Everything You Need To Know About Your Water Heater Anode Rod

Everything You Need To Know About Your Water Heater Anode Rod
  • Opening Intro -

    You use hot water every day but you probably don't think about it much.

    It's easy, most of the time you simply turn the faucet on and the water emerges.


However, there are times when it doesn’t!

That’s when you know you have an issue with your water heater. The only question then is whether it can be repaired or is time to replace it.

What’s funny is that, in many cases, the water heater needs to be replaced because it is suffering from corrosion inside. But, if you’d invested in a regular service from a reputable company, such as Rheem hot water specialists, you wouldn’t need to replace it!

That’s because a regular service will check and replace your water heater anode rod when needed.

What the Anode Rod Does

Your water heater is probably made of metal. Even if it isn’t, the heater elements of the tank will be made of metal.

This allows an electrical current to pass through and heat the element. The heat is transferred to the water and heats it to the desired temperature.

Unfortunately, while this is effective, it does create ideal conditions for corrosion. This occurs when water, metal, and oxygen mix.

As oxygen is already present in water, your tank contains all the necessary ingredients for corrosion of the heat elements. The more corroded they become the less effective they will be at heating the water.

In other words, it will cost you more to keep heating your water. Eventually, the heating elements are too corroded and will need to be replaced. At the same time, the corrosion process is likely to affect the base of your tank, eventually creating holes that allow water to escape.

Your anode rod is also referred to as a sacrificial anode. It is a metal rod that is placed inside your hot water heater. The rod is made of soft metal materials, effectively making it more attractive to the minerals in water that cause corrosion.

They will target the anode rod instead of the metal elements and slowly eat their way through it. As this is the rod’s only role, it becoming corroded doesn’t affect the ability of the water heater to function.

In short, it sacrifices itself to extend the life of your water heater.

Replacing The Anode Rod

The water heater anode rod will last anything between one and three years. The harder your water the quicker it will corrode. That’s why it’s best to get a technician to inspect it every year.

Manufacturers generally recommend it is replaced when it gets to 50% or lower. But, your technician will understand your heater and your usage better, allowing them to give you the best possible replacement schedule.

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It should be noted that replacement is comparatively easy. The tank will need to be drained to allow the rid to be unscrewed, removed, and replaced.

However, doing it yourself can invalidate any remaining warranty. That’s why it’s best left to the professionals

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Image credit: about your water heater anode rod by twenty20.com

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