The most common cause of a failed water heater is corrosion, and there are certain parts of a typical water heater that are more prone to damage than others. With the following tips, you can begin controlling corrosion, before it leaves your Grand Traverse home without any hot water.
Parts Affected By Corrosion:
- Combustion Chamber: Between the constant cycles of heating and cooling, moisture released in the combustion process and condensation forming when the heater cools, the combustion chamber is a perfect spot for corrosion. It can either cause the heating system to fail entirely or for it to release harmful byproducts, such as carbon monoxide. Controlling corrosion begins by periodically removing the hatch cover and draft diverter, then raising the baffle to get a good look down the flue pipe. If you notice excessive corrosion, contact your plumber.
- Vent Pipe: Like the combustion chamber, the vent pipe is subjected to heating, cooling and excessive moisture. Check the outside of the pipes periodically for signs of corrosion, and have them repaired if any holes develop that can allow combustion gases to escape.
- Heating Elements: In electric water heaters, it is common for the heating elements to fail periodically, because they are made of steel, surrounded by with a thin copper coating. Contact between two differing metals can allow galvanic corrosion to occur in the presence of moisture, eventually leading to the element’s failure. For controlling corrosion in these systems, use galvanized unions with plastic nipples at the top of the tank.
- Anode: The anode rod is designed to attract corrosion, sacrificing itself to prevent corrosion in the steel tank. Hard water can prevent the anode from doing its job by completely covering it in minerals. Have the anode checked by your plumber periodically.
Have your anode rod checked regularly, especially if you use a water softener, and install nipples with plastic liners on the supply pipes to prevent galvanic corrosion.
To learn more about controlling corrosion in your water heater, contact our experts at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing. We serve Grand Traverse County and the surrounding areas.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas 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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