February 21, 2017

The Anode Rod is Your Water Heater’s Secret Weapon

Running out of hot water during your shower is just about everyone’s least favorite experience to the regular morning routine. Now, what if that hot water started coming out a dark brown, rusty color? That has the potential to become drastically more problematic.

After you’re done being angry and disgusted at your ruined shower, it’s time to take a look at your water heater. That rusty, brown water can be a warning that your water heater is rusting from the inside out. An even greater imposition could be lurking around the corner, should the water heater burst.

Don’t panic, Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric has your back. Though this problem can become a crisis in a matter of seconds, there’s a simple way to save yourself a lot of anxiety and expense.

Your water heater is likely in need of a new anode rod. Though not a well known part to the common homeowner, this is the secret weapon of the water heater. Anode rods are thin metal rods that screw into the top of your water heater to help protect the tank from rusting.

There are many corrosive elements in water that cause rusting of the water heater’s internal glass liner. The anode rod was developed to help decrease the amount of rusting of the tank by taking one for the team and attracting these chemicals rather than the water heater’s lining. Just like your furnace or air conditioner, your water heater needs regular maintenance. The anode rods may need replaced periodically. Through regular checks you can monitor the need.

Here are a few anode facts to help you determine when replacement is necessary before disaster strikes:

  1. Many factors contribute to the life of your anode rod such as quality and materials of the rod and the tank, however the average anode rod can last between 3 to 5 years.
  2. Signs you may need to replace your anode rod include rust-colored water, leaks in the tank, metallic tastes in your water and decreasing water temperatures.
  3. Inspect your anode rod annually for signs of corrosion. There are ways to do this yourself however a variety of tools are needed and knowledge of water heaters is recommended. Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric can send a plumber your way to check it out in just a few short minutes.

Staying proactive with your water heater’s care will give it a longer life and provide peace of mind that you’ll avoid an expensive mishap and your showers will stay crystal clear.

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