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What Is a Anode Rod and Why Is It an Important Component of Your Water Heater?

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

A water heater is one of the most important appliances in your home. Every day, you depend on hot water to bathe, clean dirty dishes and do your laundry. If you have ever experienced life without hot water, then you know how important maintaining your water heater should be. The following post will detail one of the most important components of your water heater, the anode rod.

Description

An anode rod is often made from aluminum but can also be manufactured using magnesium. While the latter is more expensive, they generally provide better performance. Its primary function is to protect your appliance by attracting the corrosive elements in the water within your water heater tank before they attack the tank itself. Without this sacrificial rod, it would not take long for your water heater tank to corrode. Aside from leading to water heater replacement, should your tank fail, you could also experience costly home repairs, such as damaged flooring, cabinetry and walls, with the potential of mold and mildew growth.

A Corroded Rod Means It Is Working

Anode rods are available in various sizes to fit different types of water heaters. When new, they are approximately 1/2-inch in diameter. However, a used one, once removed from the water heater, may resemble a thin wire. You should not attempt anode rod replacement yourself because it is very difficult to remove. In addition, you run the risk of damaging the water heater tank. If you damage the water heater tank, you could possibly face a complete water heater replacement.

Annual Water Heater Maintenance

You should schedule annual water heater maintenance and inspection with your plumbing contractor to keep your appliance in peak condition and efficiency. Most plumbing contractors will inspect the anode rod during an annual service call; however, not all of them will. That is why it is up to you to ask and verify that they actually checked the rod. The reason some plumbing contractors skip anode rod inspection is because they can often be difficult to remove due to corrosion. If it has been awhile since your last service call, your plumber should inspect the appliance carefully before attempting anode rod removal to assess if it is possible without damaging the tank. In addition, during a water heater service call, your plumbing contractor should also flush the tank, test water temperature and pressure, adjust thermostat settings when applicable, and inspect all connections to verify there are no leaks.

For answers to your plumbing questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.