Sacrificial anode rods are an essential component in tank-style water heaters. You can screw them into the top of the tank so that they protrude into the water stored inside. These rods help add to the tank’s longevity and make sure it keeps working.
A sacrificial anode rod possesses a lower, negative electrochemical potential and attracts any particles of limestone, iron, or other minerals that may be present in the water. These minerals would typically cause the tank to corrode over time. However, when you add an anode rod, the minerals corrode the rod instead. This is why it is called a “sacrificial anode rod”: it sacrifices itself in order to extend the water heater’s life.