Of the many parts and components used in modern water heaters, the anode rod might just be one of the most important. Without this piece, the internals of water heaters would wear down a lot more quickly than they do now. However, anode rods need to be replaced every so often because they wear out faster than the lifespan of the water heater. If you have a standard tank-style heater (as opposed to a tankless model), you need to check the rod every so often and replace it as necessary. Here is some more information about what an anode rod does.
Protecting Your Water Heater
Water heaters are susceptible to rust and corrosion because of the materials used to construct them and how these materials react to water. Water is naturally acidic, and the steel used to make the tanks undergoes the rusting and corroding process when it comes in contact with oxygen or moisture. The heating aspect may make your water nice and hot, but this heat speeds up the corrosion process. The anode rod is a piece designed to slow down corrosion and rusting in water heaters. The rod is made of magnesium, which wears out faster than steel. When water corrodes the magnesium, the anode rod releases electrons into the tank which form a protective barrier around the steel of the tank.
Evaluating the Anode Rod
The service life of an anode rod can vary depending on the temperature of the water in the tank, how much water is used, the quality of the water heater, and the composition (hardness vs. softness) of the water. Keeping up with your regular water heater maintenance will help extend the life of the rod as well as the whole system. Have your tank flushed once a year to remove the sediment. The anode rod ought to be replaced once every three years, but it is a difficult process to do yourself owing to its position on the tank. So make sure you give your local professional plumber a call when it comes time to replacing this critical piece of your water heater!
Helping Keep Your Water Heaters in Great Shape
Give Master Plumbing a call at (301) 650-9100 or contact us online to get more information on how our expert plumbers can help you with your leaky water heater (or just about anything else plumbing related!). We have received Angie’s List Super Service Award recognition for plumbing and drain cleaning every year since 2007, in addition to the Best Plumber award from Best of Bethesda. We are fully licensed, bonded, and insured and our service is unparalleled. Give us a call today—you won’t regret it! To see examples of our projects, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.