As anyone who has left a bicycle in the rain for a while can attest, bad things usually happen when water and steel come together for extended periods of time. So why doesn’t your water heater corrode in just a couple of years with all of that water sitting inside a steel tank?
You can thank a little part that lives inside your water heater called an anode rod.
These simple devices – usually consisting of a steel core wire coated in layers of aluminum, magnesium or zinc – are installed inside your water heater’s storage tank. They are designed to draw the corrosion process to themselves rather than the tank lining, “taking one for the team” to preserve the structure of the tank (the anode rod is often referred to as the “sacrificial rod” for this reason).
A typical anode rod will last about five years, depending on the volume of water that circulates through the tank and the hardness of your household water (that is, how much mineral content your municipal or well water has). If you use a water softener, an anode rod will last about half as long.
Once your anode rod is depleted, tank corrosion accelerates – and since replacing an anode rod is a lot cheaper than replacing your storage tank, it’s best to stay on top of the problem. The best way to do that? Get your water heater serviced about once every other year by a licensed, experienced heating contractor.
Stay on top of water heater maintenance with expert water heater service from Murray-Heutz Oil and Propane. Contact our pros today to learn more about maintenance for your oil-or gas-fired water heater, or water heater service and installations in Androscoggin County, ME!
Please note: At Murray-Heutz, your safety and comfort are always our priority. Please see our COVID-19 Service Update Page to learn more about how we are working to keep your family and our crews safe and your home comfort equipment working during this challenging time.