If you see white residue on the bottom of your pots and pans after boiling water, that’s calcium from hard water. It’s going to leave behind what looks like chalk or even more of a white powder. If there’s hardness or calcium in the water, it’s dissolved and you cannot see it. However, any time the water is heated, the calcium will become a solid. That solid is going to settle and accumulate on the bottom of the pot or pan.
The most important thing to realize is that just with a little bit of water and some time, the same exact thing that’s happening in your pans will happen in your water heater. Because of the heat that’s introduced to the water, the calcium will solidify (become a solid) and settle to the bottom. That’s why it’s so important to flush your water heater in order to remove the calcium residue. In a pot it’s a very small amount, but in a water heater the large chunks of calcium can actually almost look like popcorn if left over a long enough period of time.
If you flush the water heater on an annual basis, it cleans all that hardness through the hose and prevents the water heater system from experiencing premature failure. I always like to use the analogy of residue in pots and pans (or even coffee maker reservoirs) to demonstrate what’s happening in the water heater. The same chalky residue that shows up in pans is going to build up in your plumbing components.
If you see chalky white residue, reach out to the team at Wisler Plumbing today by contacting us online or giving us a call at 540-483-9382. We can perform a water test and determine if it would be a good idea to get a water softener. Of course, even if you already have a water softener, water heater manufacturers still recommend that the system is flushed once a year. It makes sense because holding water in the tank acts as a settling area. It’s very important to flush it out periodically.