If the flow from your hot water faucets is slower than water from your cold faucets, there could be a problem with your hot water heater. One reason hot water pressure gets weak is when sediment builds up in the tank. Here's why sediment is a problem and how you can get rid of it.
Why Sediment Builds Up And Causes Problems
If you live in an area with hard water, the minerals from the water will build up inside of the tank of the water heater. Just like you see a scaly film inside your coffee pot and on your shower tile, the same type of film accumulates inside the water heater. The scale can restrict water flow so the pressure becomes weak and the stream of water from your hot faucets diminishes.
There are more serious problems associated with sediment in a hot water tank. It could cause the heating element to overheat or the scale could form clogs that lead to further damage. Besides a weak stream of hot water, you might hear popping sounds coming from inside the hot water heater when it has scale buildup. If you hear unusual noises or have low pressure from your hot faucets, call a plumber to check your hot water heater.
How Sediment Is Removed
Sediment can be flushed out of the tank by letting the water drain out. The drain may need cleaned periodically to clear the sediment so water can pass through. There's no way to get to the inside of the tank and scrub it, so rinsing out the sediment is the solution unless the problem is so bad that the plumber recommends you buy a new hot water heater. Draining the tank is done by hooking up a garden hose to the reservoir and allowing the water to drain out in your yard or down a drain. The tank is disconnected from the electricity and water first for safety reasons.
Once the tank is flushed out, the plumber refills the tank with water and checks your hot water pressure. If the low pressure was caused by sediment, the problem should be solved. You can prevent this from happening in the future by having the hot water tank flushed on a regular basis to prevent buildup and possible damage to your tank. The rate at which your tank collects scale and sediment depends on how hard your water is. If you know you have hard water, then you may need to flush out the tank regularly to stay ahead of sediment problems.