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September 19,2023

How to Check Your Water Heater for Corrosion

Water heaters are vital appliances, providing hot water for everything from showering and dishwashing to making tea. To make sure it continues working effectively, performing regular maintenance checks, such as inspecting it for corrosion, is necessary to ensure its ongoing successful operation and avoid water heater repair. Corrosion can lead to leaks, decreased efficiency, or costly repair or replacement expenses. Mr. Rooter Plumbing shows how checking your water heater for corrosion can detect problems quickly and extend its lifespan.

Corrosion Matters

Corrosion refers to the gradual degradation of metal due to chemical reactions with its environment - typically water and oxygen - leading to its gradual erosion and degradation. When applied to your water heater, corrosion can occur inside its tank and on external components, weakening structural support components and leading to leakage issues, necessitating repair work or replacement from professional plumbers or plumbing services. Corrosion should always be considered an issue that requires attention to reduce further damages that might ensue from its consequences - both financially and by protecting its components against future corrosion damage caused by chemicals from its surroundings involving oxygen.

Schedule regular inspections to identify corrosion in your water heater early and take preventative steps that will save money by averting costly repairs. Here's an outline of what steps are involved with inspecting for corrosion on water heaters.

  • Safety First: Before embarking, take precautionary steps. Shut off the power supply to the water heater and disconnect any gas or electrical sources if applicable, allowing hot water to dissipate before continuing work as it may still be dangerously scalding hot.
  • Examine the Exterior: Start by inspecting the exterior of your water heater to detect signs of corrosion on its tank's surface, pipes, and connections - particularly any pressure relief valve, inlet, and outlet pipes, as these areas tend to experience corrosion over time. When corrosion also appears outside, this could indicate further internal issues within.
  • Check for Leaks: Corrosion-caused leaks in your water heater should never be ignored; carefully examine its surrounding environment for water pools or dampness at its base to check for indicators. Even minor signs could signal corrosion; don't ignore leakage, as even small problems could lead to costly repair bills if left unattended.
  • Checking an Anode Rod: An anode rod attracts corrosion to protect a tank, acting like an anode in its place and attracting it away from vital components within. Over time, however, its ability to attract corrosion may become depleted, and it should be checked regularly with these steps:

Locate an access point for an anode rod on top of the water heater, using a wrench to loosen and remove it. Then, inspect its condition carefully to detect signs of corrosion or significant wear - any that look severely corroded, smaller than half their original size, should be changed out for a new one immediately.

  • Drain Your Tank: To gain a clear view inside your water heater, emptying and draining its tank may be beneficial. Simply follow these steps.

When your tank has reached a suitable drain point, connect a hose to its drain valve located at its base. B. Position one end in an appropriate drainage location, such as a floor drain or bucket, before opening its drain valve to release excess water - although take caution as hot water could remain! c. Release pressure by opening your drain valve before letting out excess liquid.

Once the tank is empty, use a flashlight to inspect its interior using an inspection probe or flashlight and look out for signs of corrosion, sediment build-up, or rust flakes. If significant corrosion appears, it might be best to immediately contact a plumber or plumbing service for evaluation and further action.

  • Reassemble and Test: After inspecting the tank, close its drain valve and reconnect any loose anode rods (if applicable). Reconnect the water supply and fill the tank. Turn back the power or gas supply. Check for leakage around connections.

Mr. Rooter Plumbing

Our expert professionals are well-equipped to inspect your water heater for corrosion damage, helping extend its longevity and effectiveness. We offer visual assessments, anode rod inspections, and tank draining to detect corrosion issues before they become serious problems quickly.

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