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May 30,2024

All You Need to Know About Water Heater Corrosion

One of the most common water heater problems homeowners experience is corrosion. This is a nasty problem that can take a toll on your water heater’s efficiency. In this blog post, Mr. Rooter Plumbing shares everything you need to know about water heater corrosion: its causes, symptoms of a corroded water heater, and how to prevent the problem from occurring.

Mr. Rooter Plumbing is a top-rated plumbing company providing a full range of water heater services, including water heater installation and repair. Our plumbers have the knowledge and tools to troubleshoot all kinds of water heater problems and provide you with solutions. If your water heater is corroded, our plumbing team is here to help.

What Causes Water Heater Corrosion?

  • Oxygen Exposure

Water naturally contains some dissolved oxygen. This oxygen can contribute to corrosion inside the water heater tank. While modern water heaters are designed to minimize air intake, some oxygen exposure can still occur.

  • Hard Water

Water hardness refers to the mineral content, particularly calcium and magnesium, present in your water supply. Hard water can accelerate corrosion in two ways. First, the minerals can settle at the bottom of the tank as sediment and create hot spots that are more prone to corrosion. Second, hard water can gradually break down the protective inner lining of the tank and expose the metal to corrosive elements. If you live in a region with hard water, call a professional plumbing service to install a water softener.

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  • Anode Rod Failure

Inside your water heater is a sacrificial component known as the anode rod. Typically made of magnesium, aluminum, or zinc, this rod corrodes preferentially, attracting the corrosive elements in the water instead of the tank itself. Over time, the anode rod wears away. If not replaced regularly (usually every 3-5 years), the tank becomes susceptible to corrosion.

Signs of Water Heater Corrosion

One of the most obvious signs of water heater corrosion is rusty, discolored water coming from taps or the showerhead. If the water has a rust-colored tint, it’s likely that the rust is flaking off the interior walls and getting carried along with the hot water. Other symptoms of water heater corrosion include a leaking water heater, strange noises, and rusty valves. If you notice signs of water heater corrosion, get in touch with Mr. Rooter Plumbing for water heater repair or replacement.

How to Prevent Water Heater Corrosion

  • Regular Flushing: Schedule regular flushing of your water heater to remove sediment buildup. Sediment and minerals can trap heat and create hot spots within the tank, increasing the risk of corrosion. Flushing your water heater every year helps remove this sediment and maintain optimal water heater performance. This is a fairly simple process you can undertake yourself, but if you have any doubts, seek help from a professional plumbing service.
  • Anode Rod Replacement: Anode rods are sacrificial components placed inside water heaters. They corrode first, protecting the tank itself. Replace the anode rod according to the manufacturer's recommendations, typically every 3-5 years. A skilled and experienced plumber can help with this.
  • Manage Water Heater Temperature: Maintain your water heater's temperature according to the manufacturer's recommendations (preferably between 120°F to 140°F). Extremely high temperatures can accelerate corrosion within the tank.
  • Install a Water Softener: If you have hard water, consider installing a water softener. Hard water, with its high mineral content, can accelerate corrosion in pipes and water heaters. A water softener removes these minerals, making the water softer and less corrosive. Call a professional plumbing repair service to test your water and help you improve its quality.

Mr. Rooter Plumbing Is Here To Help

Call Mr. Rooter Plumbing if you suspect your water heater is in disrepair. Whether you need minor water heater repair or replacing your failing water heater, we’re the plumbing team you can trust to get the job done right.

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