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How Does the Anode Rod Protect Your Water Heater?

With the amount of water that passes through your water heater from month to month, over the years, it’s no wonder that rust is something you’d have to contend with. Traditional tank water heaters deal with water on a consistent basis from the time they are installed, onward. But why do you never notice rust?

The reason that your water heater tank is so rust resistant is because of a component called the anode rod. Below, we’ve gone into some detail about what the anode rod is, in addition to the advantages it offers.

What an Anode Rod Is

This water heater component is a long, metal rod, and is typically made of magnesium, aluminum, or zinc, forged around a steel wire. The rod is inserted into your water heater’s storage tank, and while it is inside the tank it begins to degrade.

This process, called electrolysis, attracts the ions in the water that are typically responsible for rust. As long as the anode rod is degrading, then your water heater tank will be protected from rust. It’s important to remember, however, that a single anode rod is not a permanent solution to rust.

Have You Had Your Anode Rod Checked?

Over time, the anode rod will degrade to a point that it will no longer attract the ions in the water. When this happens, the rod will need to be replaced with a fresh one so the water heater can remain protected. Otherwise, the water heater tank will rust and can eventually rupture.

During annual maintenance, you water heater technician will check the anode rod and replace it if necessary. If you know what to look for, then you can actually check the anode rod yourself before calling in a professional to replace it.

For water heater maintenance in Littleton, CO, contact APC Plumbing & Heating today. 

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