What Is Scale Built-Up In Water Heater?

Welcome to this exciting discussion about “What is scale built-up in water heater?” If you have ever experienced an issue with your water heater, you may have heard of the term “scale” being mentioned.

But what is scale and why does it build up in the water heater? In this article, we will answer these questions and more! We will cover how scale can form and the effects it may have on your water heater.

So, let’s get into it and learn what scale really is and why it can be problematic in water heaters.

What is Scale Build-up in Water Heater?

A water heater is an essential home appliance that many people often take for granted.

But for it to work properly, regular maintenance and check-ups are necessary. The most common problem associated with water heaters is scale build-up, or sediment buildup. This can be caused by a variety of factors such as hard water, mineral deposits, and bacteria buildup.

Here we will discuss what scale build-up is, the various types of scale build-up, and the steps you need to take to prevent it from happening.

What is Scale Build-up?

Scale build-up is a common issue with water heaters and is caused by a variety of factors. It is the accumulation of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, along with sediment that clings to the surface of the water heater. As the water in the tank heats up, the minerals and sediment will start to harden and form a tangible layer of white material that is known as scale.

Types of Scale Build-up

  • Lime scale – This type of scale buildup is caused by hard water, which has a high concentration of minerals like calcium and magnesium. It’s what causes a film to form on dishes and homes with hard water.

  • Rusty Scale – This type of scale build-up is caused by corrosion of metals. It is composed of iron oxide, which is formed when iron reacts with oxygen.
  • Bacterial Scale – Bacterial scale build-up is caused by the proliferation of bacteria in the water heater.

    This type of buildup most commonly occurs in homes with a lower water temperature.

How to Prevent Scale Build-up

  • Install a water softener – A water softener is a device that attaches to your water line and filters out the minerals in the water. This will prevent the minerals from sticking to the water heater, as well as preventing other issues caused by hard water.
  • Clean the tank regularly – Clean the water heater regularly to ensure that any built-up sediment doesn’t get too thick. You can do this yourself with a solution of water and white vinegar, or you can hire a professional to do it.
  • Turn up the temperature – Setting the temperature to at least 120°F may help to prevent scale build-up, as the minerals will be less likely to stick to the water surface.
  • Check for leaks – Check for any water leaks in the water heater, as this can increase the amount of scale buildup in the tank.
  • Check the anode rod – The anode rod, which is a metallic rod located in the water heater, can corrode if it’s not checked periodically. This can cause rusty scale build-up in the tank.


Scale build-up in water heaters is a common problem, but it can be easily prevented with the right maintenance and preventive measures. Make sure to install a water softener, clean the tank regularly, keep the temperature at least 120°F, check for leaks, and inspect the anode rod periodically. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your water heater is running at peak efficiency.

Leave a Comment