Regular maintenance of your water heater can deliver a seamless supply of hot water when you need it. One component that plays a crucial role in your heater’s longevity is the often-overlooked anode rod.
In this post, a trusted HVAC repair expert discusses when it’s ideal to replace the anode rod.
What Is an Anode Rod?
An anode rod, sometimes known as a sacrificial rod, is a long metal rod that’s inserted into your water heater. Typically constructed from magnesium, aluminum, or zinc, this rod is designed to corrode over time, thereby protecting the heater’s metal tank from rusting. When water is heated, it tends to accelerate the rusting process in metal. However, anode rods sacrifice themselves by corroding first, thus preventing the tank from corroding. Without an active anode rod, your water heater tank would be susceptible to corrosion, leading to leaks or even failure.
The Importance of Anode Rod Replacement
Ensuring that your anode rod is in good condition can significantly enhance the lifespan of your water heater. Over time, the anode rod gets depleted due to the sacrificial process. Once it’s fully corroded, the water starts attacking the heater tank, causing it to rust and deteriorate. Therefore, timely replacement of the anode rod is essential to maintain the integrity of your water heater and prevent expensive repairs or replacements.
Signs of Anode Rod Failure: What to Look Out For
Knowing when to replace your anode rod can be tricky. Some common signs of anode rod failure include rusty-colored water, a rotten egg smell or the formation of sediment in your water. If you notice any of these issues, it’s likely time to inspect the anode rod. Moreover, if you haven’t checked your anode rod in a while, it might be a good idea to do so.
Replacing the Anode Rod: How Often Is Ideal?
The frequency of anode rod replacement can vary based on factors like water quality, the volume of water usage and the type of rod used. However, most professionals recommend inspecting the anode rod every one to three years and replacing it every four to five years. If your water supply has a high mineral content or if your water heater usage is heavy, these timelines may need to be shortened.
Maintaining your water heater is a job for professionals. Thomas J. Fannon & Sons offers expert water heater services, including anode rod inspection and replacement. We can also help you with your fuel oil needs. Call us at (703) 549-5700 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation.