Paul's Plumbing Tips

The Signs of Sediment: Three Signs That Your Hot Water Tank Has Sediment Buildup

From the time that you first install a new hot water heater system, you'll need to have a plumber perform an inspection at regular intervals. The exact interval can vary based on manufacturer recommendations, but it's generally a wise idea to have your hot water system inspected at least once a year. Usually, those inspections will identify problems like sediment buildup early on -- however, there may be some cases where sediment builds up fairly quickly and causes serious issues before your next inspection. Knowing the following three signs of hot water tank sediment buildup can help you identify the problem so that you can get a prompt resolution when it happens. Here's what to watch out for. 

1. A Bad Odour

When sediment builds up in your hot water heater, you may notice a bad odour when showering or even when you just turn the tap. Some people liken this odour to that of rotting eggs. This odour results from bacteria and sulfates within the water. Whilst it's an awful odour, it's often something that your plumber can easily resolve by flushing the hot water tank. 

2. Cloudy or Discoloured Water

When the water coming from the tap isn't clear but rather clouded or otherwise discoloured, the odds are good that you have sediment buildup in the hot water tank. This problem may occur at the same time as odorous water or it may happen by itself. This problem usually requires nothing more than flushing of the hot water tank. However, the filters within the taps may also need replacement if sediment has accumulated there, too.

3. Slow to Heat Water

If it seems like it takes longer than usual to get hot water, it may be happening because hot water tank sediment is causing the hot water system to work sluggishly. If the problem isn't addressed, it's likely to grow steadily worse until you're no longer able to get hot water at all. As long as you get a plumber's help straight away when you notice this issue, they can likely remove the sediment through flushing the tank to solve the issue. However, if the sediment has built up to the degree that the hot water heater system isn't functioning at all, you may have to get a hot water system replacement. 

When you observe the signs of sediment discussed above, don't hesitate. Call your local plumber or hot water service for help in getting your clean and on-demand hot water back straight away.