Regular hot water service will ensure that your system is not only performing at its peak, but it will also extend the life of your water heater. Replacing the anode on your water heater is a crucial part of this hot water service.
The sacrificial anode helps protect your tank from rusting. That they serve such a crucial function is all the more reason why you should pay close attention to the condition of your hot water tank anodes. That being the case, here are a few things you should keep in mind.
The One Sure Way
The only sure way to know if your water heater anode needs replacing is to take it out and have a good look at it.
1. It Looks Intact
If, after some time, your anode rode is smooth and still perfectly intact, showing no signs of corrosion, then the logical explanation is that it is not doing its work. This phenomenon is likely as a result of anode passivation.
There are several causes for passivation. Top among these include excessively soft water and lack of proper contact between the rods and the steel tank. It could also be because of the composition of the anode itself. Whichever the case, replacing the anode with a quality one is an important hot water service.
2. It Looks Rough
In this case, your anode rod is doing its job and doing it well. Gradual corrosion and deterioration over time will manifest in the anode looking chewed up and rough. Even before you have a good look at the anode, you may notice little pieces of the metal in your water.
As the anode deteriorates over time, there will be less of it to be sacrificed, putting your steel hot water tank at risk. It is, therefore, vital that you make the replacement as soon as possible.
The Cost Implications
Can you do the anode replacement yourself? Yes. However, it's not the easiest thing to do, as you will need to turn off the water heater, drain it out and work to unscrew the anode from the tank. Accidents do happen, and if you are not too careful, you may damage the rod and the tank. Needless to say, DIY will cost you nothing.
On the other hand, you can rest assured of a great job with an experienced hot water service technician and plumber. The service charge will depend on several factors, including the location of the sacrificial anode and, by extension, the level of difficulty of the replacement job. Contact hot water system repair professionals for more information.