Does Water Softening Promote Corrosion of a Hot Water Heater?

Water softening products can promote corrosion of a hot water heater in your home. However, water softeners and water softening products are important for people who live in hard water areas. Hard water is made up of a variety of minerals, calcium and magnesium are the two most abundant minerals, and these minerals can damage hair, clothing, bedding, dishes, and skin.

Hard water often leaves a residue behind when it binds to soap and this residue is sticky and itchy. Water softening products will remove those minerals and replace them with salt. Soft water will not leave behind an uncomfortable and unclean residue, but it will shorten the lifespan of your hot water heater. We can help you keep your water soft without harming your water heater.

Why Do Water Softening Products Promote Corrosion in Hot Water Heaters

The first step towards taking care of your hot water heater is understanding “why” water softening products can damage your hot water heater. Most water heaters will last anywhere from six to fifteen years depending on how well they are maintained and how often they are serviced.

As your water heater works to heat up your water, the metal begins to corrode. To ensure that the corrosion doesn’t occur too quickly, there are anodes inside of the water heater. These anodes absorb the corrosion so that the metal surface of the water heater does not corrode. Water softening products, however, corrode the anodes more quickly compared to hard water. If the anodes are not replaced, then the metal of your hot water tank will corrode. This is what leads to the need for an early hot water replacement.

What Can You Do To Save Your Hot Water Heaters From Water Softening Products?

To save your hot water heaters from water softening products, you need to more frequently service your machines and replace the anodes. We recommend replacing the anodes every two to four years and having a professional check your anodes annually. Replacing the anodes when they have been corroded means that your water heater tank won’t suffer corrosion. When the anodes need to be replaced, simply replace them with new anodes and the metal in your hot water tank will remain corrosion-free.

Other causes of corrosion are low TDS water, high TDS water, low pH water, and high pH water. We recommend asking your service professional to check these four indicators annually when they review your anode situation. Contact us for more information about how to protect your water heater, service your machine and avoid corrosion.

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