Does Hard Water Damage Water Heaters?

A hot water heater with a leak.
If your home has hard water, there are excess minerals like calcium and magnesium in your water supply. Hard water is a common occurrence in California and the rest of the Southwestern areas of our country due to the hotter weather, high saturation of mineral content in the surrounding groundwater, and the drought (which has been going strong since 2000).

Hard water can cause stains on your clean dishes, sink, and more, and hard water can also wreak havoc on your water-using appliances. Your water heater is one of the most commonly used (and hard water-damaged) appliances.

While you may not be able to alter your home’s water supply, there is plenty you can do to curb the effects hard water has on your water heater and the rest of your plumbing system. Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Torrance is here to break down it all and offer some useful tips to save you from disaster!

Effects Hard Water Has on Your Water Heater

While hard water may not present any immediate health concerns to you and your family, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ignore its presence in your water lines and water heater.

Hard water in your home’s water heater can:

Reduces Efficiency

Because your water heater has a tank, it gives hard water the perfect canvas to leave behind tons of mineral buildup. Because of this, more room is placed between the water inside and the heating elements at the bottom of your water heater.

Over time, the buildup will decrease your water heater’s efficiency. You may even find yourself waiting longer for your home’s water to heat. Because of this, more energy will be used to heat your home’s water, causing your energy costs to increase.

Damages Performance

When the overall efficiency of your water heater takes a dive, you’ll also notice a change in your water heater’s performance. Too much buildup may cause your water heater to not be able to heat enough hot water for your next task – or any hot water at all!

Increase Maintenance Time

Water heaters should be flushed on at least once a year to clear out debris! Water heaters that rely on hard water with a water softener may need to be flushed more frequently to avoid buildup.

It can depend on the size of your tank, frequency of use, and quality of your home’s supply, but most California homes without water softeners may need to have their water heaters flushed every three months or so.

Shorten Its Lifespan

Hard water forces your water heater to work harder, so there’s no wonder why hard water can ultimately shorten your water heater’s lifespan. Needing a whole new water heater due to hard water can’t only be blamed on the internal mechanisms needing to work harder and longer to heat things up, though.

The buildup of mineral deposits also causes severe deterioration of your water hater’s tank over time, which can easily lead to a leak or full breakdown.

What About Tankless Water Heaters?

Even if you have a tankless water heater, you can face your fair share of problems with hard water. Limescale can build up on the heating element, causing a drop in water pressure, the amount of hot water it produces, and overall performance – just like a traditional water heater.

How to Prevent Hard Water Problems

Purchase & Installation of a Water Softener System

The best way to prevent hard water problems throughout your plumbing is by installing a water softener. The softener uses an ion exchange process to filter out hard mineral ions and replace them with sodium and potassium ions, all before it ends up in your water heater or running to other parts of your home.

Picking out the best water softener system for your home can be challenging unless you have the help of Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Torrance.

Our Torrance plumbers are familiar with the local hard water levels and know exactly what your system needs! They’ll even ensure a professional installation, helping you worry less about the entire process.

Completing Routine Water Heater Maintenance

While a water softener will help tremendously in reducing the damage hard water deals to your plumbing system, your water heater should continue to receive routine flushing services to prevent buildup in the tank.

During a water heater flush, a plumber will drain the water heater and remove any sediment trapped inside. Our team will then inspect your water heater to make you aware of any problems early on.

While we’re at it, our team can also assist in drain cleaning to remove other areas of mineral buildup throughout your home’s plumbing system.

Signs Your Water Heater is Damaged

If you notice any of these signs of water heater damage, turn to Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Torrance:

  • Leaks
  • Not enough hot water
  • The water isn’t hot enough
  • Discoloration of water
  • Loud noises

Regardless of the water heater problems you’ve had, it may be to blame on mineral or limescale buildup. To ensure your water heater problems get properly diagnosed, seek a professional inspection from a trusted plumbing company. Our plumbers will troubleshoot your water heater to locate the underlying cause and deliver an accurate repair or replacement.

Request Hard Water & Water Heater Help from Our Torrance Plumbers

When it’s time to reduce your home’s hard water and the grip it has on the quality of your plumbing system, or finally get around to the water heater maintenance that’s long overdue, turn to Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Torrance for help!

Our Torrance plumbers are true experts in their crafts. They’re licensed, insured, and more than qualified to handle any water heater, hard water, or other plumbing services you could need. We stand behind our work with national standards and are always committed to going above and beyond to ensure you’re more than satisfied with our services!

Save your home’s water heater from hard water damage today – contact us online to request your Torrance plumbing appointment.