Have You Checked Your Water Heater’s Anode Rod Recently? Here’s Why You Should

Your water heater is made out of metal and metal rusts. So how is it that your water heater in Broken Arrow doesn’t rust out and leave you with a massive problem? In most traditional water heaters, there’s an anode rod. This rod is responsible for preventing corrosion and keeping your water heater from developing rust and holes. Find out more about the anode rod and why you should check it. If you’re ready to upgrade to a better water heater system without anode rods, you might want to consider a residential tankless water heater.  

What is the Anode Rod?

As part of a natural chemical reaction, water corrodes metal. If you’ve ever kept metal outside, you’ve seen this reaction occur. The oxygen in the water reacts with the metal to form rust and weaken the metal. Over time, the metal becomes so weak that it develops cracks and holes. To prevent this from happening, your water heater has an anode rod. The rod is made of metal and attracts all of the loose oxygen atoms. Instead of bonding with the metal on your water heater, the oxygen bonds with the metal on the rod.  The only purpose of the anode rod is to keep your water heater from degrading. If your tank didn’t have an anode rod, it would only take a few months for it to be ruined. You can thank your anode rod for the longevity of your water heater.

Your Anode Rod Won’t Last Forever

It’s important to realize that your anode rod won’t last for the duration of your lifetime, nor will it last for the duration of your water heater’s lifetime. In areas with soft water, anodes last a short period of time. Your anode rod may only be good for a year before corrosion starts to affect your tank.  Because of this, you should regularly check your anode rod. If you can see the wire core of the anode rod, you need to replace it. Once a year, make an effort to examine your anode rod. 

Checking Your Anode Rod

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to check an anode rod. You can look at the owner’s manual of your water heater to determine where the anode rod is. In some cases, the rod isn’t easy to access, or you don’t have an owner’s manual. The only way to find and inspect the rod would be to work with a professional.  There’s also a risk of you damaging the anode rod. As with most appliances, your water heater is fragile. If you cause damage when you remove the anode rod, you may need a costly repair. You should consider working with a reputable plumber to avoid any chance of damage. 

What Happens to the Anode Rod?

As your anode rod degrades, it doesn’t just disappear. It breaks down and falls to the bottom of your water heater. Over time, a thick sediment forms and your water heater may not be able to function well. The tank could be hard to heat, and the water might not travel freely through your plumbing.  Of course, there are other causes of sediment in your water heater. Even if you have a new anode rod, you should flush your water heater once a year. You can do this on your own or hire a plumber to do the job. 

Types of Anode Rods

Most home improvement stores have anode rods available for sale. However, choosing the right rod can be overwhelming. Prices tend to range from $15 to $60, and the materials of the rod vary.  If you’re interested in getting the most protection for your water heater, you might want a magnesium anode rod. Magnesium works well, but it has a short lifespan and is more costly than other options. It also may react to your water and result in a sulfur smell.  Meanwhile, aluminum is less expensive and lasts longer than magnesium. But it is less effective than magnesium. And, if you want to avoid odors in your home, aluminum works to neutralize odors in the water. The main disadvantage of aluminum is the fact that aluminum could get into the water. It all comes down to your budget and the chemistry of your water. Before you go out and buy an anode rod, you should consult with your plumber. 

Changing to a Residential Tankless Water Heater

One of the major disadvantages of a traditional water heater is the need for an anode rod. If you forget about the rod, you are likely to have corrosion. And if you remember to check the rod, you need to pay to replace it as necessary.  Here at Infinity Plumbing, we offer tankless water heater problems solutions. Tankless water heaters are unique in that they don’t have an anode rod. The system doesn’t store water, so there’s no risk of corrosion. With one less component to worry about, you can enjoy less stress and fewer expenses. Tankless water heaters have many other advantages. For instance, they’re more energy-efficient than tank systems. In a traditional water heater, the water sits in a tank and remains hot until you need it. If you aren’t home all day or go on vacation, your water heater is wasting energy. A tankless heater only heats up the water when you need it. There’s no reason to waste energy warming your water when you don’t need it.  Even the lifespan of a tankless water heater is better than that of a traditional water heater. If you care for your tankless water heater, it could last for more than 20 years. It might cost more up front, but a tankless water heater saves you money. 

Do You Want a Residential Tankless Water Heater?

Are you tired of dealing with anode rods and other regular water heater maintenance in Broken Arrow? If so, it might be time to switch to a tankless heater. Let us help you find the perfect system for your home and help you maintain it. To find out more about us and how we can help you, call us today.