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What You Need to Know About Your Water Heater Anode Rod

Water heaters deal with water more or less constantly, from the time they are installed to the time they are replaced. One issue that any system dealing with water will eventually encounter is rust. If water is in contact with steel, the steel will eventually oxidize. Why is it that water heater tanks seem so resistant to rust, then? The answer lies in a small part called the anode rod. Let’s take a look at what the anode rod does for your water heater system.

How it Works

The anode rod is a long metal rod, made of either magnesium or aluminum, which is inserted into the storage tank of your water heater. While the anode rod is in contact with the water in the tank, it will attract the ions in the water that normally cause rust. This will cause the rod to degrade over time, but it will also prevent the steel tank from rusting. This tradeoff is why the part is sometimes referred to as the sacrificial anode rod. While this protection is quite effective, it is not permanent.

Eventually, the anode rod will degrade to the point where it can no longer attract ions anymore. If the rod isn’t replaced with a new one, the tank will begin to rust again. This is part of the reason that it’s so important to schedule annual water heater maintenance services. Your water heater technician will always check your anode rod to make sure that it’s still working, and will replace it if it isn’t. This is the best way to make sure that your water heater doesn’t rust.

Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling offers comprehensive water heater maintenance services throughout Perkasie, PA. Call today to schedule an appointment with one of our expert water heater technicians.

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