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Smart Ways to Prevent and Remove Rust from Your Home’s Water Heater

Smart Ways to Prevent and Remove Rust from Your Home's Water HeaterHave you started noticing any discoloration in your home’s water? Is your water heater leaking? Reddish-colored water and leaks are common signs your water heating system is starting to rust.

The typical water heater is lined with glass-lined steel. As such, if water finds an imperfection in the glass, it’s only a matter of time for the steel tank to begin rusting from the inside out — unless you stay on top of maintenance.

Rust Removal

Regular water heater maintenance includes mini flushes every few months by draining a gallon of water from the bib at the bottom of the storage tank. A full tank flush should be performed once a year to remove deposits and check for rusty water. Here’s how you can flush your tank and remove rust:

  • Shut off the power (gas and/or electricity) to the system.
  • Turn off the water inlet.
  • Attach a hose to the drain bib.
  • Extend the hose to a place where you can fully drain the tank (40 to 80 gallons), such as your yard or tub.
  • Open the drain bib and flush out the tank.
  • Turn on the water inlet and continue flushing the tank for a few more minutes.
  • Before you refill the tank, check the anode rod to prevent rust.

Rust Prevention

Water heaters are equipped with a device that attracts metals and impurities in the water, so the impurities don’t corrode and rust the inside of your tank. This device is called an anode rod, and it should be replaced every two to three years before it deteriorates. When the anode rod has depleted its useful life, your tank is left undefended against corrosion and rust.

Now, after you’ve drained your storage tank of rust, sediment and deposits, remove and replace the anode rod before refilling the tank. The anode rod may be removed from the top of the storage tank with a wrench. Afterwards, take it to the hardware store for a match, and install the replacement before refilling the water heater.

If you need more water heater tips for your Fresno home, please contact Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area 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.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Samuel Acosta/Shutterstock”