Sediment in Hot Water: Do You Need a New System?

If you've started to notice that your hot water is leaving sediment behind after a bath or shower, then you may have a problem with your system. Is this problem fixable, or do you need to replace your hot water system with a new one?

Why Sediment Builds Up in Hot Water Tanks

The minerals in water can turn into tiny pieces of sediment that sit at the bottom of your water tank. If you've had your hot water tank for a while and it's not been flushed or drained as part of a maintenance service, then you may simply have ]enough build-up of sediment for it to start coming through your pipes and taps.

How Serious Is Sediment Buildup?

Sediment in your hot water may not do you any harm, and you may simply see this as an unpleasant problem rather than an emergency. However, this is a problem that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

If you don't deal with sediment in your tank, it can lead to more serious issues, such as valve blockages, corrosion and leaks. Plus, if your problem is left unchecked, then your system may have to work harder to heat water through the sediment sitting in the tank—this could prevent your system from working properly or even shorten its life.  

Do You Need to Replace Your Hot Water System?

Basic sediment buildup in a hot water tank can usually be easily dealt with by flushing out the system or draining it. These processes basically force the sediment out of your tank, leaving it clean and debris-free.However, if you have a serious sediment buildup that has started to affect your tank's parts or the system itself, then you may need to have some parts replaced and, in extreme cases, you may even need to start over with a new tank.

Bear in mind that states have specific rules about when homeowners can do their own plumbing and when they should use a qualified plumber. Don't be tempted to try to flush or drain your hot water system to get rid of sediment without checking if you should be doing this. It's safer to call out a plumber for a hot water service. During the service, your plumber will be able to assess the severity of your sediment problem and recommend what you need to do next.

To learn more, contact a plumber in your area.