Water heaters are a key feature in any household that wants to survive the cold winter months. While they are effective at providing you that warm shower you deserve, the system itself is not designed to last forever. In fact, most heaters have an operating lifespan of six to ten years.
Corrosion is a problem in many metal structures and appliances, and water heaters are no exception. R.A. Biel Plumbing & Heating, Inc., your heating repair experts, shares what this means for your water heater.
Water Heaters and the Sacrificial Anode
How the water heater operates actually guarantees that it will rust and corrode at some point in time, which is why many are installed with a sacrificial anode. This sits inside the tank and, as its name suggests, will rust so that the entire tank doesn’t.
The tanks themselves are lined with glass while an overfill tank creates an air cushion that keeps oxygen away and prevents rust from forming. Keep in mind that these preventive measures are not a 100% guarantee that your water heater won’t rust.
When it Rusts
Things start becoming more worrisome when the corrosion and rust start forming across the tank’s surface and even on the outside. This is a clear sign that the sacrificial node has completely rusted and gone bad, and the heater itself retired and replaced. This is more likely to happen when the heater itself is installed in the basement as the space is naturally humid.
Corrosion risks are why we’re advocates of preventive heater repairs. These problems can easily fly under your radar and will only manifest when it’s starting to cause extensive problems in your home.
Addressing the Rust
Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to repair a corroded heater tank other than replacing it. Keep in mind that corrosion itself is a sign that the heater may be past its service life. The only time you can fix a corrosion problem is if it starts on the heat exchanger or another smaller component of the system.
At R.A. Biel Plumbing & Heating, we offer HVAC and water heater repairs. You can count on us to help you address your heating, cooling, and plumbing concerns. Callus at (505) 672-7888 or (970) 884-3358 to learn more about our services.