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A Guide on When to Change the Water Heater Anodes

plumberbrookvale water-heater-anode

One of the most appreciated components within our water heater system is the component known as the anode rod. Why is it being appreciated? It is simply because it gives protection to our system from the harmful effects of corrosion. Because of that, it averts our system from being damage. Known for its sacrificial characteristics, anodes should be replaced immediately.

This article presents when to change you anode rods and certain variables that affect it lifespan.


When to change your water heater anodes?

Our water heater anodes are made from forcing the magnesium alloy between the cores of 3mm diameter of mild steel. When the condition of an anode is efficiently working and is active, it will look like being pitted sharply and its valleys will turn into a grey colour similar to the authentic magnesium.

As it reaches to the point that it is heavily influenced by corrosion, it will wear off up until to its core and continuously uncover it. Most of the time, the anode goes from top to bottom.  An ideal time to replace it is when before the anode worn down to its core so that there will still be enough area of magnesium to supply protection from corrosion.

A lot of anodes becomes passivized or idled when it occurs, it will not be sharply fitted unlike the active one, however, it will look like smoother than the other one and will either be completely or partially covered with calcium carbonate that usually appears to white or brown. On the other hand, its setback is that because it is coated, it gives no or little protection to your water heater and thus, should be replaced right away.

Variables that affects an anodes lifespan

Temperature Setting

If you don’t know it yet, hot water is more corrosive than freezing water. So when the thermostat is being set higher than normal, the anode is consumed immediately.  Also, this means that heating energy consumption increases as well.  The temperature setting and the situation is the reason why the anode quickly wears off at the top.

Method of Heating

Anodes that are inside gas type storage heater typically lasts longer more than those electric tank types. This happens because gas heaters normally work at a lower temperature which also does not have copper element content in the water that makes less corrosion to the anode.

Water Quality

All natural water has varied dissolved salts in it that acts as the bearer of electric current. When the water has higher salt content, it indicates that its electrical resistance is lower and has a greater chance being affected by corrosion. Also, by using water softeners, this could affect them so much because these are extremely corrosive. Its process merely replaces sodium ion for calcium and magnesium ions and removes all of the ability to form scale, however, it does not contribute to the reduction of electrical conductivity.

Size of Household

Our water storage tanks at home are under constant pressure. This means that each time we turn off our hot water taps, the tank contracts and slowly expands. Ceramic mixer taps and washing machine solenoid valves that are constantly turned off and on will result to pressure changes within the storage tank. These changes could precipitate a crack on the glass lining of the tank, therefore, revealing the steel and making it get affected by corrosion.

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