When to Replace an Anode Rod

Sigh…if only water heaters lasted forever. LCD lamps due, or at least more years than you can count, so what the heck is wrong with those pesky water heaters?

Hard to tell, but until engineers figure out the path to eternity, we’re stuck with average system lifespans of 8-12 years. Among other things, that means the better you take care of your water heater, the better and longer it will perform.

Here’s one maintenance task you can handle on your own: keeping an eye on the storage tank anode rod, also known as a sacrificial anode rod. It protrudes from the top of the tank and should be checked every 6 months or so.

Their purpose is to protect the interior lining of the storage tank from corrosion and failure which, in turn, requires you to replace it.

Anode rods are particularly useful if your home has hard water, characterized by high levels of magnesium and other minerals. Since anode rods are made from magnesium, they attract corrosive elements to themselves to protect the tank’s inner metal lining.

So why the need to inspect them? Because once an anode rod is corroded, it can break and start flopping around and capable of damaging the lining on their own. Once you see the first signs of corrosion, replace it to keep your water heater from breaking down.

Otherwise, you’ll eventually hear a banging sound inside the system’s storage tank, indicating the anode rod has broken off and bouncing around.

At Pann Home Services, we offer complete water heater inspections that help improve both performance and safety. Gas water heaters, for example, can spring a gas leak and release carbon monoxide into the air. Water heaters have even been known to explode.

Contact us today for a water heater inspection, any repair issue you might be facing, or if it’s time for a new system. In all cases, you’ll receive a guaranteed price quote so there are no surprises later on.