Why Is Hard Water Problematic for Water Heaters?

Hard water can have adverse effects on the health of the water heating system. It contains minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron that build up over time, leading to scaly deposits in pipes, fixtures, and appliances. In addition, hard water is explicitly damaging to the plumbing of the whole house. It impacts all types of water heaters and makes it difficult to work efficiently.

Hard water's effects on water heaters.

The hardness mineral build-up in water heaters powered by electricity can reduce their effectiveness on the heating elements. For storage tank water heaters that use gas as fuel, Hardness limescale acts as a barrier by forming a layer between the burners and the tank's water. The build-up makes it difficult for the water heater to maintain the required water temperature.

Tankless water heaters are no better when dealing with hard water. Over time, limescale causes the heat exchanger to overheat.

Here is how hard water can further negatively affect the water heater's function:

Hard water decreases the water heater's efficiency.

Hard water makes it tough to keep the water warm for longer, and the heating process takes longer than usual. Also, hard water does not hold lather well, making it difficult to remove soap or shampoo. All this can lead to a spike in the water bills and energy bills.

The water heater will require frequent draining.

Generally, it is advised to flush the water heater annually to eliminate hard water sediment and other types of build-up. Hard water causes frequent limescale formation, so the water heater needs to be drained more often. It is not only inconvenient but also wastes water and money. The draining frequency will depend on the level of hardness in the water.

Hard water reduces the heater's lifespan.

The greater the stress on the water heater, the higher the need to repair and maintain it. It also cuts the heater's lifespan short by a few years.

The water heater produces strange noises.

Hard water is primarily the reason behind the squealing or rumbling sound coming from the water heater. However, the mineral build-up inside the pipes also affects proper functioning.

Ways to protect the water heater from hard water

It is not impossible to minimize the effects hard water has on the water heater. Installing a water softener in the plumbing to treat the water removes all the minerals before entering the heater. Regular flushing is another way to get rid of the build-up.

Hard water is a grave problem that can wreak havoc on the water heater. We highly suggest having your water tested by a professional such as ourselves.