What You Need to Know About Water Heater Sediment Buildup

The actual process of heating water inside your water heater causes calcium carbonate to precipitate out of the water, and eventually settle at the bottom of the tank. The degree and rate of sediment accumulation depends upon what make and model water heater you have. Furthermore, some regions experience a higher degree of sediment buildup, adding in another factor to consider when diagnosing water heater problems. Fortunately, proper and regular flushing helps prevent sediment build up, but this service requires the assistance of a professional.   

Continue reading to learn some common problems associated with water heater sediment buildup in order to determine whether or not your unit requires professional service at this time.

Indianapolis Water Heater Service and Repair
Indianapolis Water Heater Service and Repair 317-784-1870

Not Enough Hot Water

Check for a broken dip tube, wrong setting on a thermostat, a defective thermostat, burned out heating elements (electric), or a heavy buildup of sediment.  See our blog, “Why is My Hot Water Not Working?” to learn what you can do about this issue.

Broken Dip Tube

The dip tube is a long slender tube that fits down into the water heater inlet, and usually has a small hole about 6 inches from the top. The dip tube directs the incoming cold liquid down to the bottom of the tank. If the dip tube is broken, the incoming cold liquid can mix with the outgoing hot liquid and cause it to seem as though you are running out.

Noisy Tank

One of the most common indications of sediment accumulation in water heaters is noise. Steam bubbles form under the sediment when the burners come on, and as the bubbles escape from under the sediment, noises like popping and crackling are produced. Sizzling noises can be caused by condensation dripping onto the hot burner.

Thermal Expansion

When water is heated it expands. If the inlet is not blocked by a check valve, pressure reducing valve, or other device, the increase in volume simply travels back into the source. If the inlet is blocked, this increase in volume will cause an increase in pressure, sometimes to dangerous levels. The temperature and pressure valve (T&P valve) relieves pressure by discharging some liquid. A thermal expansion tank can be installed in the line that will absorb the increase in volume, preventing the relief valve from discharging unnecessarily.

T&P valves are strictly an emergency measure and should be replaced every 2 years. At 180 degrees, the temperature that the T&P valve opens, damage can occur to your system and you may have voided the warranty on your water heater. The improper installation of backflow preventers can block the thermal expansion leading to operation of the T&P Valve.

Water Hammer

When water is traveling in the pipes it has kinetic energy (energy of motion).  When a valve shuts off suddenly a shock wave results. Hammer most often occurs when a valve shuts off suddenly. Commercial arrestors are available to combat this problem. They consist of a small air bladder within a cylinder plumbed to the piping system near the valve causing the problem. Some hardware stores carry them.  Sometimes if the piping is sagging then supporting the pipe solves the problem. See our blog, “How to Solve a Water Hammer Problem” to learn more.

Milky Colored Water

Water contains dissolved oxygen and other gases. When it’s heated it has less ability to hold these gases and when the pressure is lowered as the liquid comes out of the tap these gasses can form tiny bubbles giving the liquid a milky appearance. Letting it stand for a few minutes will allow these bubbles to rise out of the liquid and it resumes its clear appearance. See our blog, “Why is My Faucet Water Cloudy Then Clear?” to learn more about this topic.

Request a Free Water Heater Repair Quote in Indianapolis

Call Weilhammer Plumbing Co. Inc. at 317-714-0759 to speak with a friendly and knowledgeable technician about water heaters, today. We are happy to answer any questions you have about water heater service, installation, maintenance, hot water problems, and more, anytime. We even offer 24 hour emergency services for water leaks, floods, and more. Call 317-714-0759 for professional water heater repair services in Indianapolis you can trust!

Can Poor Quality Plumbing Make You Sick?

Long story short: your plumbing system can make you sick. Continue reading to learn how, and what you can do to treat and prevent plumbing-borne illness at home and in the office.

