Corrosion Protection for Your Home Water Heater(s)
There are many places where Zerust® Vapor Corrosion Inhibitors (VCIs) can be useful in your home, and you can check those out in another one of our blog posts here.
Probably the most important corrosion protection application in your home is for your water heater(s). Even though Zerust does not offer a product specifically for water heater protection, as both a homeowner and corrosion industry professional, I do have some tips for fellow homeowners in regards to corrosion protection.
If you are not already aware, your water heater comes with a galvanic anode already installed. If it doesn’t have an anode, it probably wouldn’t last more than a couple years. The anode depletes over time to protect the steel tank of the water heater, when the anode is depleted, the steel tank will rapidly corrode and you will be calling a plumber to replace it, while you clean up the mess.
With the right ratchet, an anode rod can be replaced in about 5 minutes and usually cost about $30.00 at your local hardware store. If you have a water heater failure, depending on the size of water heater you need, they can cost several hundred dollars and up. If you go the local plumber route, that cost can easily hit $1,000.00 or more.
An anode rod is a steel core wire surrounded with one of three different metals. These metals include aluminum, magnesium, and zinc. Your water quality and sometimes odor, can be affected by the metal anode you choose. It may be worth checking your water quality and then choosing the best metal for your situation. A 4th option is the use of a titanium impressed current anode. This is a DC current Cathodic Protection system for your water heater.
If you’re not already familiar with how to change out your anode, click here for a video that will show you how to go about it. If there is less than about 4’ of space above your water heater, make sure to use a flexible anode. Personally, I change my anode about every 5 years.
Now, as I mentioned before, below are some other home applications of VCI products that may be of interest.