Posted On: Monday, January 12th, 2015 - 6:08 am
I was at a home on Friday in Hartland, MI installing a water softener for a new customer. Her condo was 12 years old and on Hartland city water. A water treatment system had never been put in place up until then.
Upon my arrival, I could hear a loud rumbling sound coming from the basement. The sound was coming from the hot water heater, which was the one that came with the home 12 years ago. The rumbling was so loud that it sounded as if the hot water heater was ready to explode at any moment. When I asked the homeowner if this has bothered her she mentioned that she could hear it quite prominently in her bedroom all night long. I took a minute to show her what the problem was and provide a solution.
What happens is, over time, tons of sediment sinks to the bottom of your tank where the heating element is. Water gets mixed in and trapped underneath the sediment (mostly calcium). As your water heater’s burner heats that water, it creates steam bubbles that are violently escaping the sediment layers.
The homeowner mentioned that the water heater that was in her home looked brandnew from the outside. I explained to her that when a water heater fails, it doesn’t typically look bad on the outside. You cannot see the calcium building up on the inside from outside of the tank and unless they are leaking from somewhere on the outside, they usually look just fine.
The picture below shows what a water heater that failed because of a leak that caused external rot. Obviously this water heater was very old and rusted from the outside.
Old water heater that rotted from outside, most likely due to a leak.
As I opened the drain valve on the bottom of the water heater it immediately plugged up with sediment. A light colored, muddy water came out as pictured below. There was an abundance of built up calcium in the bottom of this water heater from the harsh calcium in the Hartland city water supply. It had built up nearly five inches in the bottom of the tank.
Calcium build up in the bottom of a water heater, due to the lack of a proper water treatment system.
It was so bad that we had to pull the drain valve out and replace it with a full flow ball valve drain system, as seen in in the pictures below. The picture on the left is the valve that came with the water heater. The picture on the right is the much larger one that we put on it.
We replaced the drain valve (shown on the left) with a new valve (shown on the right).
After installing the water softener and the new, larger drain valve, we flushed the heater for 45 minutes. Muddy water continued to drain out of it. We ran 500 gallons of water through her new water softener to flush the water heater out and were still getting discolored calcium sediment water out of the bottom of it.
The lesson of the story is, just because water heaters don’t look bad, does not mean that there isn’t a problem. Calcium and rust can build up in the bottom of the water heater over time. A water softener that isn’t working properly, or the lack of one when necessary, could cost you hundreds of dollars in additional repairs. If you hear your water heater making a loud, rumbling noise it is safe to say that it needs some maintenance work performed. You will most likely find that the noise is due to calcium and/or rust build up caused by the lack of a proper water treatment system. The picture below shows a hot water heater that was completely ruined from the inside by calcium build up.
Water heater completely ruined on the inside, due to calcium (hardwater) build up.
In this instance, the rumble from the water softener had dissipated by the time that we left the condo. The homeowner was left with clean, softened, non-chlorinated water coming from the EVRC city water softener that we installed. In addition, we were able to the issue with the water heater, saving our new customer any additional unexpected expense to repair or replace it.
Realistically, the noise is not what you should be worried about (as scary as it sounds).
Since that sediment acts like a layer of insulation, your water heater’s burner is running
longer. This will cause the following:
* The water heater uses more gas/energy to heat the water to the desired temperature,
thus increasing your utility bills.
* Overheats the water heater’s metal tank. Over time, this will cause the system to
deteriorate, eventually leading to a leak and maybe even a flood.
Needless to say, you do not want to deal with that kind of disaster. According to https://www.disastersafety.org/blog/four-ways-to-avoid-water-heater-failure/, “Water heater failures cost an average of $4,444 per incident, after the deductible was paid.”
Think of sediment like plaque on your teeth. If the plaque is left alone, it will deteriorate your teeth. Similarly, the sediment causes your tank to deteriorate. So what should you do to get rid of the sediment? Well, just like your teeth, you should have consistent, preventative performed on your water heater. It should be
drained and flushed every 6-12 months to ensure optimum efficiency and performance.
Contact the experts at Advanced Water Treatment today for a free in home water treatment evaluation!
Cheers to better water, and a better quality of life!
Brad Haskin CWS I, CI
7674 E. M-36 P.O. Box 339
Hamburg, MI 48139
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Wonderful company to work with!! Great follow up!! Ray McConnell is our sales guy and he is on top of it every year!! He calls when our filters need to be replaced, he comes out when we have questions. He is awesome!!! Carli, another representative is wonderful!! Takes time to help you, doesn’t blow you off!!! She is amazing!!! Love the company, great quality!!!! Worth every penny!!!
(EVS sulfur filter with chlorine generator)
Great service and installation!! The technician was on time, neat, and friendly. He also was very knowledgeable on all the products and answered any questions we had. He also explained all the installation and showed us where everything was. Very thorough! We got a water softener, RO system, and RO pump. The RO pump makes a HUGE difference in speed of dispensing!! I strongly suggest adding it! We now have the BEST tasting water in the neighborhood! Thanks Advanced Water!
(EVRS water softener & Ultrowater reverse osmosis drinking water system)
We had Advanced Water Treatment come out and give us a price on replacing a system on our newly purchased home. All the fixtures were covered with rust and all water appliances were heavily stained. Ray, from Advanced Water Treatment found out the old system had failed and was no longer working. The prior home owner apparently did not take care of this old outdated system. Ray from Advanced Water then analyzed the water and then recommended a system to clean up our well water. With limited space Ray worked the install so it fit into the footprint in our laundry room, and when the water treatment, and reverse osmoses system came on line it was like a different water system not the old well. It was awesome how well the system operated and it is improving every day (cleaning out debris from the house system). Advanced Water Treatment then came back after several weeks of operation and ran another check on the water and it was doing very well. Ray went over again the service and operating instructions with us.
(EVRS water softener & Ultrowater reverse osmosis drinking water system)
Recently my father was having problems with iron and arsenic in his house water. Since he has problems with his memory, I was asked to be the liason in solving the problem. I contacted Advanced and was pleased with their work and their response. They kept in close communication through the process. My background is in chemistry and I was pleased that the owner was able to communicate highly technical information in a detailed way that made sense to me…translation….he knows his stuff. The technicians were forced to communicate everything twice (once to my dad) and again to me and they handled this potentially annoying situation with professionalism. Furthermore, they have solved the problem and were able to provide several alternative solutions in different price ranges. I would call them again.
(IPFE iron filter & Care Soft Pro water softener)
We have used Advanced Water Treatment for over 15 years now and wouldn’t think of going any place else. If we have a problem, they always come out right away; generally the same day. They recently installed a new system for us complete with an iron filter and it’s working great. We are using a LOT less salt and the water taste a whole lot better.
(EVRS water softener & EVFE iron filter)