Indianapolis Emergency Plumbers
Indianapolis Emergency Plumbers 317-784-1870

Plumbing and Health Risks

Plumbing systems are intended to provide and distribute clean, safe water for consumption. So, it might surprise you that your plumbing system can actually be a cause of certain health complications and even illnesses. There are several ways a plumbing system can both cause and transmit illness. However, the top 4 most common areas that are known to generate plumbing-related health issues are water leaks, water heaters, faucets, and drains.


Clogged drains are a hotbed for all sorts of germs and bacteria, as well as mold and mildew growth. Bacteria, mold, and other types of pathogens are very harmful to a person’s health. They can cause a wide range of infections and health complications, especially in the upper respiratory system. For those who are already suffering from low immunity or respiratory issues, such transmission can be dangerous. If you notice that your shower or bathtub is draining slower than usual, you might have a working clog. Read our blog, “Unclog Any Drain With These 4 Simple Steps” to resolve this issue quickly. Be sure to always maintain your drains by keeping them clear and cleaning them regularly.


Faucets, spouts, spigots, and valves are important parts of a plumbing system. However, many were manufactured with lead prior to 1986, as we discovered it is highly toxic. So, if yours fit this description, they might contain lead too. Long-term lead exposure can cause severe illness and health complications, including lead poisoning.

Water Heaters

Water heaters are known to rust overtime if they are not properly-maintained or replaced when necessary. When rust enters the water system, it can have negative effects on your health upon consumption. It is important to replace your water heater every 8 to 10 years, or when recommended by the manufacturer. Furthermore, have your water heater regularly serviced and flushed to avoid harmful sediment buildup that promotes rust development. Aside from rust-colored water, low water pressure may also a sign that your water heater is rusty on the inside. In either case, contact a local water heater professional for emergency service.

Water Leaks

Plumbing leaks can be a major source of disease and germs since standing water can grow all sorts of harmful organisms. Not only can water leaks cause mold and mildew growth, which spread airborne spores that are harmful to our respiratory health, it can also be a Petri dish for bacteria and other toxic pathogens. As soon as you discover a plumbing leak, contact an emergency plumber to avoid causing further damage to your walls, ceilings, floors, foundation, and more. See our blog, “The Common Signs of Leaky Plumbing Pipes” to learn what to look for.

Get Emergency Plumbing Repair For Leaks, Clogs, and More

Contact Weilhammer Plumbing Company at 317-784-1870 when you need emergency plumbing repair in Indianapolis, Indiana and surrounding counties. We service residential and commercial plumbing services, including water heater repair and water softener repair. Our state-licensed master plumbers have been in the plumbing business for over 100 years because we have earned the trust of thousands of Hoosiers all across the city as a result of our professional service and outstanding results. Request a free estimate or advice, today.

Should I Switch to Copper Plumbing?

Copper plumbing has increasingly become popular due to its longevity and performance properties. So, if you are asking yourself whether or not you should renovate to copper plumbing, just ask the millions of property owners who have already made the switch. They will tell you that copper plumbing increases resale value, requires less maintenance than conventional materials, and might even render certain tax benefits.

But before you decide to move forward with copper re-piping, be sure you know which type of copper plumbing is most compatible with your property in terms of connectivity, local environmental conditions, personal preference, and overall budget. Continue reading to learn the most common types of copper plumbing and how to determine which type is right for you.

Indianapolis Master Plumber Service 317-784-1870
Indianapolis Master Plumber Service 317-784-1870

Copper Plumbing Options

There are three primary types of copper plumbing used in the residential and commercial markets. These include L-Type, M-Type, and K-Type copper plumbing. All copper plumbing lasts a long time, but not all shares the same level of longevity. How long your copper plumbing lasts will ultimately depend on the type you choose to install.


This type of copper plumbing will last at least 50 years, and even up to 100 years in regions with moderate climate conditions. Due to the thickness and durability of the design, as well as its universal acceptance among building codes, most professional plumbers will recommend L-Type copper plumbing for homes and businesses. Such piping can also withstand acidic water, delivering greater assurance against premature repairs and performance issues.


