Does A Water Softener Ruin A Water Heater?
Many benefits come with installing a water softener system, including cleaning clothes and dishes to prevent mineral build-up in pipes.
However, a water softener system does not perform these functions without affecting your water heater.
If you are wondering whether a water softener ruins a water heater, then the answer is yes.
Indeed, a water heater can shorten the service life of a water heater.
While a water tank has an average service life of 8-12 years, a water softener system can greatly reduce this time.
Corrosion inside the tank comes as the greatest cause of a water heater requiring replacement.
However, most water heaters are designed with an anode rod inserted into the tank and absorb most of the corrosive elements to reduce corrosion.
This means that the anode will wear out and protect the metal lining on the water heater tank.
After installing a water softener, the hard minerals are removed and replaced with softer minerals like sodium.
Indeed, soft water can corrode the water heater anode sooner than later. After the anode wears down, all corrosive elements move on to the tank.
Unless this is addressed, your water softener system will shorten the water heater’s lifespan.
But fortunately, if you inspect and replace the anode rod more frequently, you will have effectively addressed the issue.
If you compare what it costs you to replace the entire water heater unit, you will agree that replacing the anode rod is a lot cheaper.
Take advantage of installing a softener system and maximize your water heater’s service life through proper maintenance.
Do I Need To Flush My Water Heater If I Have A Water Softener?
Yes, it’s needful to flush your water heater if you have a water softener.
When your house needs the essential hot water to your house, your water heater will provide that. You need to realize the importance of a water heater.
Unfortunately, most people’s eyes will be opened when their water heater fails.
To ensure your water heater is functioning properly, it’s essential to flush it out as this enhances its working to its best capacity.
As you continue using your water heater, sediment begins to accumulate. This is also accompanied by sediment build-up as these are naturally found in the water supply.
Indeed, sediment can build up and clump together, leading to damage or inefficiency of the unit.
This is a common occurrence with water heaters in Phoenix due to its sediment-rich water supply.
When you flush out your water heater, it curbs sediment build-up, ensuring that you can operate the unit with better efficiency.
This also means that you have less to worry about. What’s more, most of the water problems you have could be resolved by a simple flush.
But how often should you flush your water heater?
Because your water heater is essential, it’s not a good idea to put off flushing out the system for too long.
Again, it might help to understand that every water heater has a peculiar lifespan.
Consequently, regular water heater clean outs will be handy in helping your water heater to reach its intended lifespan.
Averagely, it will suffice to perform a water heater flush every few years.
But flushing out your water heater yearly will guarantee the best performance for your unit. , flushing it once a year
How Do You Soften A Water Heater?
Flushing a water heater is the easiest way to soften a water heater. As mentioned, doing this annually will prevent sediment build-up at the bottom of the water heater.
If this build-up is not addressed, it becomes a solid concrete mass at the bottom of your water heater tank.
Consequently, the lifespan and efficiency of your tan are greatly compromised.
Remember that the deposit is corrosive and will easily eat through your metal tank, rendering it unusable.
Therefore, you need to drain your tank by stirring it and pouring it out down the drain.
To flush out your water heater, you will want to start by turning off your heat source. You don’t want to work on a water heater that is powered.
If you have a water heater powered by electricity, you will need to plug it off the mains. But if you have a gas-powered heater, turn the temperature setting to pilot mode.
After this, locate the pipe that supplies your tank with cold water. This will need to be turned off, mostly by a simple rotation.
In most cases, this is a simple “O” valve. Proceed to connect your garden hose to the drain spinet. Be careful not to damage the threads by turning them too tight.
Before you open the valve on your drainpipe, ensure an open tap on the hot water side anywhere in your system.
This will prevent your garden hose from behaving like a straw closed on one end by a finger.
Unless you have a backflow preventer valve, you should immediately start to hear either water or air being drained out of your water heater.
But if you have a backflow preventer valve, you will need to open the pressure release valve on your water heater to allow air into the tank.
After this, let all the water drain out, fill the tank with more water, and then drain again. Do this until all you see coming out of the heater tank is clear water.
What Happens If You Don’t Flush Your Water Heater?
The need to frequently flush your water heater cannot be overemphasized. However, you might find that you haven’t flushed your water heater as required.
This has its repercussions. First, failure to flush your water heater will prevent it from operating at its peak functional level.
Similarly, your car’s oil needs to be changed, so your water heater requires regular maintenance.
Part of this maintenance is scheduled flushing that ensures its prolonged efficiency and longevity.
