Keeping Your Plumbing Flowing Smoothly

If you deal with plumbing clogs on a regular basis, you might find yourself struggling with bent wire hangers, chemical drain cleaner, and unfamiliar pipes. Unfortunately, unless you are a trained professional, all of your efforts might be in vain. Most people don't realize it, but it is possible to damage your plumbing by making a few missteps. If you use the wrong chemicals or you push a little too hard, you might end up dealing with damaged pipes or your clogging problem could get worse. Fortunately, you might be able to use this blog to help you to keep your plumbing flowing smoothly.

The Crucial Role Of The Anode Rod In Your Hot Water Heater


The hot water heater in your home is an essential appliance, ensuring you have a steady supply of hot water for baths, cleaning, and cooking. But did you know that there's a component inside it that plays a pivotal role in prolonging the life of the heater? It's called the anode rod, often termed the "sacrificial" anode rod. This component is crucial to prevent your water heater from rusting and deteriorating prematurely.

Why the Anode Rod is Important

Water is a natural electrolyte, facilitating the flow of electric currents. When metal is submerged in water, especially when heated, it starts to corrode. The anode rod will attract all the corrosive elements that are found in the water, essentially sacrificing itself to save the water heater tank. Made typically from magnesium, aluminum, or zinc, it slowly degrades over time, taking the brunt of the corrosion process. By doing so, it massively extends the lifespan of your hot water heater.

Signs It's Time to Replace the Anode Rod

The frequency of replacement varies depending on water quality, temperature settings, and how much the water heater is used. However, a good rule of thumb is to check it every few years. If the core steel wire is exposed, or it's coated with calcium, it's time for a replacement.

Steps to Replace the Anode Rod

Here are the basic steps for how to replace the anode rod when it is time to replace it. 

  1. Safety First: Before starting, turn off the power if it's an electric water heater or turn the gas switch to "pilot" for gas heaters. Shut off the cold water valve.

  2. Drain Some Water: Attach a hose to the water tank's drain valve at the bottom of the heater and let out a few gallons of water. This process will lower the water level, so you don't get splashed during the replacement.

  3. Locate and Remove the Anode Rod: The rod is usually at the top of the water heater. You might find a hexagonal head there. If not, it could be beneath the metal top, requiring you to unscrew and remove it. Using a wrench, turn the hexagonal head counterclockwise to unscrew the rod. It may require a bit of force. Once it's loose, pull it out gently.

  4. Insert the New Rod: Before inserting the new anode rod, wrap the threads with Teflon tape. This will ensure a tight fit and prevent leaks. Insert the rod into the opening, ensuring it's straight, and then screw it in clockwise. Tighten with a wrench but avoid over-tightening.

  5. Refill the Tank: Close the drain valve and turn on the cold water supply. Once the tank is full, restore the power or turn the gas switch back to its original position.

Reach out to professional water heater repair services if you need help performing this important plumbing task.


29 August 2023