What Northern Utah Homeowners Should Know About Water Heater Corrosion

Water heater corrosion is unfortunately a common issue here in northern Utah!

Closeup of Stack of corroded steel pipes with worn insulation industrial background. Rusty waterpipes stacked up

There’s no denying just how nasty water heater corrosion can be for you and your home’s entire plumbing system. It’s normal to start considering a water heater replacement when you notice rust on your unit.

The truth is that water heater corrosion can be caused by many different things, and it’s very likely that you’ve done nothing wrong. It’s also important to remember that just a tiny bit of corrosion or rust can lead to significant repairs and pretty big problems, which is why it’s so important for northern Utah homeowners to be informed about water heater corrosion.

Here’s our comprehensive overview detailing everything you need to know about water heater corrosion!

Common Causes of Water Heater Corrosion

Corrosion of all types occurs when metal materials are exposed to harsh elements, and corrosion technically is a chemical reaction that breaks down metal. The most common type of corrosion is rust, which occurs when metal is exposed to water.

Although today’s water heater systems are specifically designed to resist corrosion, it’s common for heating elements to corrode over long periods of time. Most water heaters are only meant to last around 10-15 years, and corrosion tends to be a significant issue as water heaters get older.

Is Water Heater Corrosion Always Bad?

Yes, water heater corrosion is always a significant issue that home and business owners need to take very seriously. These situations usually require significant maintenance and water heater repairs in order to fix them.

However, it’s also important to remember that there are scenarios in which you’ll only require partial replacements, and there are other scenarios in which you’ll need full system replacements.

The extent of your repair will largely depend upon the severity of your corrosion and the age of your water heater.

Water Heater Corrosion Warning Signs

The good news is that water heater corrosion is often easy to detect, and some common red flags to be on the lookout include:

Water Discoloration

One of the most common warning signs associated with water heater corrosion is any discoloration to your home’s hot water supply. If you see any kind of orange, brown, or red hue in your shower or sink water, it means that it’s time to get your water heater checked for potential corrosion.

This discoloration typically comes from rust in your water heater unit, which pollutes the water that’s subsequently dispersed throughout your plumbing system.

Water Heater Leaks

Another water heater corrosion red flag is when your system is leaking. This is because metal corrosion is often connected to significant breakdowns, which leads to leaks or holes.

Can Corroded Water Heaters Be Fixed?

Depending upon your specific issue, it’s possible for corroded water heaters to be fully repaired.

This is particularly the case when only a smaller component of your water heater system has corroded. But when your tank is corroding, it often requires a replacement.

This is why it’s so important to have experienced plumbers closely examine your water heater when you’re experiencing corrosion, because we’ll be able to help you identify the source of the corrosion and your best course of action.

Removing Corrosion From Water Heater Pipes

It’s also possible to clean or remove corrosion on water heater pipes, just as long as the corrosion isn’t too significant.

Because water runs through these pipes on a daily basis, this type of corrosion is actually very common. The good news is that simply scrubbing the outside of your pipes with white vinegar should do the trick when you notice any flaky or rust corrosion.

However, it’s important to remember that galvanic corrosion is a much more serious issue. In these situations, it’s recommended to leave any repairs in the hands of professional plumbers.

How to Prevent a Rusty Water Heater

Water heater corrosion can be difficult to avoid, and this is partly because this type of corrosion occurs naturally.

What’s great is that northern Utah homeowners can prevent the likelihood of experiencing a rusty water heater when they keep the following plumbing maintenance tips in mind:

Frequently Drain Your Water Heater Tank

Many homeowners don’t realize this, but you’re supposed to drain out your water heater tank at least annually to avoid mineral buildup. This is especially true in regions like northern Utah that experience high levels of calcium and magnesium within municipal water sources.

Thankfully, it’s relatively simple to drain your water heater tank and obtain the many benefits associated with this draining!

Professional Water Heater Assessments

You can also call industry specialists like our Master Plumbers to check up on your water heater system each year.

This is by far the best way to prevent corrosion because we’ll be able to recognize any lingering issues that could get worse in the near future.

Pay Close Attention To Your Water Heater System

Another way to avoid a rusty water heater is to simply be aware of any abnormal noises, smells, sights or tastes that originate from your unit.

You should always be extra vigilant when you notice any whistling, banging, or knocking sounds. Weird water smells or tastes should also be taken very seriously.

Are You Having Water Heater Corrosion Problems At Your Home?

It’s crucial to act quickly when you have water heater corrosion issues because rust can spread, and leaks can quickly create water damage.

Beehive Plumbing offers comprehensive water heater services, including repairs, maintenance, and replacements. Our certified industry experts will make these situations much less stressful and easier to manage, and we’re only just a phone call away when you need us in northern Utah.

Reach out to us online or call 801-849-3831 to let us know what type of corrosion you’re currently dealing with!

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