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Schaal Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Blog

What Is an Anode Rod?

Most modern water heaters using storage tanks are made of steel, and they have a glass lining in them in order to protect the tank itself from the corrosive effects of being in constant contact with water. Eventually, though, that lining is going to crack. The anode rod in your hot water tank serves as an added defense against the corrosion of the tank. While many problems with tank water heaters in Des Moines, IA can be resolved with quality repairs, a corroded storage tank is more than likely going to result in the need for a replacement. This is why the use of a good anode rod is so important. 

What Does the Anode Rod Do?

The anode rod is a component that is inserted into the hot water storage tank in which resides your reservoir of heated water. This rod is composed of materials that corrode faster than steel does, which is why the anode rod is often referred to as being “sacrificial.” It corrodes away in the water within the tank, attracting corrosive materials therein so that your tank itself does not incur the same fate.

Anode rods are typically made of aluminum and zinc or magnesium. Magnesium rods are actually more effective in their task, but also do not last as long as aluminum/zinc rods. If you use a magnesium rod, which will likely also be more expensive, you must be diligent in changing it as frequently as needed. When you do so, you may be able to as much as double the life expectancy of your water heater tank.

If you have any questions about your water heater, suspect that you need water heater repairs, or believe that the time is right for replacing the anode rod, be sure to give us a call. Our plumbers will do the job right. Reliable hot water is a necessity, after all, not a privilege.

Contact Schaal Heating and Cooling to work with water heater technicians that you can trust.

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