You may never have heard about anode rods before, but they’re one of the most important parts in your home. An anode rod is the crucial component that keeps your water heater running nice and smooth. Without it you can kiss your hot water goodbye!
At Boydco Plumbing we know just how important anode rods are. If you’re wondering what an anode rod is and why you should check it, let us break it down for you.
What Is An Anode Rod?
Anode rods are made out of magnesium or aluminum that is formed around a steel core wire. They’re screwed into the top of a water heater’s tank. Most tanks will have between one to five anode rods. Anode rods are designed to protect your water heater from rusting. The way they work is that when the tank fills up with water the anode rod sacrifices itself to protect the water heater’s exposed steel. It does this through a process called electrolysis: When two pieces of metal are connected inside of water, the more noble metal will end up corroding over the lesser. Since anode rods are made out of less noble metals like aluminum, zinc, and magnesium they will corrode before the steel in your tank does.
Why Do I Need To Check It?
Put it simply: If your anode rod goes bad, your water heater will quickly follow suit. A bad anode rod will lead to your water heater rusting. The cost of replacing a bad anode rod is much, much cheaper than replacing an entire heater unit. An anode rod could also break off and fail to the bottom of your tank. This can be a big problem, because whenever water passes through your heater it will cause the rod to bounce around. This will destroy your tank’s lining, which will really shorten the lifespan of your water heater.
Most anode rods are designed to last about 4-5 years. How quickly they age into obsolescence depends on how much water is passing through your heater, and the type of water. Water treated with a water softener can wear out your heater much faster than normal water would. This is why checking your anode rod is so important: All it takes is a few mineral deposits eating away at your anode rod to weaken it and destabilize your entire unit.
If you got more questions about your anode rods, we got answers. Give Boydco Plumbing a call at 602-335-0323.