Your water heater is constantly exposed to water, from the day that it’s installed to the day it’s replaced. With that level of water exposure, your water heater tank should rust out and rupture within a year or two. How, then, do water heaters last over ten years? The answer is a part called the “sacrificial anode rod.” The anode rod is one of the most important parts of your water heater. Read on to find out more about the anode rod, and why you should have yours checked at least once a year.

What is the Anode Rod?

The anode rod is a long metal rod, which is inserted into the storage tank of your water heater. The rod is commonly made of aluminum or magnesium, and is forged around a steel wire. While the rod is in the storage tank, it will degrade instead of the tank lining. That’s why it’s called the “sacrificial” anode rod. While this protection is a great way to keep the tank from rusting, it doesn’t last forever. Eventually, the anode rod will degrade down to the wire. When that happens, the tank is no longer protected from rust.

Checking Your Anode Rod

Once the anode rod has degraded down to the wire, it will no longer have enough substance left to protect the water heater. At that point, the rod will need to be replaced with a new one in order to maintain the protection. If the anode rod is not replaced in time, the lining of the tank will begin to rust. For this reason, it’s best to check your anode rod at least once a year.

If you need to have your anode rod checked or replaced, call The Trusted Plumber. We provide water heater services throughout Phoenix, AZ.

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