If there is any home comfort appliance in your home that goes underappreciated, it’s probably the water heater.
Think about it, you use your water heater every day, but do you ever consider your gratitude for this system? Not to worry—most homeowners don’t. But let’s face it, they’re pretty important. And they really cannot continue to effectively and safely do their job without the proper care. Yes, this includes scheduling annual maintenance. But why?
Two reasons: scaling, and the anode rod! Read on to learn more.
What Is Scaling?
Have you heard of hard water before? This is water with a high level of minerals in it—namely calcium, magnesium, and iron. These minerals are harmless to ingest, so that’s not where the concern lies. But they’re harmful to your plumbing system, and this includes your water heater!
These minerals build up and cause what’s called scaling inside your water heater tank. Eventually, this leads to corrosion and damage to the water heater. You could find yourself needing to replace your water heater prematurely if this isn’t taken care of.
Scaling isn’t a problem for all water heaters, but it’s important that you check in with an experienced professional before deciding this on your own.
What’s an Anode Rod?
This is a rod that is installed within your water heater tank. It’s most commonly composed of magnesium, and the reason for this is because magnesium attracts rust and corrosion and breaks down more quickly than steel does. This means instead of attacking the lining of your water heater tank, rust attacks the anode rod first.
Your water heater tank is made of materials that will eventually rust when given the chance. But there are two lines of defense that this system has to prevent it. There is, for instance, a glass coating inside the water heater tank. In a new water heater, this lining prevents water from coming into contact with the steel of the tank. But it cracks over time, and when this occurs, the water within the tank has the opportunity to reach and corrode the lining—and that’s where the anode rod comes in.
The water heater’s anode rod serves as its second line of defense. The rod reacts to corrosive elements in the water before the steel of the tank does. Since this anode rod breaks down over the years, it means it won’t last forever. Keeping this anode rod in good shape and replacing it when necessary is exactly why it’s so vital that you have maintenance scheduled once a year.
Remember, once your water heater tank starts to rust, replacement is the only option! Routine water heater maintenance is absolutely a worthwhile investment, keeping you from more drastic expenses later on, such as premature water heater replacement. Some good news here: there are a number of efficient water heaters on the market today, so when you do need replacement, we’re the team to call!