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Smart Choice Heating and Air Blog

What to Do with a Rumbling Water Heater

tank-water-heater

Wondering what to do if you have a rumbling water heater? The short answer is, “schedule service!”

A rumbling water heater is due to something called scaling, which occurs inside your water heater tank when you have hard water, or water with a high presence of minerals in it like magnesium, calcium, and iron.

While these mineral buildups aren’t harmful to you they are harmful to your plumbing and your quality of life, with your water heater being no exception. Read on as we dive into further detail on the matter.

When Deposits Get Left Behind

Have you ever walked into your bathroom to discover a flaky, white, yellow, or green substance buildup around your faucet handles and drains? This is the result of that scaling we mentioned above–the mineral deposits that get left behind due to hard water.

These minerals aren’t able to drain away as easily as water does, so they can cling to the metal surface of your water heater and plumbing system even as water rushes through. The deposits get lodged in places where they can start causing corrosion and pipe leaks.

Scaling Damage

Scaling negatively impacts your water heater in a number of ways. For instance, buildup develops in the pipes and effectively blocks water from moving through, if it develops a thick enough layer of mineral deposits.

What’s more commonly noticed, however, is the damage that occurs to the water heater tank. Minerals build-up at the bottom of the tank, which makes it hard to heat the water evenly. What happens from there? The minerals rattle around at the bottom of the tank, which is when you hear the rumbling as corrosion begins.

Signs of Scaling

Perhaps the most obvious sign of scaling in your water heater is the rumbling sound we mentioned. Homeowners have also described this sound as popping or knocking. This happens as stem bubbles attempt to escape past the layer of sediment at the bottom of the tank, and the sediment starts shifting around.

Scaling can also impact the temperature of the water in the tank. This is particularly true with tankless water heaters, actually, since the deposits will coat the heat exchanger and make it more difficult for the water to pick up the heat from the heat exchanger.

Lastly, you may notice low water pressure from the hot water taps, if scaling is clogging up the pipes that lead out of your water heater.

“Is There a Way to Prevent This Problem?”

Yes! Since scaling and mineral buildup is the result of hard water, you can have a whole-house water softener installed at the main water line. This will ensure that any water that comes into your home goes through a water softening process, and therefore you shouldn’t have this problem.

It’s still worth scheduling annual maintenance for your water heater, though. After all, the best way to fend off stubborn and sudden problems is by having the system inspected on a regular basis.

At Smart Choice Heating and Air, we are “Dedicated to Great Service, Clean Air & Happy Homes.” Contact us today for more info on tank water heaters in Anaheim, CA and to schedule service for your water heater!

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