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How Corrosion Can Shorten the Life of Your Water Heater

Posted on July 31, 2014

The lifespan of your water heater depends on several variables. A major variable and common cause of water heater malfunction is corrosion. By learning the causes of corrosion and how to protect your heater against it, you can greatly increase its lifespan.

Corrosion can happen in the following parts of your heater:

  • Electrical Elements
  • Combustion Chambers
  • Anodes
  • Vent pipes

Electrical heaters can have problems with galvanic corrosion. This occurs when two heating elements in the heater– the inner steel and outer copper– become wet. In gas heaters, the combustion chambers can develop rust and this poses an immediate threat.

To prevent corrosion, regularly check your heater’s combustion chambers for rust. If your home uses a water softening system, the salt in that system can corrode your anodes. For this reason, you should have the anodes inspected by a qualified technician as part of yearly maintenance. To prevent galvanic corrosion, try changing your pipe nipples from metal to plastic. The nipples should be placed where the water lines come out from the wall and also at the point that they connect to the tank. A combination of regular inspections and preventative measures can keep your heater from rusting or corroding.

Contact us at Comfort Systems HVAC and Plumbing Services for more information on water heater repair or corrosion, or for any other questions related to your HVAC or plumbing systems. We provide quality and affordable service to Wichita and the surrounding area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about water heaters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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