Buildings and campuses with dozens of bathrooms face multiple challenges when it comes to keeping plumbing systems in good repair. One of the most common examples of those maintenance issues is the buildup of sediment and scale inside water heaters. An excess amount of sediment can be detrimental to a water heating system, and problems are magnified when scale buildup begins to simultaneously impact the performance of multiple water heaters. Long term failure to remove sediment can even weaken the sides of the water heater. These potential problems stress the need for businesses and schools to consider the threats that sediment build-up poses to their facilities.
Sediment build-up threatens both a facility's water and energy efficiency. Overtime, minerals in the water collect and calcify over the heating element inside the water heater, warns NYSEG. Eventually the scale build-up hinders the heating element's ability to increase water temperature, forcing the appliance to spend additional electricity to keep water at an ideal temperature. This inefficient performance becomes an even greater issue for facilities utilizing multiple water heaters, as each water heater suffering from mineral buildup is apt to grow less efficient over time. Increased wait time for hot water contributes to water waste as well.
Efficiency problems aren't the only consequences of putting off water heater repair. The general performance of a water heater becomes shakier when maintenance and repairs are neglected. Sediment build-up collecting inside the heater often rattles loudly, causing a metallic racket that can annoy and distract workers inside the building. Discolored water is another sign of excess material buildup that can impact water heater performance, and a maintenance issue that could damage a facility's reputation.
Thankfully, there are several solutions for dealing with sediment build-up in commercial water heaters. Building owners can learn more about how hard and soft water lead to sediment build up. Regions with hard water are more vulnerable to the maintenance issue, because hard water contains larger deposits of minerals. The San Francisco Chronicle notes that flushing a traditional water heater is key for preventing long term buildup in reservoirs, but building owners can also avoid this chore entirely by going tankless. High-end models are designed to eliminate calcification risks by removing particles from the appliance's heating element at all times, turning liming and calcification into a non-factor.