This time around we’re going to be learning about…
The Anode Rod!
Wait, what? What is an anode rod?
Every water heater comes with what is called an anode rod installed inside the water heater. This is basically a rod of metal that sits submerged in the tank full of water. The reason water heaters come with an anode rod is to help the water heater last longer.
The water in your water heater is, particularly in Southwest Florida, very aggressive, which means it will destroy many metals it comes in contact with. This includes your water heater. The anode rod is designed for the sole purpose of giving the water something to destroy instead of the water heater itself.
For this reason they manufacture and install anode rods with the water heater out of metals that are easier for the water to destroy than the tank material itself. This means that the water will go to work on the anode rod and eat it to basically nothing before it starts attacking the water heater.
The more aggressive the water, the quicker the anode rod will get destroyed. To help evaluate the health of your anode rode, and by default the health of your water heater, a periodic visual inspection should be performed.
How often should this visual inspection be done? It depends on your water quality and age of the water heater. It is best to consult your local plumber to determine a reasonable schedule to check the anode rod based on your specific situation.
This is one way you can increase the chances of extending the life of your water heater by catching when the anode rod is used up, and replacing it with a new anode rod before the water can substantially damage the tank.