The quality of water in a home is one factor that contributes to the efficiency, performance, and longevity of the hot water system. Low-quality water refers to water that has sediment or high mineral content. If the water in your home is hard and has a high mineral content, it can shorten the lifespan of your water heater or lower its efficiency. Therefore, take these three measures to optimize the unit's efficiency and extend its lifespan.
Invest in a Gas Hot Water System
Electric water heaters use heating elements to heat the water. The heating elements are located inside the water tank; therefore, they come into contact with the water. If you have hard water, the minerals in the water coat the heating elements, causing them to wear down fast and lose their efficiency.
Conversely, gas units heat water using a gas burner located in the burner assembly. Gas burners don't come into contact with water. Therefore, minerals in the water can't damage the burner. If you are in the market for a new water heater, opt for gas over electric models. Since hard water can't corrode the burner, the unit's burner assembly will last longer than the elements in an electric unit.
Flush the Water Heater Frequently
The minerals and sediment in hard water accumulate at the bottom of the hot water tank, regardless of the unit's fuel type. The buildup prevents efficient heat transfer from the heat source to the water, causing the system to consume more power during water heating. Flushing the tank removes the buildup and lowers the unit's energy consumption.
While users with soft water can flush their water heaters annually, households with hard water should aim for at least two flushes a year to optimize the unit's performance. This is because hard water accelerates the buildup of minerals at the bottom of the hot water tank, necessitating frequent cleaning.
Check and Replace the Anode Rod Regularly
An anode rod is a sacrificial metal rod located inside a storage hot water system. The metal attracts mineral elements in the water and reacts with them. This reaction prevents the minerals from reacting with the tank and eroding it. Hard water has high mineral content; therefore, the minerals can corrode the anode rod faster than if you had soft water.
Once the anode rod erodes, the minerals react with the tank and erode its inner lining. Over time, the tank will start to leak, forcing you to invest in a new system. If you have hard water, you should inspect your anode rod regularly. If it's too worn, replace it immediately to protect your water heater from damage.
The above measures can protect your water heater from hard water, extend its lifespan, and lower energy consumption. Contact a plumbing contractor for water heater installation and maintenance services.