What Is The Term For Something Electricity Cannot Flow Through Sediment, The #1 Killer Of Water Heaters – Here’s How To Deal With The Threat

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Sediment, The #1 Killer Of Water Heaters – Here’s How To Deal With The Threat

Bacteria problems in water heaters

Sludge causes many problems in your water heater. Among them is the growth of bacteria. These are usually not disease-causing bacteria, but they oxygenate and corrode the boiler lining. This is accompanied by a large amount of heat and the sediment can be very destructive.

Remember, if you can smell sulfur or rotten eggs, you may have a bacteria problem in your water heater. Don’t be confused by a potential natural gas leak that may have a similar smell. Both are serious problems that need to be corrected immediately.

Accumulation of sediment (scale) inside the water heater

They are natural minerals in all the water that flows into your water heater. When the water is heated, the minerals come out of solution and fall to the bottom of the water heater tank. The sediment is usually calcium carbonate in most areas of the country. On a gas boiler, sediment falls to the bottom of the tank and sits on the burner plate where the flame is directly below. The deposit is a barrier through which heat cannot easily pass. The glass lining on the inside of a tank type water heater will begin to slowly disintegrate at temperatures of 160 degrees or higher. The metal on the burner plate at the bottom can also deform.

A build-up of sediment can lead to water heater leaks. Your electric water heater could suddenly stop producing nearly as much hot water as it did a few days ago. Most likely, the sediment covered the lower heating element. If you have a gas boiler and it is noisy, you may have a build-up of sediment. The smell of sulfur is an indication of a sediment accumulation problem.

Softening the hot water will slow scale build-up, but will reduce the life of your anode rod inside the hot water heater.

The sediment can be slowed down if you reduce the water temperature to 130 degrees. Sediment can grow rapidly at heat above 140 degrees or higher, but 130 degrees still kills bacteria that can harm human beings. The bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease grows at temperatures up to 115 degrees.

Here’s how to control sediment

Fill the container full of hot water at the tap in the house. Make sure it’s hot. Put a meat thermometer in it. Record the temperature. Now, if you have a gas boiler, you can turn the control knob on the bottom hotter or colder. The button says ON OFF PILOT.

Sometimes there is a small adjustment knob in the middle of the ON OFF PILOT control. It can be used to reduce the size of the flame on the burner plate.

In an electric water heater, you can have a low density element in the tank to reduce the high temperatures produced and thus reduce sediment in the tank. Don’t worry, your water will still be hot because the low wattage element is twice the size and has twice the surface area to heat the water from.

If your water pressure in your home is greater than 50 psi, have a plumber install a pressure reducer for your water heater. High pressures cause faster sediment formation.

Dissolution of sediment by chemical means

You can with AO Smith’s chemical descaler called Mag-Erad. It can only be used when the gas is turned off and there is no water in the gas boiler. The instructions may state to leave the gas on while using the product. Do not or you will damage the chimney. You can use the product for electric water heaters without any problems, just empty the water heater first. You should call a licensed plumber to install a curved downspout and flush the water heater.

Curved downspout flushing method for sediment removal

Most water heaters are equipped with a straight immersion pipe as standard. Water enters through the cold water supply and down the immersion pipe to the bottom of the boiler. The power of the water only cleans a small area at the bottom of the water heater, but leaves the rest of the domed bottom of the water heater covered in sediment. Draining the water from the heater using the drain valve will only remove a small amount of sediment near the drain valve itself.

Installing a curved immersion tube causes the water to swirl around the domed bottom of the water heater. Swirling sediment-laden water can now be forced out through the drain valve with a five-minute full power flush.

Installing a curved downpipe begins by shutting off the water supply to your house, then removing the cold water connection on the right side of the water heater. Insert a pair of plastic-handled pliers into the cold water hole and unscrew the original dip tube. Using the pliers, pull the immersion tube up and out of the water heater. Remove the rust that prevents you from doing so. Use a marker to mark the direction of the curve in the new curved immersion pipe at its top. Wrap the nipple with Teflon tape eight times over the threads and insert the new curved immersion tube into the opening with the marked side facing the wall but running along the bottom of the boiler towards the drain valve.

Have a plumber install a 3/4 inch ball valve for the drain valve. Flushes with a larger opening compared to the plastic drain valve.

Descaling in commercial water heaters

If you hear a loud noise coming from your commercial water heater or smell an unpleasant odor, you may need to remove the sediment that builds up inside.

Descaling a commercial gas water heater will save you 5% on your energy bills, but it doesn’t save much in a commercial electric water heater.

If you have a commercial water heater, turn off the gas or electricity and turn off the water to the cold line, as well as any recirculation system must be turned off. Then open the T&P valve to depressurize the lines and allow the water to drain through the drain valve. Attach the water hose to the drain valve to drain the water. If nothing comes out, sediment is blocking the drain line. Remove the drain valve and break the sediment with a screwdriver. Remove the rust there as well. Under the opening of the open drain valve there is a place where the drain pan should be placed. Continue to flush as much sediment as possible. If you want to remove all the sediment, hire a plumber to do it.

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