Why It Is Crucial to Have Your Water Heater Serviced Every Year

Your water heater is one of the essential appliances in your home. It keeps your family warm and healthy and helps prevent your plumbing system from freezing up during extreme weather conditions. Proper maintenance is a worthwhile investment to keep your system running smoothly and efficiently. But do you understand the components of the system and why it’s so important to keep your water heater serviced?

Why A Metal Rod Is the Most Important Part of Your Heating System

Everybody knows that rust is deadly to anything made of metal. Given sufficient time, rust can eat right through metal, utterly destroying it. And this can happen in a relatively short period of time. Thinking about things logically, a water heater that is made of metal and contains water must be a prime suspect for this degradation to take place.

Rust is the result of an electrochemical process, which causes metals to be oxidized. This, in turn, causes the rust to form, which eventually results in the metal corroding away. The process causes the electrons to flow away from the metal, which then causes the metal loss.

If you want to think of this in different terms, you could use the analogy of a bully in a school playground. A bully will always attack the child he sees to be the weakest. When it comes to water and metal, the same concept holds true. This is why anode rods were invented. These rods are made of different, stronger metals that actually lose significantly more electrons when in contact with water. The bully sees this as a weakness and so continually attacks the rod, leaving the surrounding steel casing relatively unscathed.

Over time, the anode rod will, of course, perish and corrode away to nothing. Once this has happened, your water heater is totally at the mercy of nature. The weaker steel casing of your water heater will become the number-one target for the bully. On average, an anode rod will last for about five years, although this is dependent on the water conditions within your particular area.

Signs It’s Time to Get Your Water Heater Serviced

A good plumber will know the signs and symptoms of a failing anode rod, and once spotted, this is a relatively quick and straightforward replacement job. However, if you decide against regular inspections and maintenance, it could prove an expensive mistake in the long term, as new water heaters are not a cheap purchase.

There are three different types of anode rods, and we have listed the pros and cons of each below:

  • Aluminum rods are the rod of choice for people living in a hard-water area. Unfortunately, there are certain risks associated with the use of aluminum rods, which may increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. People with an aluminum rod fitted are advised not to drink hot water directly from the tap.
  • Zinc anode rods actually contain a majority of aluminum in their list of ingredients but have a small quantity of zinc, which counteracts any sulfur odors found in the water heater.
  • Magnesium rods are far and away the most popular choice of material used in anode rods. Unfortunately, when used in hard-water conditions, they deteriorate at a much faster pace than zinc- or aluminum-based rods. As a consequence, they are rarely used in hard-water areas.

At Staggs Plumbing, we are experts in both electric and gas tankless water heaters. We understand the importance of having your water heater serviced regularly. As we head into color temperatures, be sure to schedule your inspection so you’re ready to keep going through the winter, and your family stays warm. Contact us today.