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A Guide to Your Sacrificial Anode Rod

Every tank water heater has a sacrificial anode rod. Or at least it should have one. These components are important because they’re what separate a 5-year replacement and a 10-year replacement.

Corrosion is going to impact your water heater whether you like it or not. We’ll explain down below how corrosion works, but the anode rod is a component of your water heater that draws this chemical process so that the rest of the system remains intact. This means that without a sacrificial anode rod, your water heater in New Orleans, LA is going to be in big trouble. The entire tank could start corroding at that point.

So, let’s talk about the process of corrosion. We’ll discuss why it’s such a difficult problem to deal with, and why this valuable part of your water heater is so important. Remember, most homes use a storage-tank water heater, so this means it’s likely that you need the help of a sacrificial anode rod!

The Chemical Process of Corrosion

Before we can talk about the importance of the sacrificial anode rod in your water heater, we need to talk about corrosion.

Corrosion is a completely natural chemical process. You’ve probably seen it on that old rusty car down the street, or on a tractor in the country that hasn’t been used in years. When the surface of metal is exposed to oxygen, it oxidizes which causes it to become damaged and weak. This is why rust can be such a huge problem for machines as they age. It causes leaks, rips, and structural integrity problems over time.

Unfortunately, this process also happens underwater. There’s a good amount of oxygen in water (hence the O part of H2O), which means metal will continue to rust in water just like it would in the air. There’s just nowhere that metal won’t rust.

So, your water heater is in a vulnerable spot. On one hand, it’s supposed to carry a tank of water for a decade or more, but on the other hand that water is going to eat away at the material until it falls apart. What do you do?

This Is Where Your Anode Rod Comes in

Introducing the sacrificial anode rod! The anode rod attracts all of the elements (like ions and minerals in the water) so that they corrode this component and not the other components.

Corrosion isn’t magic, it’s science. This means that it can only happen at a certain rate, when certain conditions are met. So if this chemical process occurs more on the anode rod, it allows the rest of your water heater to stay in relatively good shape. Until your anode rod falls apart.

Anode rods need to be replaced throughout the lifespan of a water heater.

Get Your Water Heater Maintained

Schedule maintenance for your water heater, so a professional can check the lifespan and condition of your system and its anode rod. If it looks like it has to be replaced, or there needs to be some serious work, then we can get started when you schedule an appointment.

Contact Natal’s Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical for water heater services. Service Honoring the Golden Rule!

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