Calgary Plumbing: Things Which Wreck Water Boilers: Part One-Common Enemies
How to wreck your water boiler in a few easy steps! I thought about calling this post by that name, but it seemed a little negative, even though we are dealing with a fairly serious problem here. Most people simply ignore their water boilers until it’s beyond broken and needs to be replaced and you wouldn’t believe the horrible looking water heaters I’ve seen in my time as a plumber. When you think about it, water boilers are rather fragile; you’re trying to hold a lot of water in an enclosed space where it is heated and cooled repeatedly, has anodes and metal which can corrode, and even the electricity around it can cause problems! So what are the tops things which wreck your boiler and how can you avoid them?
If you want to save time, just read this paragraph and then stop because every other problem stems from this one: neglect. Many people install their heater and forget about it. They don’t bother with maintenance and when money is tight, the water boiler isn’t even on the list of things to potentially put off for the year-it’s been prelisted for that ‘honour’.
If you do absolutely nothing else for your water boiler, make sure to have someone come in to inspect it and do simple maintenance at least once a year. It’s easy to do, fairly affordable and can greatly extend the life of your water boiler.
Still with me? Then here’s number 2 on the list of the top things which break the water boiler: sediment. Sediment build up occurs in places with hard water (such as much of Calgary). The sediment from the water collects at the bottom of the boiler and blocks the anode’s ability to function, causing corrosion and damage. Sediment can quite literally cause the bottom of your water tank to drop out and flood whatever room it’s in!
Getting rid of the sediment is mostly a matter of doing annual flushes of your water tank once a year or so. This will allow your tank to function more efficiently and extend the life of your anodes.
Rust and Corrosion
Close behind on sediment is rust and corrosion and here is where those anodes come in. Anodes are thin bars made from zinc and aluminum most of the time (though some are made from pure aluminum and this can lead to stinky water). These anodes are intended to protect the tank from rust by promoting electrolysis in the water. However, over time they can become corroded and so the rust will creep into your water tank, destroying it and the water you drink.
The best way to prevent this from happening is to change up your anodes every so often! Sacrificial anodes should be replaced every two to six years, depending on how much you use your water, if it is softened or not, and what shape the tank and anode is in. Permanent anodes are far more long lasting, but it’s still a good idea to check up on them every so often in case they have been damaged.
These are just the most likely culprits of a damaged water boiler, but there are other things which can cause the problem that may never have occurred to you. We’ll be exploring those in the next post.
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Keywords:Plumbing, Calgary plumbing, water boilers, broken water boilers, wrecking water boilers, corrosion, neglect, Sediment, rust,