Plenty of people don't know that their water heaters contain an anode rod, let alone why it can be so important to replace that part. Anode rods are sometimes referred to as 'sacrificial rods', a slightly odd name that nevertheless highlights their purpose. You see, the water in your heater can cause corrosion, but an anode rod, which will normally be made from magnesium, aluminium, or an aluminium/zinc alloy, is able to attract that corrosion. It becomes rusted itself, but it prevents the rest of the heater from rusting
It's not exactly a part that can break, but it can become excessively corroded as time goes by. Here are just a few reasons to replace it when that happens.
1. The Tank Can Corrode
Most water tanks are made of steel, which is vulnerable to rusting. That steel is covered with an internal glass lining to prevent corrosion, but the lining can break down over time; the anode rod serves to attract corrosive elements and prevent rusting. However, an anode rod that has become excessively corroded will not be able to perform its job, meaning that the inside of the water tank is likely to corrode. This is generally going to necessitate buying a whole new heater.
2. Pipes Can Corrode
If the thought of having to replace your water tank is unpleasant, you're really going to dislike the idea of having to replace your pipes. With excessive corrosion in your tank that isn't being handled by an anode rod, those elements can spread through to your pipes. It can be incredibly expensive, not to mention very disruptive, to replace pipes that have rusted. Rusted pipes are also more prone to leaking, which could seriously damage your property.
3. Hot Water Delivery Can Be Affected
As your water heater anode rod corrodes, cold water that enters the tank is not properly able to reach the bottom of the heater since this is where corrosive compounds will be most likely to build up. As a result, you're probably going to notice that the temperate of water coming from your faucets drops. It might not be noticeable at first, but you could eventually find yourself taking lukewarm showers and baths.
4. Brown Water Can Come from Your Faucets
Finally, you may find that not replacing a heavily-corroded anode rod means that brownish water starts pouring out of your taps. This is caused by iron particles that would normally have fixed against the rod. They aren't harmful to your health, but brown water isn't particularly pleasant, and it can stain your fixtures.
For more information on keeping your plumbing clean, contact a company like Sam's Local Plumbing!