The average storage tank water heater is put under a pretty incredible amount of stress on a regular basis. Even when you aren’t using hot water, the water heater is keeping gallons and gallons of it at the ready, just in case you need it. This constant exposure to water opens up the water heater to rusting. Considering the pressure exerted by all of that stored water, the water heater should eventually degrade to the point of rupturing. So why aren’t we constantly hearing about people’s water heaters bursting? Because there’s a part in every water heater that protects it from rusting. Read on to find out more about the sacrificial anode rod, and why you should check on it at least once a year.
What is the Sacrificial Anode Rod?
The sacrificial anode rod is a metal rod, made of aluminum or magnesium, which is screwed into the top of your water heater storage tank. It’s difficult to explain the actual science behind the anode rod, but in layman’s terms it protects the water heater by degrading away in its place. As long as the anode rod is in the tank, it will corrode away instead of the tank itself. Though this is excellent protection, it doesn’t last forever.
Why You Need to Check It
Eventually, the anode rod will degrade to the point where it can no longer protect the water heater. When that happens, the tank will start to rust and eventually need replacing. For this reason, you need to check your anode rod at least once a year. If the rod looks like it’s reaching the end of its lifespan, it will need to be replaced in order to keep the tank in good health.
If you don’t know how to check or replace your anode rod, give us a call and we’ll be happy to do it for you. The Sunny Plumber provides water heater services throughout Tucson, AZ.