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When It's Time To Replace Your Water Heater's Anode Rod

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Since water heaters mainly comprise copper, stainless steel, and steel components, they may corrode after sitting in water continuously. Luckily, manufacturers install an anode rod in your hot water tank to prevent corrosion. The anode rod acts as a sacrificial rod by attracting all corrosive elements in your tank so that the rod corrodes and your water heater does not. 

However, your anode rod can deteriorate over time and lose its effectiveness. The following are signs that you should invest in a new anode rod. 

Unusual Odor in the Hot Water

If you have a hot water tank in your home, strange odours in your hot water indicate an underlying issue. Anode rods feature a steel core wrapped in magnesium, zinc, or aluminium. Sometimes corrosion can eat away the coating of the steel core that prevents corrosion in your tank. 

If your tank has an aluminium or magnesium rod, it can react poorly with water and emit high levels of sulphur bacteria. You will then notice a rotten egg odour in your hot water. Black or brown water usually accompanies this smell. 

When your anode rod rusts and soaks into your hot water, you will also smell a rusty odour in your water. Smelly water is unhygienic, so you need to act quickly. Contact a plumber to flush and disinfect your tank and eliminate the foul odours. Also, replace the corroded anode rod to prevent future smells. 

Leaking Water Heater

Typically, you should replace your anode rod every five years to be safe. If your anode rod is living on borrowed time, your hot water tank may not filter sediments effectively. As a result, sediment builds up at the tank's bottom and creates pinhole leaks or ruptures.

In some cases, the rusty anode rod loosens, falls into the water, and begins to bob around. The anode rod hits the tank's walls, and cracks develop in the process. Once the cracks enlarge, your tank begins to leak.

So, if you notice rusty, brown colour in your hot tap water, you should replace your rod to avoid irreversible damage to your water heater. Also, enlist a professional to flush and drain your water heater to eliminate any sediment build-up. 

An anode rod plays a pivotal role in meeting your home's hot water needs. If you notice any of these two signs, you should contact a plumber right away for anode replacement or hot water service.