Do you recall when you last cleaned your water heater? For every occasion you use the water heater, your water heater will heat several gallons of water. Each gallon of water contains several minerals and other elements like Calcium, Magnesium, Lime, Iron etc. When iron comes into contact with water or air with high moisture content, it turns into rust. Water also contains other impurities like sand, grit etc. that do not dissolve. Therefore, whenever you use the water heater, these substances will keep accumulating at the bottom of your water heater. Further, they could even leave scales around the heating element of your water heater. Occasionally, these sediments could even end up affecting the draining capacity of the water heater.
Long Term Effects
Over time, these deposits will affect the heating efficiency of your water heater. The first indication of trouble will materialize via inflated power bills and reduced levels of heating. If you ignore these warning signs, you might end up having to replace the entire unit. Hence, a thorough cleaning remains the best way to keep your water heater performing at an optimal level. Getting professionals to clean your water heater on a regular basis can be a worthwhile option. After all, you must flush the water from your water heater on an annual basis, at the very least. However, if you feel up to the challenge, you can manage this activity yourself.
You must first switch off the power of your electric water heater. Ensure that you remove the plug as well, just to be doubly sure. Close the valve that provides an incoming source of water to the heater. Connect a hosepipe to the drain valve and let the water drain out of the water heater. This process could take about an hour. For more effective cleaning, consider using a Calcium Lime Rust (CLR) cleaning solution. Easily available in the market, these solutions react with the sediments within the heater and neutralize them. Pour a capful of this solution at a time. One gallon of the CLR solution should be sufficient to neutralize most sediments within the heater. Let the cleaning solution neutralize the sedimentary particles within the water heater for about 5-6 hours. Thereafter, let it drain out and fill the water heater with fresh water. Keep draining the water until it is unclear or contains sedimentary particles. Once the drained seems clear, shut the draining valve and fill the water heater for use.
A regular cleanup of the water heater will yield several benefits. It will increase the quantity of the hot water produced to optimal levels. It will heat the water to the desired temperature uniformly. It will consume lesser power and provide greater value for money. Above all, it will last you for several years, thereby sparing you additional expenses. Water heaters remain the second-highest domestic power consuming appliances within a house. Hence, by looking after its efficiency, you only stand to gain.
Several among us do not realize the worth of a fully functional water heater until it goes defunct. Unfortunately, this usually happens when we remain least prepared to handle the emergency. Life is full of surprises. However, some surprises have a tendency to become awkward. An hour or so spent today, could well keep you enjoying the comforts of a hot water bath for a longer duration. An old maxim declared, “A stitch in time saves nine”. This remains as true for life in general, as it does when looking after your water heater.