Storage tank water heaters go through a lot of wear and tear as part of regular daily use, which means that without maintenance, these appliances have the potential to break down far too quickly. You can boost efficiency and significantly extend the lifespan of your water heater with these tips to control corrosion. Some of these tips are meant for electric water heaters while others are for gas-fueled models. If there’s anything you feel uncomfortable handling, contact a professional.
- Protect the electrical elements. Galvanic corrosion can occur when two metals come into contact with each other. This is a common problem in the electrical elements of an electric-powered water heater, and it can cause the heating elements to falter or stop working altogether. The best way to prevent this problem is to install galvanized unions with plastic nipples on the top of the tank.
- Check the combustion chamber. One of the most common places for corrosion to occur is inside the combustion chamber of a gas water heater. To inspect the chamber for combustion, first set the gas control to “pilot,” remove the hatch cover and draft diverter, and then raise the baffle inside the flue pipe and shine a flashlight inside. If you see signs of corrosion, contact a professional for service.
- Help anodes do their job. The anodes in your water heater prevent corrosion in other parts of the appliance by allowing corrosion to take place in the anode rod itself. But if the anodes become encased in calcium carbonate, it prevents them from functioning. Inspect the anodes for corrosion, and have them replaced if necessary.
- Keep vent pipes clear. Unfortunately, there’s not much an average homeowner can do to remove corrosion from the vent pipes that carry combustible gas from your gas-fueled water heater. What you can do is inspect the pipes for corrosion – sometimes visible as a rusted hole in the pipe – and contact a professional immediately if you see a problem. Vent pipe corrosion can pose a serious safety concern, so don’t hesitate to call.
To learn more about water heater maintenance – and for all your hot water needs – please contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We provide expert service throughout the Indianapolis area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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