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learn more about the role of the anode rod in repair and water heater installation in Charlotte NC


A Guide to Anode Rods: What They Do to Keep Your Water Heater Going

Water is corrosive to many metals, most notably steel. However, in steel water heaters, a rod made of easily corroded metal will react with the water inside, keeping the steel safe. It’s known as a sacrificial anode rod, and without it, your unit would rust out sooner than you think. Read on to learn more about the role of the anode rod in repair and water heater installation in Charlotte, NC.

Inspecting and Replacing the Anode Rod

The anode rod’s lifespan varies depending on the hardness of your water. Softer water tends to be more corrosive, and in some cases, it may dissolve a rod within a few months. It’s important to check the anode rod at least once per year. If it’s easily accessible, you may be able to do it yourself. In most cases, though, it’s a job better left to the professionals.

Aluminum or Magnesium

Anode rods can be bought at most home improvement stores, or your plumber can install one for you. The major difference among these rods is the materials from which they’re made. For instance:

Magnesium offers better overall protection, but it’s more costly and has a shorter lifespan.
Aluminum is combined with zinc in water heater anode rods. These rods last longer and are less expensive, but they’re not as protective.

If you’re unsure about the choice of material, a plumber will recommend one based on the chemistry of your home’s water and other factors.

Removing Sediment

By now, you may wonder what happens when the anode rod dissolves. Most of it will end up at the bottom of the tank as sediment, which can damage the unit’s performance with time. To avoid sediment problems and keep the unit at peak efficiency, have it flushed once per year.

A sacrificial anode serves an important purpose, but most homeowners don’t think about it until it fails. With this information, however, you’ll know what it takes to keep your unit going after water heater installation in Charlotte, NC.