Photos of WH Corrosion: Scrub or Call Landlord?

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by nephifofum, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. nephifofum

    nephifofum New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    This electric hot water heater was installed four or five years ago.


    My first question is about the rust-colored corrosion shown below:
    one.jpg 1.jpg 2.jpg
    Should I use a paste made out of baking soda or something and (try to) scrub this stuff off, or should I contact the landlord, or... ?


    Also:
    5.jpg 9.jpg
    What would be the best way/materials to keep creepy crawlies (spiders) from entering through these messes left in the wall?


    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  2. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

    Messages:
    329
    Location:
    USA
    leave it alone. if it leaks, it's not your problem, it is the landlord's issue. it's probably not even a problem. I never have understood why a tenant wants to inspect and have a need to fix things they do not own... spray some raid around the penetration and call it good.
  3. nephifofum

    nephifofum New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    hoping your other 260 posts aren't as big of a waste as this one

    Maybe your lack of understanding comes from not knowing the situation. This hot water heater isn't hidden in a basement or concealed behind a partition; it's exposed and sits right next to the toilet. Why *wouldn't* I be interested in removing unsightly corrosion? It's a fixture in my bathroom, just like the sink is, and I'd prefer to keep both in working order. Tenants have a responsibility to keep an eye on things and report possible problems. Whether it ends up leaking or not, corrosion is by definition a type of disrepair, and while you might be fine letting the problem turn into a costly repair just because someone else is footing the bill, I'd rather prevent a full-blown problem if possible. Also, my general interest in the hot water heater stems from the realization that the tanks can be a great source of emergency drinking water, but not if they aren't properly maintained.
  4. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

    Messages:
    329
    Location:
    USA
    I am a landlord, and I would not for one, rent out a place with an exposed water heater in the bathroom. Secondly, i would advise you to not touch my property. one, you may injure yourself, two, you may break something i did not authorize you to repair. you would be responsible for paying for any repairs. I would advise you to call your landlord and have him look at it, let him decide what he wants to do with his property. the rust on the anode tube nut is probably from high humidity in the bathroom. i'm pretty sure that there may be a code issue with having a water heater in the bath, right next to a toilet. if you are so concerned about looks of the water heater, you can start by removing the unsightly labels on the flex tube. i'm sure you could cover up the rust stain with a chrome cap, or maybe even paint it to blend in with the bathroom.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2012
  5. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Baking soda is used to neutralize acid corrosion on battery terminals. Rust corrosion is removed WITH an acidic cleaner, such as clr. I do not recommend messing with a water heater. Probably surface corrosion from humidity.

    electric WH can be in the bathroom; I would like to ensure the relief discharge is safe!

    Tenants are responsible to keep the sink and floor clean. They are NOT responsible for any maintenance on mechanical equipment. Strictly hands off on that.
    Your landlord would be happy to have a plumber take a look, so you should mention it to him.
  6. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    Chad gave you the best advice. Call the landlord if you got any issues. You could also, void a warranty by doing any work yourself and, that would not be good. Plus, some states like Massachusetts for one, do not allow DIY plumbing. There are things you may not be aware of, which makes Chad's advice the best bet.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2012
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,615
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    That corrosion is at the anode rod which is factory installed and VERY, VERY tight so it should NOT have leaked. Therefore there may be a different problem such as tank leak which rusted itself closed after a time.
  8. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,347
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    As HJ pointed out, the rust is on the anode rod, is not causing any kind of problem now. Leave it alone. The greenish corrosion is on the brass nipples and is quite normal. It's good advice not to mess with appliances that belong to the house. I know that getting some landlords to take notice of things is sometimes difficult, but that goes with being a renter.
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