Water heaters will last several years, but with proper maintenance, you can easily increase your unit’s life span. One of the most common problems that can cause failure of your water heater is corrosion, but there are ways to protect against it and avoid replacing the unit.
- Protect the Electrical Elements: One of the most common areas affected by corrosion on a water heater is the electrical elements. The heating elements in the bottom of the unit are susceptible to galvanic corrosion because they are typically made of steel and covered in a sheath of copper. If the inner steel and copper sheathing become wet, corrosion occurs. You can prevent this from occurring by installing galvanized unions with plastic nipples on the top of the tank.
- Tanks with Water Softeners: If you use a water softener, your water heater will be more susceptible to corrosion. Typically, water softeners use salt to neutralize hard minerals and salt causes the anode rods to become ineffective by causing them to corrode. To prevent this from occurring, have your anode rods inspected at least once a year. This will allow you to detect corrosion inside the tank of your unit before it becomes a problem.
- Check Your Vent Pipes: Pipes that divert combustible gas from your unit to outside your home, called vent pipes, are another area of your unit that is at risk for corrosion. Although you should only allow a professional to perform maintenance on these pipes, you can keep an eye for corrosion by checking them regularly. If you see what looks like a rusty hole in the pipe, call a service technician right away.
If you have questions about maintaining your water heater, call the experts at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors, Inc. We’ve proudly served the Monmouth County area since 1948.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about water heater corrosion and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.