When was the last time you looked at your water heater? If you have, did you notice rust? If rust has been detected, rest assured that this isn't uncommon. It doesn't necessarily point to an appliance problem. There are a number of reasons why you might see rust.
If you notice corrosion on your water heater, what should you do? Why is there rust in the first place?
Why Do Water Heaters Rust/Corrode?
If you've spotted rust or corrosion on your water heater, there could be a couple of reasons why:
- Corrosion/rust occurs when oxygen and iron combine. Rust is then produced courtesy of an electrochemical reaction. Metal can be corroded by oxygen. When moisture enters the picture, the process occurs faster. Indoor water heaters usually experience rust less than outdoor water heaters due to this very reason, especially if the climate is particularly wet.
- In dry climates, corrosion can occur more slowly. Especially if less humidity occurs. But if copper pipes are leaking into your tank, you can't prevent rust altogether. Special paint or coating can be used with which to protect against rusting and corrosion.
Rust on a Water Heater: What's the Big Deal?
Corrosion and rust can cause problems both outside and inside your tank. It can happen on both electric and gas models. While it can help guard against galvanic corrosion, rust is still a problem. Even when not exposed to oxygen, a reaction between elements can cause corrosion (for example stainless steel and iron).
Scaling can also be created by water heater rust. Because it becomes harder to heat up water, this will affect the water heater's performance. Small passages may also become clogged due to rust settling.
Preventing Rust on a Water Heater
If you keep your water heater dry and covered, you can help prevent rust. If the water heater is outdoors, make sure the cover is designed for outdoor conditions. If any insulation is damaged or missing, it should be replaced. For maximum efficiency, make sure the screen is clean.
Can a Rusty Heater Be Used?
You should be able to use your water heater as long as the inside of your tank hasn't been affected by rust. Normal functioning can still occur. It's hard to tell how deep the corrosion goes, however, if it's present around or on the burner assembly. To make sure your water is safe, you should have a professional check it out before you use your water heater further. Water Heating Direct can provide a free water sample and engineering analysis. Fill out our FREE Water Quality Test Kit request form to get started!
Water Heating Direct Can Help You with Your Corrosion Issues And More
Are you having difficulties with your water heater? If so, you could likely use some professional assistance. Water Heating Direct assists customers with inquiries and issues through the use of a designated applications/engineering team. We also offer the opportunity to download technical documents to be of increased assistance.
Need a new water heater? Maybe some water heater accessories with which to do a few simple repairs? We’ve got you covered. With specials, service plans, honest pricing, and more, we beat the competition.
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