New water heater tank exterior corrosion

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Bigben2010

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I'm a consumer looking for opinions. I just had a new Rheem electric water heater installed. There is corrosion on the tank, as you can see in the photo. In my opinion, it's a result of a poor coating job on the tank, and exposure to water or maybe just Florida humidity. You can see there are pinhole coating defects where corrosion may continue.

If I'm right about the bad coating job, the corrosion is probably not limited to what we can see, which is at the bottom access window.

The installer said he called Rheem and they assumed no responsibility, nor did the installer. I don't know if he also went to his supplier.

As far as I'm concerned, the equipment arrived damaged and the installer should replace it. Speculation about the present or future potential effects of the corrosion doesn't change that fact.

You pros out there, what is your opinion? Does the installer, a Master Plumber who is owner of a plumbing company, owe me a new water heater? As a professional what would you have done when I reported this to you a day after the installation?

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Thanks in advance.
 
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phog

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It's hard to see from that picture whether we're looking at the exterior surface of the tank itself, or just a metal cover. Can you confirm that this is in fact the tank surface we're seeing the rust on? Or is there perhaps an insulation layer underneath the rusted metal?
 

Bigben2010

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It's hard to see from that picture whether we're looking at the exterior surface of the tank itself, or just a metal cover. Can you confirm that this is in fact the tank surface we're seeing the rust on? Or is there perhaps an insulation layer underneath the rusted metal?

It's the tank,, as the installer confirmed upon inspection.
 

WorthFlorida

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Please provide a picture further away and the model number of the water heater. It this a tankless or heatpump heater? Never seen a cover come off a water heater?
 

Bigben2010

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This is a PROE50 T2 RH95. The photos are taken with the lower access cover off. Here's another shot. Rust is present in all the visible area behind the white nylon safety guard.

I have no reason to believe that it's limited to the only the visible part of the steel tank, which appears to have a powder-coat finish, or robotically sprayed finish.

From the looks of it, I suspect that the tank surface was not properly degreased before it was coated. That would lead to poor coating adhesion and corrosion.

Thanks for your interest.

Ben
 

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Bigben2010

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This is normal, Even if it didn't have this, it would show up in a month. Its just surface rust, if it bothers you sand it off

Thanks. So you see this often?

But why does the manufacturer go to the expense of painting the outside of the tank? As the photo shows, there's no rust where the gray coating is intact. It seems there's a reason to coat the tank and it's not cosmetic. It's to prevent corrosion, which eats steel away.
 

Bigben2010

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The rust I worry about would be on the inside of the tank. That's the part submerged in water all the time.

Thanks, Terry, I agree that interior corrosion would be worse, but that's why there's a glass lining and sacrificial anode. And with little exposure to air, inside the tank, oxidation is slow. Think of shipwrecks decades underwater that are in fairly good shape until the come out the water where humidity and air produce rapid corrosion.

A defective exterior coating is what's allowing the corrosion on my Easter heater tank. How often have you seen that My contractor denied it could happen. He'd never seen it before. Until he saw mine heater.
 

marie

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I’ve been searching online to see if rust on the outside of the tank of my brand new gas water heater is normal. This thread came up in my google search.

I spotted what I think is rust when investigating a crackling and banging noise coming from my new WH (installed 9/30/21). Based on the answers given above, I’m assuming the rust/corrosion is nothing to worry about, but I’m hoping someone here can tell me what they think? Thanks!
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It’s a Bradford White gas water heater.
 
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marie

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Unless you have water on the floor its probably condensation
you just have to keep an eye on it.... Also the heat baffle going up
the middle of the heater could need to be adjusted closer to center....
It might be rubbing against the flu pipe...

Thank you! No water on the floor and I was able to get a better look at it and shine a light through the vent holes and, to me, it looks like the rust is on a seam. I’ll post a few more pictures. As far as the heat baffle, is that for the noise that I mentioned? My plumber said that the crackling (hearing it when the burner turns off) and the bang (I hear the bang about a minute or so after the burner turns off) are due to expansion from the cold weather…(although it’s not really cold, we are in Southern California:) I’ll mention the baffle to him.
 
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Jeff H Young

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If that's the way the tank looked the day it was installed . I wouldn't be happy as a customer, and as a professional I would not take delivery and install it without telling customer, just like a huge dent on a water heater or installing horribly finished or chipped fixtures I don't do it. I'm going by what big ben said that its "NEW" not damaged or discounted for cosmetics, cosmetic condition matters on everything in my opinion.
 

marie

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If that's the way the tank looked the day it was installed . I wouldn't be happy as a customer, and as a professional I would not take delivery and install it without telling customer, just like a huge dent on a water heater or installing horribly finished or chipped fixtures I don't do it. I'm going by what big ben said that its "NEW" not damaged or discounted for cosmetics, cosmetic condition matters on everything in my opinion.

I’ll contact my plumber so he can come have a
look. Thank you!
 
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