This is a necessary service, regardless of the type of heater (gas, electric, or a tankless water heater).
If you fail to carry out this procedure as you need to, you will be facing a build-up of sediment at the bottom of your tank.
And this will diminish the capacity of your water tank because the burner is unable to penetrate the build-up and adequately heat your water.
This will dictate more time required by your water heater to warm up, increasing your energy consumption and diminishing its functionality.
While it largely depends on your particular water heater, an annual cleanup will suffice. Again, the water in your area of residence will be a great determinant in all this.
For instance, living in a hard water area or using municipal or well water will dictate more frequent flushing since it has an above-average sediment content.
Timely flushing will guarantee your heater’s continued efficiency, ensuring your showers stay hot.
Your plumbing technician will tell you how often your water heater requires flushing and being filled.
While decreased energy efficiency is a problem if you fail to drain the sediment, other serious problems might quickly arise.
Indeed, sediment can even come out of your faucets, not to mention that insects can build nests in your piping!
Water pressure can also be affected, leading to burst pipes, rendering your tank completely functional.
Should I Drain My Water Heater Every Year?
Yes, but it depends. If you desire maximum performance from your water heater, draining it’s imperative.
The reason behind the need to drain your water heater frequently is simple: sediment and minerals such as calcium and lime collect at the bottom of your water heater over time.
Failure to drain your water heater leads to the consequences we have just mentioned, like sediment build-up.
The standard recommendation for draining your water heater is once per year.
But it’s also advisable to refer to your owner’s manual for your specific water heater and stick to the recommendations.
And if you entrust this task to a professional, it’s best to consult with them about best practices.
However, this is a broad recommendation, scarcely applicable in all situations.
You might find it essential to drain your water heater more frequently, depending on the hardness of the water in your area.
Your draining frequency should be adjusted according to the hardness of your water to curb worsened performance or even a malfunction.
Should A Water Heater Be Drained When Not In Use?
Yes. As you might be aware, we can scarcely consider a water heater as an inexpensive appliance. Consequently, maintaining it needs to be a priority.
Improper maintenance will lead to heavy losses and expenditures. You know that your water heater saves you from the cold weather, especially when taking a bath.
I do not see how I can survive my evenings and mornings without using my water heater. This is the driving force behind keeping my water heater in good condition.
Among the many concerns that heater owners grapple with is if it needs to be drained and turned off when not in use.
This is a major concern for those who often leave their houses like me.
When you drain your water heater, it means that you will not be using any power on it, hence huge savings. However, there are more benefits than this.
If you do not drain your water heater when not in use, you might end up with a sediment-blocked spigot.
Indeed, inches of residue inside the heater will interfere as it functions, no matter how little or much, making it more challenging to heat the water.
Draining your water heater when not in use will not cost you anything.
Yet it keeps your tank in good condition, preventing possible repairs or replacements that might turn out to be costly.
As mentioned, you will need to follow due process in draining your water heater.
Turning off the water supply is handy in preventing any undesirable leakage or mess inside your house.
When working on my water heater, I prefer turning off the main supply line before entering my house.
This is because there is a water softener between my water and the main supply. Therefore, it is easy to turn it off via the supply valve.
Soft Water’s Effect on Water Heaters
If you live in Texas, you might want to know that Texas State ranks highest when it comes to the water hardness in the country.
But you might ask, what relation does water hardness or softness have to do with my water heater? Well, much.
Hard water means that you have higher levels of particular minerals such as magnesium and calcium in your water.
While hard water is not bad for your health, it might be detrimental to your plumbing fixtures and home appliances.
Unfortunately, hard water will begin to take its toll on your system over time. This is the reason many homeowners choose to install a water softener in their homes.
Many benefits come with such an installation.
When you have soft water, this is good in preventing mineral build-up in your pipes, making it easier to clean your clothes and dishes.
But as we mentioned, beware that a water softener will significantly reduce the life of your water heater.
There are scores of issues that can greatly impact the life of your water heater.
For instance, corrosive fumes, neglect, and high water pressure are common suspects.
However, you might not be aware that water softeners are often the most common cause of a shortened water heater lifespan.
For people who live in areas with hard water, water softeners are an essential part of their water treatment.
When the minerals in hard water (calcium and magnesium) are mixed with soap,;
It causes a filmy residue that can damage dishes, clothes and leave users a general feeling of “irritation” and “unclean.”
Water softeners function by removing magnesium and calcium and replacing sodium in a mineral tank with ion exchange.
Consequently, soap will no longer coagulate and leave a film.
A water softener might ruin your water heater over time.