Our team is growing! View our current openings. Read More

Skip navigation

Serving the Treasure Valley Area

Serving the Treasure Valley Area
Family Owned Since 2003


Idaho Heating & Air Blog

Does Rust on a Water Heater Mean It Must Be Replaced?

If you notice rust anywhere on your water heater, it is a bad sign. However, rust in some places is worse than others. If you have noticed rust on your water heater or in the hot water coming from your faucets, you need to get your water heater checked out sooner rather than later.

Our team is here to help with water heater repair in Boise, ID. We are plumbing experts, and can help with everything from repairs and installation to the electrical and gas lines that are connected to your water heater. Keep reading to learn more about what it means when you see rust on various parts of your water heater.

Rust in the Water 

Rust in the water coming from your faucets is a bad sign because it can indicate that there is corrosion inside of your hot water tank. However, if you also have rust in your cold water, then your water heater may not be to blame. Turn your hot water all the way on and fill up a glass. If it is rust colored, check your cold water too. If only the hot water has a rusty tinge, then the tank is likely to blame. Once rust begins inside of a water heater, there’s not much we can do to fix it. It’s time to invest in a new system for your home.

Your water heater does come with a built-in feature to prevent rust called the sacrificial anode rod. However, the rod needs to be replaced every few years as it wears down. Our team can check it during maintenance appointments. Replacing this rod on time can help prevent rust and extend the life of your water heater. 

Rust on the Top of the Water Heater

If you notice rust on top of your water tank, it may be caused by an exterior drip. There’s a chance that we could repair the damage and prevent it from getting inside of the tank. First, we will repair the leak that is causing water damage. Then we can address the corrosion itself.

Rust on the Heat Exchanger

If you have a gas-powered water heater, you may notice rust on the heat exchanger. This can be very dangerous because rust on the heat exchanger can indicate gas corrosion. There’s a chance that you have a gas leak that needs to be repaired. If natural gas is leaking out of your water heater connection, it puts your home and family at risk. There’s a higher chance for fire hazards, and breathing in natural gas can be very harmful for your health and even fatal. The good news is, our team can replace your heat exchanger and repair the gas leak without an impact to your water heater at all. 

Rust on the Sides of the Tank

If you begin to notice rust on the sides of your water tank, that’s a red flag. There is corrosion inside the tank that has made its way to the exterior. Our team can check it out, but there is a very good chance that you will need to replace your entire water heater. This type of rust usually only develops in much older water heaters, so it’s already time to replace your water heater anyway.

Here at Idaho Heating & Air, Your Comfort Is Our Priority! Contact us today to schedule an appointment for heating assistance.

Comments are closed.

Join Our Mailing List: