Rusted Hot Water Tank

by Pam
(Bancroft, Ontario)


We have an outdoor wood furnace. We had a sidearm for our hot water tank but we have gone through 4 tanks in less then 2 yrs. The hot water tanks keep rusting out.

We have had to disconnect our hot water tank from using it with the wood furnace which is unfortunate because that was a big selling feature for us.

Is there a solution?



Your rusted hot water heater tank issue has me puzzled. From my experience, and after talking to several other people who use a sidearm heat exchanger, the sidearm should not cause your hot water tank to prematurely rust out.

A hot water tank should last around 6-15 years (or longer) before you have any issues with a leaking tank due to rust.

Plus, your hot water tank should have an anode rod inside of it that prevents the rust from destroying your tank. The anode rod is designed to deteriorate before the tank.

The anode rod is typically located on the top of your tank. It's a long rod that goes into the water and you should remove it and check it every once in a while to make sure it's still intact. Using a water softener can sometimes cause the anode rod to deteriorate faster.

Since a sidearm heat exchanger slowly moves your domestic water through the heat exchanger using a thermosiphon process, the slowly moving water should not cause your tank to rust out prematurely.

Here's my suggestion to solve your problem. Sometimes transient current can cause corrosion. It's a possibility that your outdoor wood furnace (or something else) is not grounded properly and small amounts of transient current are running through the sidearm heat exchanger. If this is the case, just make sure the incoming and outgoing pipes are grounded and it should solve your issue.

I hope this helps,

Firewood For Life

Click here to post comments

Return to Ask A Question.

Recent Articles

  1. How To Season Firewood - 10 Tips For Dry Firewood

    Mar 01, 16 08:23 PM

    Want to make sure your firewood is ready for winter? Here are 10 how to season firewood tips.

    Read More

  2. Firewood Rack Assembly Instructions - Build Your Own Log Rack

    Mar 01, 16 08:22 PM

    Use these easy to follow firewood rack assembly instructions to build your own rugged and durable outdoor firewood rack.

    Read More

  3. Removing Ashes From A Wood Stove - The Clean Way Without Dust

    Mar 01, 16 08:22 PM

    Removing ashes from a wood stove is a concern for many people. Find out the best way to remove ashes without creating a mess in your house.

    Read More

Site Sponsors

Our Sponsorship Policy

Popular Pages

Firewood Guide

Firewood Rack Instructions

Sawbuck Assembly Instructions

Free Firewood Newsletter

Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Firewood For Life.

Firewood Conveyor

Gift Ideas

Best Firewood

Equipment Reviews

Wood Furnace

Heat Exchangers