What Will Happen to Your Water Heater Without an Anode Rod?
If you own a water heater, you may have heard of an anode rod. But do you know why it’s important and what happens if your water heater doesn’t have one? An anode rod is a metal rod installed in the tank of your water heater that helps protect the tank, making your water heater last longer and ensuring that you don’t experience any issues with your hot water supply. Read on to learn more about what will happen if you don’t have an anode rod in your water heater.
What is A Water Heater Anode Rod and What Does it Do?
A water heater anode rod is a metal rod inserted into the tank of your hot water heater that protects it from corrosion. This corrosion is caused by mineral build-up in the water. The anode rod attracts corrosive elements, such as oxygen and hydrogen sulfide, which would otherwise corrode the walls of your hot water tank. Over time, the metal in the anode rod will corrode away itself, leaving only a protective coating around the metal walls and bottom of your hot water tank.
How to Tell If the Anode Rod Is Bad
Over time, the metal in the anode rod will corrode away until there is nothing left but a protective coating around the walls of your hot water tank. You can tell if your anode rod is bad by inspecting it regularly for signs of corrosion or build-up. It’s recommended that you replace your anode rod every three years or so to ensure optimal performance and avoid any issues with mineral build-ups in your hot water supply.
Checking the Anode Rod
To check your anode rod, follow the following steps:
- Turn off power to the water heater: Turn off the electrical power to the water heater at the breaker box or unplug the unit if it’s electric. If it’s gas, turn off the gas supply valve. Note: It is recommended to let the water heater sit for some time to cool down as the anode rod will be very hot.
- Locate the anode rod: The anode rod is usually found at the top of the water heater, either threaded into the hot water outlet or into a hex head fitting. It may be necessary to remove a cover or inspection plate to access it.
- Remove the anode rod: Use a wrench to loosen and remove the anode rod. Be careful not to damage the threads. If the anode rod is stuck, it might be in your best interest to call the professionals.
- Examine the anode rod: The anode rod should be inspected for signs of corrosion, such as pitting or thinning of the metal. A significantly corroded anode rod will need to be replaced.
- Replace the anode rod: If the anode rod is in poor condition, replace it with a new one of the same size and type. Be sure to tighten it securely with a wrench.
- Turn the power and/or gas back on: Turn the electrical power or gas supply back on. Allow the water heater to refill with water.
- Check for leaks: Check for leaks around the anode rod and any other fittings. If there are leaks, tighten the fittings or call a professional to repair the problem.
Choosing A Replacement Water Heater Anode Rod
When choosing a replacement anode rod for your hot water tank, there are several different materials available on the market today. These include aluminum, magnesium, zinc alloy, or even stainless-steel rods. Aluminum rods are typically considered to be more effective than magnesium rods. Aluminum offers better protection against corrosion due to its higher electrical resistance properties. However, stainless steel anode rods are often preferred. This is because they are more durable and require less maintenance over time than other materials.
In conclusion, having an anode rod installed in your hot water heater is essential. It protects against corrosion caused by mineral build-up over time. Aluminum rods are considered to be more effective than magnesium rods due to their higher electrical resistance properties. However, stainless steel rods are often preferred because they require less maintenance over time than other materials. Inspect your existing anode rod regularly for signs of corrosion so you can replace it before damage occurs. This will ensure optimal performance from your hot-water system for years to come!
Call America’s Plumbing if you think there’s an issue with your water heater or anode rod. We will promptly address any problems you might have. Check out what your neighbors are saying on our Google reviews!