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Aug 19 2023

All You Need to Know About Water Heater Corrosion

Water heaters play a vital role in modern households and businesses, providing the convenience of hot water practically on demand. However, beneath the surface of this essential appliance lies a lurking menace: corrosion. Corrosion poses a natural and potentially destructive threat to water heaters, both those with tanks and tankless models. Manufacturers have developed strategies to combat this threat, but understanding the causes, symptoms, risks, and mitigation measures associated with water heater corrosion is crucial for ensuring the longevity and efficiency of your water heater.

If you are experiencing issues with your water heater and need reliable water heater repair, then call Rooter Hero Plumbing & Air to hire a uniformed plumber. We are proud to offer a wide range of plumbing service, including tankless water heater installation, replacement, and repair services.

What is Corrosion, and What Causes It?

Corrosion occurs when metals react with the environment in which they are placed. In the context of water heaters, two primary factors contribute to corrosion: water chemistry and temperature.

Water, even seemingly pure tap water, contains minerals and dissolved gases that can accelerate the corrosion process. When water heats up, it becomes more aggressive, triggering the release of these corrosive agents. Additionally, the presence of oxygen and the pH level of the water can exacerbate corrosion, leading to the deterioration of metal components over time.

Symptoms of a Corroded Water Heater

One of the most obvious indicators of corrosion in the water heater is rust-colored water when hot water taps are turned on. This discoloration indicates the presence of iron oxide, a clear sign of corrosion within the system.

Other symptoms include unusual noises from the heater, reduced water temperature, and leaks around the appliance. Regularly inspect your water heater and act promptly if you notice any of these signs of corrosion.

The Risks of Corrosion in the Water Heater

The risks associated with corrosion in water heaters extend beyond just the color of your water. As the internal metal components corrode, the sediments can accumulate in the unit, leading to reduced heating efficiency.

Corrosion also weakens the structure of the heater, increasing the likelihood of leaks and water damage to the surrounding area. Moreover, corroded and damaged components can result in costly repairs or even the premature replacement of the entire water heater!

Valuable Components That Combat Corrosion

Manufacturers have implemented several components and technologies to mitigate the risk of corrosion in water heaters. Sacrificial anode rods are an essential line of defense. These anodes are made of more reactive metals than the ones used in the heater's construction, such as aluminum or magnesium. These anodes attract corrosive agents and sacrifice themselves to protect the heater's vital components. In tankless water heaters, materials like stainless steel and copper are often used due to their inherent resistance to corrosion.

What to Do About Corrosion in Water Heaters

Addressing corrosion in water heaters requires a proactive approach. Regular maintenance, including flushing the tank to remove sediment buildup and replacing anode rods as needed, can significantly prolong the water heater’s lifespan.

For more severe cases involving significant corrosion and structural damage, you may need to enlist professional assistance. In such cases, a trained plumber may recommend repairs or replacement of affected parts.

Call Rooter Hero Plumbing & Air if you notice or suspect your water heater is affected by corrosion. Our live representatives and dedicated plumbers are on standby for your call. We can book a convenient appointment or arrange an emergency water heater repair for as soon as possible.

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