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What Prevents a Water Heater from Rusting?

Pipes of a water heating systemIf we were to ask you what the most important appliance in your home was, what would your answer be? Most homeowners would say their water heater. After all, the water heater in your home is responsible for a lot. It provides you with the hot water you need to shower, wash dishes, do the laundry, and much more. And if you have a tank water heater you have one more important component to think about—the anode rod.

“Anode rod” isn’t particularly a term most are familiar with, which is understandable. However, if you have a storage tank water heater, we encourage you to become familiar with it. The anode rod plays an essential role in protecting your tank water heater from harm—namely rust and subsequent corrosion. Of course, if this does occur, you can contact our Lakewood, CO plumbing experts for water heater replacement, but we’d like to help you avoid this premature need.

What Is the Anode Rod?

This component is a rod that resides in the tank of your water heater. It’s most commonly composed of magnesium, which breaks down more quickly than steel does, which is what your hot water tank is made of. Why would you want this to break down, though? Well, the anode rode breaks down and corrodes so that your steel water heater tank doesn’t.

Tank Water Heater Protection

Steel is a very useful material, but eventually it rusts. Chances are, you’re already aware that water causes metal to rust. Tank water heater manufacturers know this too, of course, which is why there is a line of defense such as the anode rod.

Another defense against hot water tank corrosion is a glass coating inside of the tank. In a new water heater, this lining prevents water from even coming into contact with the steel of the tank. However, it cracks and breaks down over time, which is why water meets the steel. It’s at this time that the anode rod comes into play.

The anode rod reacts to the corrosive elements in the water more readily than steel does, and therefore it’s consumed by this material first in order to protect the tank itself from corrosion. Since the rod breaks down, though, it means that it won’t last forever. Replacing the rod on a regular basis, during water heater maintenance, is vital to the protection of your water heater tank.

Invest in Water Heater Maintenance

Regular water heater maintenance—once a year—is a worthwhile investment. During your water heater tune-up, we’ll not only provide a full inspection, but we’ll adjust any components that need it and make sure there aren’t any compromised areas of your water heater that could lead to repair needs later on.

If you skip water heater tune-ups, then you should at least have your anode rod inspected every few years. If we discover that it is past a certain point of degradation, we’ll replace it so your water heater remains protected.

For quality water heater services and comprehensive plumbing services, contact Aurora Plumbing Company. We have someone in your neighborhood today!

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