Anode Rod In Water Heater

Corrosion is one of the main enemies of water heaters. It can hamper the functioning and the life of a water heater. The situation is worse if you get hard water.

To protect the water heater tank from corrosion, manufacturers use different kinds of coating or expensive metals like SS304 for the water tank. But still, these are not the best solutions out there.

That is why almost all water heaters nowadays come with a metal rod called an anode rod that is basically submerged in the tank water and protects the tank from corrosion.

Sounds interesting? If yes, then let’s learn more about Anode rod in Water Heater here in this article.

What Is an Anode Rod In Water Heater?

The anode rod is a crucial part of every water heating system that helps prolong the lifespan of the Water Heater and enhances performance to provide reliable long-lasting use.

It protects the water heater tank from corrosion by corroding the rod itself. This means the anode rod corrodes instead of the water tank. That is why it is called a sacrificing rod.

Anode Rod In Water Heater

The anode rod is made of Aluminum, Magnesium, or zinc/aluminum alloy around a steel wire core. Magnesium is better because of its ability to give electrons more freely than aluminum anodes.

The material composition of the water anode rod can significantly impact the performance and longevity of your water heater as well as the minerals inside your home’s water supply.

How Does An Anode Rod Work?

The anode rod runs through the length of the water heater. A water heater anode rod prolongs the life of tank water heaters by a process known as electrolysis. Electrolysis prevents water heaters from degradation

It attracts ions to its surface that normally cause rust in iron and steel. The anode rod attracts and absorbs harmful particles, such as sediment buildup, to its surface.

Without an anode rod, corrosion, rust, hard water sediments, and heat adhere to the rod rather than the tank lining which can cause severe damage.

Types Of Anode Rod

There are different types of anode rods available in the market based on the coating material used. You should choose the rod based on the types of water you get.

Aluminum Anode Rod

If you are getting muddy water, an aluminum anode rod could serve you the best. It acts as a barrier against high concentrations of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and others found in the soil and protects your water heater from corrosion.

Magnesium Anode Rod

These are only good for soft water. Magnesium Anode Rods can not protect themselves when the water TDS level is very high. If you get hard water and still use a Magnesium Anode Rod, you may need to change the anode rod more frequently than ever.

Zinc-Aluminum Alloy Anode Rod

If your water smells like rotten eggs, it likely means you have hydrogen sulfide gas in your water supply. Sulfur bacteria occur when decaying rocks and soil find their way into groundwater. The foul odor can also be caused when minerals, such as magnesium or aluminum, form a chemical reaction.

Zinc-Aluminum Alloy Anode Rod is the best in this case as it can get rid of the smell and also protects your water tank from corrosion.

Powered Anode Rod

Instead of damaging itself, powered anode rods send waves of electricity that zap and scatter corrosive electrons. This protects its lining from accumulating harmful particles that could result in rusting.

Powered Anode Rod corrodes at a very slow rate compared to other anode rods. However these are very costly.

How Often You Should Change The Anode Rod?

How often you should change your anode rod depends on the type of anode rod you use and the TDS level of water.

There is no direct way to check the health of an anode rod without getting that rod out of the water heater. So it can only be checked during periodic maintenance.

Generally, we should check the anode rod every two years considering that you are not getting hard water. If it is hard water, you may need to check the rod every year.

Here are some indications that indicate that your anode rod may be bad.

  • Water heater takes more time than expected to deliver hot water
  • You get a mix of hot and cold water
  • You get an inflated power bill due to the water heater
  • Rotten egg smell coming from your water or the heater itself
  • Sign of corrosion in the water tank

FAQ | Water Geyser Rod

What Is an Anode Rod In a Water Heater?

An anode rod in the water heater is a metal rod coated with Aluminum, Magnesium, or zinc/aluminum alloy around a steel wire core that prevents corrosion on the water tank by corroding the rod itself using an electrolysis process.

An anode rod can improve the water heater’s life by protecting it from corrosion and other harmful contaminants found in the water.

How To Replace Anode Rod In Water Heater?

Here are the steps that you can follow to replace a water heater.

1. Turn off Power supply
2. Turn off the water supply
3. Completely drain water from the tank
4. Locate the anode rod ( Could be at the top if it is a vertical water heater)
5. Remove the old rod
6. Install the new rod
7. Turn on the power supply and water and check if everything is working or not.

Rajib Is The Founder And The Key Brain Behind RiansDeal. A NIT 2004 Graduate In Mechanical Engineering With Close To Two Decades Of Experience In Designing Large Appliances And Consumer Electronics Products.


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