Updated: Dec 16, 2021
Corrosion is the #1 killer of water heaters.
Even a high-quality water heater can fail prematurely if it’s not properly maintained and protected against rust. And periodic anode rod replacement is the best way to protect your heater, maintain it, and get the most out of your investment.
Learn more below, and see how often you should replace the anode rod in your gas water heater or electric water heater.
What Is a Water Heater Anode Rod? Why Is Anode Rod Replacement Important?
The anode rod is a metal rod, normally no longer than 44 inches (sometimes 53 inches), that protects your water heater from rust and corrosion. It’s usually made of zinc, magnesium, aluminum, or a combination of these metals.
The purpose of the anode rod is to be more reactive to corrosion than the steel of your hot water tank. Metals like zinc, magnesium, and aluminum are used to make anode rods. Through the process of electrolysis, the anode rod corrodes in place of your water tank.
What this means is that, as long as your anode rod is in good condition, it will corrode before your steel water tank. This is its purpose.
However, once the anode rod has fully corroded, the steel tank will start to rust and corrode.
That’s why routine anode rod replacement is important.
By replacing your anode rod before it wears out, you can keep your water tank in great shape, and avoid the need for complete water heater replacement.
Check The Anode Rod Once a Year & Replace It Every 5 Years
As a general rule, anode rods need to be replaced about every 4-5 years.
However, this can vary depending on how much water flows through your gas water heater or electric water heater.
Very large families, for example, may use a lot more hot water, and may need more frequent anode rod replacement intervals.
The best way to make sure your anode rod is in good shape is to have a plumber maintain your water heater every year. Your plumber can check and replace the anode rod, drain sediment from your hot water heater, and make sure your unit is operating properly.
Need A New Anode Rod or Hot Water Heater? Contact G&C Plumbing!
Whether you think you need a new anode rod or complete water heater replacement, G&C Plumbing is here to help in Bellingham, MA. Our honest, professional, and reputable plumbers are always eager to assist you. Contact us online or give us a call at (508) 541-8783 to get the assistance you need.