Your water heater is one of the hardest working appliances in your home. It is exposed to water constantly, from the time it is installed onward. Despite this water exposure, water heaters can last quite a long time without rusting away. Why is this? What makes water heaters so resistant to rust? The answer is a part called the “anode rod.” Read on to find out more about the anode rod, and why you need to keep an eye on it.
The Anode Rod
An anode rod is a long rod, usually made of aluminum or magnesium, which is forged around a steel wire core. This rod is inserted into the storage tank of your water heater. Due to a chemical interaction called “electrolysis,” as long as the anode rod is in the water heater tank, the rod will degrade instead of the tank lining. This is what keeps the water heater tank from rusting out and rupturing. As great as this protection is, though, it isn’t permanent.
There will come a point at which the anode rod is too degraded to continue preventing the tank from rusting. When that happens, the rod needs to be replaced with a new one. If a new rod is not installed, the tank will rust. In order to prevent your water heater tank from rupturing and causing water damage to the surrounding area, it is highly recommended that you check your anode rod at least once a year. An annual check should be enough time to keep your water heater supplied with a working anode rod at all times.
If you don’t know how to check or replace your anode rod, call Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing. We provide water heater services throughout Rockville, MD.