Water heaters deal with water constantly, from the time they are installed through their eventual replacement. You would think, then, that rust would be a far more common problem for water heaters. Yet, most water heater systems seem quite free of rust throughout their lifespans. Why is this the case? Read on to find out more about the anode rod, and how it helps your water heater.
The Anode Rod
The anode rod is a metal rod, usually made of magnesium or zinc, that is inserted into the water heater tank. As long as the rod is in contact with the water in the tank, it will start to degrade. This attracts the ions in the water that normally cause rust, a process called electrolysis. As long as the anode rod is degrading, the water heater tank will be protected from rust. This protection does not last forever, though.
Checking the Anode Rod
Eventually, the anode rod will wear down to the steel wire at its core. When that happens, the part will no longer be able to protect the water heater tank from rusting. The rod will need to be replaced with a new one at that point, or the tank will once again be vulnerable to rust. It usually takes about a year for an anode rod to wear down to the point of uselessness. So you should make sure to schedule preventive maintenance at least once a year. Preventive maintenance allows your plumber to check the anode rod, and replace it if necessary.
The Sunny Plumber provides a full range of water heater repair and maintenance services throughout Tucson, AZ. If you need a water heater installed, repaired, maintained, or replaced, we can help you out. Call today to schedule an appointment with one of our expert plumbers.