How Often Will I Need Water Heater Repairs And Replacement With Hard Water?

Do you live in a state with hard water? Are you continuously having to call for water heater repairs and replacements because of the residue that is building up at the bottom of the tank? Here’s what you need to know about hard water build-up and how to call us for maintenance.

What Is Hard Water?

Hard water is common in many U.S. cities because we use nearby streams and rivers. As such, it has minerals such as magnesium and calcium from natural limestone that enters the water system. Water is considered hard water when it has more than three grains per gallon (GPG). The higher your grains per gallon, the higher the levels of minerals building up in your water heater.

If you are unsure of whether you have hard water, we will be glad to test it for you. You can also perform a quick test by getting a plastic soda bottle and filling it with the water source you think is hard. You then want to put about eight to ten drops of dish soap in and shake it. If it makes a lot of bubbles, your water is not hard. If it fails to make bubbles, you likely have hard water.

How Long Do Water Heaters Last With Hard Water?

This is a tricky question because the hard water affects the parts more than the tank itself. The water heater may last for ten years. With hard water, parts have a much shorter lifespan. For example, the minerals in hard water can reduce the shelf life of a heating element to two years. Having annual inspections will ensure your water heater is working properly and free of corrosion. If you have hard water, you will likely need to have your tank drained more often.

What Happens If You Don’t Flush Your Water Heater?

If you don’t flush the mineral build-up from your water heater, it will eventually lead to corrosion from the hard water sediment. Over time, it will cause a blockage in the pressure and relief valve. This part is also a safety feature, so a clog could cause an explosion to occur. Calling ahead of time for water heater repairs and replacement ensures hazards do not occur.

How Do You Know If Your Water Heater Is Going To Explode?

A good sign you need immediate water heater repairs and replacement is when you hear popping or have brownish colored water. You may also smell something similar to a rotten egg if there is a gas leak. If you are unsure, give us a call for an inspection and maintenance check.

Should You Flush An Old Water Heater?

You should flush a water heater twice a year routinely, but if it is aging, it’s likely time to start thinking about a water heater replacement rather than continuing to flush and replace the parts. You should also take the same approach to your household appliances that have water sources as the minerals will also clog filters and build up. This will reduce the shelf life of household appliances, too. Ask our J Griffin Heating and Plumbing technicians for hard water advice.

Give us a call at (781) 521-2188 or send us a direct message on our company Facebook page at for water heater repairs and replacement.