Any time you have a system dealing with large amounts of water on a regular basis, it will eventually have to deal with rust in one way or another. Water heaters are no different. Considering that they deal with water more or less constantly, from the time they are installed throughout their lifespans, you would think that they would not last more than a couple of years without becoming rusted out. However, there is a very specific reason why water heaters can deal with so much water without rusting. Let’s take a look at the anode rod, what it does, and why it’s a good idea to have it checked at least once a year.
What is an Anode Rod?
An anode rod is a long metal rod, usually comprised of magnesium or aluminum forged around a steel wire. This rod is inserted into the storage tank of the water heater. As long as the anode rod is in the tank, it will attract the ions that normally cause rust through a process called electrolysis. The anode rod will slowly degrade during this process, and the water heater will be protected from rusting. Unfortunately, though, this protection is not permanent.
Why You Should Have Your Anode Rod Checked Annually
Eventually, the anode rod will degrade all the way down to the steel wire at its core. When this happens, the rod will no longer be able to attract ions and the water heater tank will start rusting again. It takes about a year for the anode rod to degrade to the point to uselessness. So, be sure to have a professional examine your anode rod at least once a year to make sure that it’s still in good shape.
Call SPS Mechanical Inc. for a full range of anode rod services throughout Haddonfield, NJ.