How Phoenix Arizona’s Hard Water is Bad for Water Heaters
If you live in the Phoenix Metro’s Valley of the Sun, you know that hard water is a fact of daily life. Yes, you can install a water softener in your home, but for those who can’t afford or don’t want to purchase a water softening system, hard water presents some issues that can adversely affect the longevity of your hot water heater.
What is Hard Water?
Hard water is water that contains a high concentration of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron. Hard water running through your appliances and water system equipment such as a water heater, results in a build up over time of scaly deposits throughout its pipes and fixtures. Hard water is particularly damaging in water heaters making it difficult for them to work optimally.
How Hard Water Impacts a Conventional Water Heater
In conventional water heaters that are electrically powered, mineral build-up can lessen the heating element’s efficiency. With gas fueled water heaters, hard water causes lime scale build-up which in effect, creates a barrier between the burners and the tank’s water. This build-up reduces the water heater’s ability to maintain the desired water temperature.
How Hard Water Impacts a Tankless Water Heater
Hard water’s ill effect on tankless heaters occur at a much slower rate relative to conventional water heaters. However, lime scale will eventually take its toll even on tankless water heaters resulting in the overheating of the heat exchanger.
Here are the main reasons why hard water is bad for a Water Heater
Reduction in Water Heater Efficiency
Hard water makes it difficult to keep the water heated for any length of time and makes it take longer to heat up the water.
More Frequent Maintenance Required
Experts agree that conventional water heater should be flushed at least once per year to remove sediment and other build-up. However, if you have hard water, you may want to flush it at least 3-4 times per year. Obviously, the frequency of the draining of your water heater will depend upon the water’s hardness…the harder the water, the more frequent the flushing should be. This is can be quite a bothersome task, especially when you consider the increased use of your time, water and money.
Reduction in the Hot Water Heater’s Useful Life
Hard water does reduce the useful life of a hot water heater by up to a few years.
How to protect Your Hot water heater from Hard Water
Perhaps the most popular way to minimize the ill effects of hard water on the hot water heater would be to install a water softener. In this way, you can remove the minerals within the water before it enters your hot water heater. Additionally, annual flushing of your hot water heater in conjunction with use of a water softener, is also recommended as a means to extend the life of your hot water heater by removing the mineral build-up.