Water heater sacrificial anode rods are an essential component in any water heating system. Made from materials like magnesium or aluminum, these rods are designed to attract the corrosive elements in the water, protecting the water heater tank from rust and other forms of damage.
Over time, water heaters can experience corrosion, leading to leaks and reduced efficiency. The anode rod acts as a buffer, absorbing the corrosive elements and protecting the tank from damage. This sacrificial process means that the anode rod deteriorates over time, eventually requiring replacement.
If a homeowner wants to extend the standard 40 or 50 gallon hot water heater beyond its average 12 to 15 year lifespan, it is recommended that they replace their water heater anode rod every few years, depending on the level of use and the water quality in their area. Neglecting this maintenance can lead to costly repairs or even the need for a new water heater altogether.
Replacing an anode rod is a relatively simple process that can be done by a homeowner with the right tools and a basic understanding of their water heating system. Without them you can definitely damage your home water heater tank.
First, turn off the electricity or gas to the water heater and shut off the water supply valve. Partially drain the tank below the level of the anode rod and remove the old anode rod, replacing it with a new one. Finally, refill the tank and restore power to the unit.
Regular maintenance of a water heater can extend its life. But if you’re unfamiliar with the workings of a water heater you may be better off leaving it alone. Otherwise, you can always call your local water heater installers in Lee’s Summit at Advocate Master Plumbing.