How to Remove and Prevent Rust in your Water Heater

You might find yourself in need of water heater repair services as a result of rust. The the build-up of rust shortens the lifespan of water heaters. Water heater tanks are usually made of glass-lined steel. If water gets through the glass, the steel will rust and there will be a leak.

Water heater tanks do not have inspection ports. So it is difficult to tell the difference between when it is beginning to rust and when it is just dirty. This means tank rust is usually discovered after the development of a leak. At this time it is usually too late.

This does not mean there is no hope. Most water heaters have a long rod. The long rod is known as either sacrificial anode or a cathodic anode. It prevents the walls from rusting.

When the anode fails, the walls of the water heater’s tank begin to rust. Sediment collects at the bottom. This has a negative impact on the heater’s level of performance. As much as a do-it-yourself removal of this sediment is possible, you will need to drain and flush the tank. Once the reservoir is clean, a replacement of the anode should prevent the rust from building up again.

Preventing Rust from Building up In Your Water Heater

DetermWater heater repairining the anode’s condition by just looking at your water heater is almost impossible. Even for professional providers of hot water tank repair services. You must turn off both the water and power before you can use a wrench to remove the anode.

Check your water heater’s anode for signs of deterioration at least twice a year. You will have a better idea of how long it might last. Include the replacement of this rod in your maintenance schedule.


To prevent the development of rust in your water heater’s tank and also prevent potential damages. You should replace the sacrificial anode. The process of replacing the sacrificial anode might only take about 30 minutes.

You will  have to buy a sacrificial anode from a plumbing-supply company since they are rarely available at local hardware stores. Since anodes come in various shapes and sizes, you must be prepared to provide your water heater’s make and model to be sure you get the right replacement unit. This information is on the labeling on the water heater’s housing.

How to Remove Built Up Rust in a Water Heater

Draining and flushing the tank

hot water tank repair services You need to drain out the water to remove built up rust from the bottom of a water heater’s tank. First the power off and shut off the incoming water.

Attach a hose onto the outlet drain and run the water either outside or into a sink after you have opened a hot water faucet to admit air. By repeatedly filling up the tank with approximately five gallons of cold water and then draining it all out, you can flush out most of the sediment.





Brushing and draining rust

Use a wrench to unscrew the drain valve once the tank is empty and then remove it to access the bottom. Use a long and narrow brush, one that fits through the opening, to loosen the rust. You will then have the following options when it comes to the removal of the sediment:
• Attach a hose to the outlet drain to replace the valve and repeatedly flush the tank by filling it with about five gallons of water and then allowing it drain.
• Use a vacuum cleaner.

Using a vacuum cleaner

You can use 3/4-inch polybutylene to reconfigure the vacuum’s hose so that it fits inside the drain opening. Use duct tape to wrap around the hose opening, securing it to the hose and creating an airtight seal. Brush after vacuuming and then vacuum once more to provide as thorough a clean as possible. Remember to replace the valve once done and use plumbing tape to wrap the threads, ensuring a watertight seal.

Replacing sacrificial anodes

According to experts, you need to replace the sacrificial anode periodically since it is designed to deteriorate. This long rod is usually a metal that corrodes at a faster rate compared to the steel walls of water heater tanks and it screws onto the tank’s top. The type of metal you choose for your anode should depend on the type of water you use.

The sacrificial anode prevents the walls of the tank from rusting by attracting most of the corrosive minerals inside the water. Replacement of the sacrificial anode is done by:

  •  first turning off the power
  • shutting off the water
  • unscrewing and lifting it out of the tank’s top.

You must replace it only with an anode specifically designed for your water heater.
If you are unable to perform the repair and maintenance steps listed above. It is best that you immediately contact Reno water heater installation services. Contact us if you need water heater repair services as well as hot water heater installation services in Reno.

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