediment removal will help maintain your water heater’s efficiency and keep your utility bills low. Brian B. Quick is the go-to provider for water heater services in Washington, DC, Baltimore, or PG County. Our technicians are licensed and insured professionals. Plus, we care about your comfort and your home.

Schedule your appointment in Baltimore, PG County, MoCo, NOVA, or Washington, DC, with Brian B. Quick by calling (202) 427-5311.

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