Rust comes from iron, which is found in abundance in almost all tap water around the world. The higher the level of iron content in your water, the faster rust will build up on appliances made up of or containing any form of iron.

Water heaters that use gas burners are not immune to rust buildup. Once rust gets into the water heater, it can cause a decrease in the appliance’s efficiency and a shortened lifespan.

But have you thought about stopping the rust before it starts? Here are some tips that will help you lower your chances of having a rust problem on your water heater.

1. Internal corrosion is a result of iron dissolving in the water. The internal parts of the water heater are composed primarily of cast iron, galvanized steel, or stainless steel. Over time, the iron in the water reacts with these metals and corrupts them. Eventually, rust accumulates on the inner walls of your water heater tank

2. Water temperature is directly responsible for the rate at which iron dissolves into your tap water. The hotter your water heater runs, the more likely your water will become contaminated with rust. A higher water temperature results in greater dissolved oxygen inside the tank, which means more free iron is floating around.

3. Corrosion inhibitors are chemicals added to the water heater to prevent corrosion. One of the most commonly used is tri-calcium phosphate which is added to the factory when the water heater is manufactured.

4. Corrosion inhibitors can lose their effectiveness over time, allowing rust to form at an accelerated rate. Even though corrosion inhibitors are mainly used to prevent the initial buildup of rust on your water heater, these chemicals are still present after a few years.

5. Several symptoms indicate rust is accumulating on the inside of your water heater tank, which can make its way into your tap water and ultimately result in rusty-tasting water. In most cases, the symptoms will be noticed before rust accumulates to an extent where it compromises the effectiveness of corrosion inhibitors.

There are many ways on how does rust gets on your water heater; knowing them can help you prevent it from happening to you. If rust has already gotten onto your water heater, it is best to call a professional for assistance in cleaning it off. If left untouched, rust can lead to bigger problems than simply looking unsightly. Cleaning rust off of your water heater is easy to take; knowing how will make it easier for you to clean your water heater. Knowing how does rust gets on your water heater is the first step in preventing it from happening.


For more information, contact Vinny’s Jersey Plumbing, located in Wayne, New Jersey.  We also service other cities in New Jersey, such as Ridgewood, Cliffside Park and Saddle River.