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Water Heater FAQ: What Is an Anode Rod?

June 13, 2016 | Blog

There are a lot of different water heaters on the market today. If you use a water heater with a storage tank—whether it’s a gas, heat pump, or electric model—there is an anode rod in that tank working hard to protect its integrity. Okay, maybe it’s not putting in all that much effort, but the job that it performs is incredibly important nonetheless. Your water heater in Clovis, CA is used each and every day to allow you to shower in comfort and to do your laundry, dishes, and household cleaning with great convenience. You need to know for certain that your system is protected, which is why you need an anode rod.

What Is the Anode Rod? What Does It Do?

An anode rod is a rod that is made of either aluminum or magnesium, generally. Magnesium rods are more expensive than aluminum rods, but they also tend to be more effective in their operation. What does this operation entail, you ask?

As you probably know, metal is going to rust and corrode when it is in contact with water. Have you ever wondered why it is that your steel hot water storage tank doesn’t rust through, then? Well, first of all, it is lined with glass on the inside. This is only a primary defense against corrosion, though, as glass that is constantly subjected to high temperatures is going to crack.

When the glass liner does eventually crack, it is the anode rod that protects your steel water tank. It draws corrosive materials in the water to it, essentially sacrificing itself so that your water heater tank is not damaged. When you have a good anode rod in place, and replace it as needed, you can seriously extend the service life of your tank.

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