Avoid Water Heater Corrosion With These Tips
Avoiding corrosion in your water heater should be a number one concern for everyone, since corrosion is known to degrade performance of water heaters and cause them to fail entirely. Fortunately, the trouble spots are also well known, so if you pay attention to these you at least have a fighting chance to arrest water heater corrosion before it gets to be a problem.
Preventing water heater corrosion
- The anode rods serve a critical function in that they allow corrosion within themselves, as opposed to within the water heater unit. If the rods become encrusted with calcium carbonate, they will be unable to do their job and protect the unit. Have them professionally checked.
- Check the vent pipes leading from the hot water heater to the outside of your home for corrosion and rust. Call a professional if you find anything obvious – don’t attempt to change these yourself.
- Upgrade your water heater’s pipe nipples to plastic-lined nipples. When copper or brass pipes come into contact with the steel tank surface, the steel part is prime territory for corrosion and rust development. By replacing the manufacturer’s pipe nipples with plastic-lined ones, this corrosive contact potential is drastically reduced.
Electric water heater problems vs. Gas-powered
- A problem specific to electric water heaters is the corrosion that results from the heating element in an electric water heater. The heating elements are made of steel with a copper sheathing, and when these two become wet, corrosion can easily occur. To avoid this situation, install galvanized unions with plastic-lined nipples on the tank’s top.
- On a gas water heater, the primary corrosion culprit is the combustion chamber where rust and corrosion often go unchecked. By following the owner manual instructions, you can see inside the chamber with the aid of a flashlight to check for any damage. If you spot corrosion or rust, you should contact a service professional right away.
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