This copper plumbing is less expensive than L-Type, and accepted under most residential building codes (but not all). It generally lasts at least 50 years; however, it is possible for M-type copper plumbing to require replacement after only 20 years. If you live in an area with acidic water, or use a private well, this type of piping is not recommended. Because it is the thinnest of all three types, it is least resistance to acidity, and therefore, highly prone to corrosion.


As the thickest in piping material, it is not a surprise that K-Type copper plumbing lasts up to 100 years or more with good care. Yet, it is not the best option for all property owners. This type of copper plumbing is usually used in non-residential applications, such as city water mains and sewer lines. Its thickness and durability allow it to withstand high levels of pressure, which is why it is used in larger-scale systems. Residential properties do not require this level of power.

Professional Recommendation for Homeowners

If you are a homeowner, the L-Type copper plumbing would be your best option. That is because it is reasonably priced, lasts a long time, and accepted under all building codes. Talk to a state-licensed master plumber for personalized advice you can trust.

The Indianapolis Master Plumber You Can Trust

Call Weilhammer Plumbing Co. Inc. at 317-784-1870 to speak directly with Mark Weilhammer, a licensed master plumber (License #106214), about re-piping plumbing services in Indianapolis, Indiana. We offer a wide range of standard and master plumber services for both residential and commercial properties. We also offer free estimates, free plumbing advice, and even free haul-away for old plumbing appliances like water heaters, water softeners, sump pumps, and more. Request a free estimate, today.

How to Tell if You Have Lead Plumbing Pipes

Just because the word plumbing is derived from the Latin word for lead, plumbum, there is no place for it in a plumbing system. Although there are active laws today that prohibit any new construction with lead plumbing, there are still millions of occupied properties across the country that are built with lead pipes. If you suspect that you are living with lead pipes, protect your health and safety by confirming the truth as soon as possible.

Start by evaluating some communal facts about lead pipes, which in turn, will tell you if your home is a hazard or not.

Indianapolis Plumbing Re-Piping Services 317-784-1870
Indianapolis Plumbing Re-Piping Services 317-784-1870

Do You Have Lead Pipes?

In order to determine if your home is equipped with lead plumbing pipes, you will need to schedule an in-person inspection with a state-licensed master plumber. However, you can get an idea of whether or not your plumbing is made of lead by learning some facts and then comparing them to your property. The 1986 Safe Drinking Water Act stopped the production and use of lead plumbing. So, homes built after this time are not likely to have lead plumbing. If your home was built before 1986, there is a possibility that your have lead pipes.  

If your plumbing fixtures and components are made from lead, you can assume that there are pipes made of lead as well. Such fixtures and components include faucets, shower heads, drains, lines, and spigots. If your plumbing pipes are soldered together with lead, there could be more lead within your plumbing elsewhere. If the water service pipeline that delivers water to your home is made from lead, you might have traces of lead in your tap water.

What to Do if You Have Lead Pipes

If you have lead plumbing pipes, you do not have to live with them. Contact a state licensed Indianapolis master plumber for information on renovating your current plumbing system within budget. In the meantime, here are some safety tips you should follow while living with lead plumbing:

? Always use cold tap water for drinking or cooking purposes. Heated or boiling water has higher traces of lead.

? Flush the water system before drinking or cooking with tap water. Just run the cold water for 5 minutes.

? Filter tap water before consuming it in any way. A certified Point-of-Use (POU) water filter should do the trick.

Best Option✨ Make the switch to bottled water until your plumbing system is lead-free!

Master Plumbing Service in Indianapolis You Can Trust

Call Weilhammer Plumbing Co. Inc. at 317-784-1870 for licensed water softener and plumbing services in Indianapolis, Indiana. Owner and state-licensed master plumber, Mark Weilhammer, is happy to give you free advice, anytime. We provide a wide range of residential and commercial plumbing services, including trenchless pipe repair, pipe replacement, and even services to improve water quality. And as a family owned and operated company since 1901, you can trust us to deliver outstanding workmanship and customer support. Request a free estimate, today.