Electric water heater crud build up verus temperature

I've noticed that setting my electric water heater on "really hot" seems to cause a lot of crud build up. On "normal" or a little lower it doesn't seem to build up nearly as much crud. This seems backwards to me. Hotter water should be able to hold more dissolved stuff so why does more of the dissolved minerals seem to come out at higher temps??
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Ashton Crusher wrote:

Do you ever flush the tank?
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wrote:

Hardly ever. But with the hot setting I flushed it when it was about 18 months old and it was jammed with crud. Did it again about a year later when the lower element burned out and it was full of crud up to the element. Set the temp lower and haven't flushed it since (at least 4 years) and since the element has not burned out again I'm assuming it's not buried in crud this time.
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Ashton Crusher wrote:

Is your water hard? What is set temp. on the thermostat?
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wrote:

Yes, we have pretty darn hard water. Setting is just below "normal", probably about 130 degrees.
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130 is plenty hot for all uses provided the tank is large enough.
lower temp ON gas tanks equals less thermal stress and longer tank life
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My 70 yr old HW pipes are calcified shut, cold lines are ok, I have heard the higher the heat the faster they clog. With gas its a bigger issue since flame is outside tank, efficiency drops alot. But electric the element is in water, do you have a softener.
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I think, if your water has a high hardness level, a softener would be a big help. Not to mention your clothes would come out of the wash cleaner and you wouldn't need as much soap. But if you have a drilled well as I do, a whole house water filter is also very important to have. I installed one in our house a few years ago and I couldn't believe the amount of crud it collects on the filter after about 4 months. Just my 2cts. Steve
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Ditto with the last post
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FWIW, the original lower element in my 50 gal electric burned out at about the same time as the OP's, but I was surprised to find no lime buildup when I replaced it. The replacement lasted about 10 years, and when I replaced it, the tank had lime at least up to the element. I cleaned out what I could and replaced the element and it is still working after 2-3 years. I would have probably just replaced the heater then, but my truck was in the shop, and it was somewhat easier to transport an element than a w/h in a Ford Aspire. As to the OP's question about the temperature, dunno if the lower temp actually causes less lime buildup, but the fact that it is on for less time with the lower temp may be more of a factor that the second element has lasted, besides that the replacement was possibly of higher quality than the original. Larry
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