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Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces, Inc. Blog

How Does Your Water Heater Avoid Rusting?

It likely can go without saying that any appliance or plumbing system that deals with large amounts of water on a regular basis will be prone to the problem of rust. And with the amount of work that your water heater goes through on a day-to-day basis, it may come as a surprise that you aren’t dealing with rust on a more regular basis.

But how does this work? How does a water heater last so much longer than it should, without becoming a pile of rusty parts? Keep reading to learn the answer to these questions and more.

The Function of Your Anode Rod

The anode rod of your water heater is the component that protects the entire system from rust. It’s a long metal rod that is typically comprised of magnesium, aluminum, or zinc and is inserted into the water heater tank. When the anode rod is in contact with the water within the tank, it will attract the ions in the water that normally create rust: a process called electrolysis.

As the ions interact with the anode rod, the rod itself actually degrades, however the lining of the water heater tank is kept completely safe from rust. This is a highly effective process, though it is important to remember that anode rods don’t last throughout the lifespan of your water heater.

Replacing the Anode Rod

The anode rod will eventually degrade to a point that it will no longer be able to attract the ions in the water, and then it will need to be replaced. Without a functioning anode rod in the water heater tank, your entire system will be vulnerable to rust. It typically takes about a year for your anode rod to degrade, so be sure to schedule your water heater maintenance at least that often.

Call Dalton Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, Inc. today for your water heater service needs in Janesville, IA. Your comfort is our promise.

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