Corrosion refers to the process of gradual destruction of metal due to a chemical or electro-chemical reactions. Most people are quite familiar with the way metal rusts after extended exposure to water; this is corrosion. Unfortunately, corrosion isn’t a good thing, and it can happen within your water tank heater. In terms of your home’s water heater, corrosion can occur when oxygen and water come in contact with the metal materials of the tank. Surprisingly, even tankless heaters are vulnerable to corrosion, due to the water dripping on gas burners. While not all corroded water tank heaters need to be replaced entirely, all types of corrosion involving your water heater needs to be professional addressed.
A water heater is built to resist corrosion. Most models have interior walls that are lined with glass. In addition, there is a pressure relief valve that sits on top of the tank that is designed to keep air (oxygen) out the tank. Finally, water tank heaters have a special rod (sacrificial anode rod) that runs directly through the tank in an attempt to attract forces of corrosion so that the rest of the tank is kept free of corrosion – quite the heroic component!
While modern water tank heaters have features in place to prevent corrosion, it still occurs from time to time. And it is not a problem to take lightly. When parts of a water tank heater are corroded, the whole system is at risk because the metal of tank is weakened or compromised. In result, your water heater may lose effectiveness or begin to leak.
Depending on the severity of the corrosion and the age of your tank, a professional plumber may be able to simply replace a few parts or recommend a whole new system. If you notice any areas of corrosion on your water tank heater (tankless or standard), call the experts at Metro Septic and Plumbing. We service all types of residential and commercial water tank heaters in the greater Atlanta area.