Water heaters are put under a pretty insane amount of stress on a daily basis. If you don’t believe us, just think about how many times a day you use hot water. Most water heaters don’t even shut off. They stay on constantly, maintaining a large supply of hot water on the off chance that you’ll need it at three in the morning. So, how is it that water heaters can last over a decade when they’re working constantly from the time they’re installed onward. There are a number of reasons why, one of which is the anode rod. Let’s take a look at how the anode rod works for your water heater.

What is an Anode Rod?

An anode rod is a long metal rod, typically made of magnesium or aluminum forged around a steel wire. This rod is inserted into the water heater, and degrades over time. As long as the anode rod is degrading, it protects the water heater tank from rusting. This is done due to a process called electrolysis, which attracts the ions that normally cause rust. This protection is quite good, but it doesn’t last forever.

Replacing the Anode Rod

Eventually, the anode rod will degrade down to the steel wire at its core. At that point, it will not be able to protect the water heater tank from rust any longer. The rod will need to be replaced in order to maintain protection. Otherwise, your water heater tank will eventually rust out and could even rupture. So, you should schedule water heater maintenance at least once a year in order to have your anode rod checked and replaced if necessary. That’s the best way to make sure that your water heater stays healthy.

Call Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing for a full range of water heater maintenance services throughout Bethesda, MD.