Have you ever turned on a faucet in your home, and been confronted with brown or otherwise discolored water? Do you have a tank-equipped water heater? If so, chances are you have a problem with the sacrificial anode rod. But what is the sacrificial anode rod? Read on to find out, and to find out why it’s so important to keeping your water clean.
What is the Sacrificial Anode Rod?
If any water tank will eventually begin to corrode and rust from the inside out as it is constantly exposed to water. Most water heaters have linings along the inside of the tank to help prevent this, but even they will eventually crack from the heat. To address this issue, virtually every water heater that uses a tank includes a part called a sacrificial anode rod.
This is a long, metal rod that is inserted into the top of the water tank. While the rod is in good condition, the water will begin to rust it instead of the lining of the tank. This is what earned it the name “sacrificial rod.”
Why the Sacrificial Rod Needs Replacing
Over a long enough period of time, the anode rod will become so corroded that it can no longer attract rust to itself. When this happens, the lining of the tank will begin to rust. This is likely the cause of your water being discolored when you turn on the faucet.
Aside from simply being gross, rust in your water means that your water tank is losing integrity. If the rust has progressed far enough, it will eventually cause the entire tank to rupture, potentially causing thousands of dollars in water damage on top of necessitating a new water tank.
So, how can you prevent this from happening? Replace the anode rod every five years or so. That should be often enough to always have a functioning anode rod in the heater.
If you don’t know how to replace the sacrificial anode rod, call Air Conditioning Experts, Inc. Atlanta. We provide water heater repairs throughout Atlanta.