LESLIE: J.C. in Missouri is on the line with a water-heater issue. Tell us what’s going on.
J.C.: Say, I’ve got a seven-year-old water heater and I have to change my heating element every six months, especially during the wintertime; it builds up a lot of calcium in it. And I was wondering if you know anything about that or a product that I can use to eliminate that problem.
TOM: Well, if you have mineral salts that are building up a lot, you can use a water softener. There’s one that doesn’t require any salt and it’s called EasyWater.
TOM: And it’s an electronic water softener that hooks up to your main water line. And you plug it in and it basically forces the mineral deposits to not stick; it keeps them liquid or keeps them moving through the water so it doesn’t stick to water heaters and things of that nature.
That said, I don’t necessarily think that mineral-salt deposits are the reason that your electric coils are burning out every six months. I wonder if you’ve got a bad batch of coils or you’re buying them all at the same place. I wonder if there is any kind of fluctuation in the voltage to the water heater. There may be another cause for those to burn out so quickly, because they certainly shouldn’t be doing that. And if you had any kind of mineral buildup, it’s going to be in the bottom of the water heater, not on the coils.
J.C.: Oh, OK. Yes, I do have that white calcium. Every time I drain the water heater, I have to get something to scrape out the bottom of the water heater. Yes, you are right about that. Yes, you are right.
TOM: So, if you use a water softener like EasyWater, I think that that will help.
J.C.: I’m going to try it.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.