What are anode rods you may ask? Well, these metallic cylinders help your water heater tank become free from rusts. Anode rods are able to do this by absorbing the corrosion chemical reaction in the water heater.
These sacrificial metals are very important to allow the water heater to remain functional. A water heater that has rusty components and corroded will drastically shorten its lifespan. You should check your anode rod every two to three years and inspect if it’s corroded or not. When replacing an anode rod, you need to be familiar with its different types. This will allow you to pick the best anode rod for your current needs and water heating system.
1. Magnesium Rods
We’re starting off the list with a popular and modern anode rod. If you purchase a modern tank type water heater; then it’s most likely that it’s installed with a magnesium anode rod. The reason why it’s popularly used today is because the metal doesn’t contain harmful compounds that can contaminate the water supply. It also has a good durability and can protect the tank components for a long time. Although, the magnesium anode rod does have a few disadvantages.
One disadvantage is it can corrode faster if the heating system processes hard water a lot. For those who are not familiar with hard water; it’s water that has a lot of mineral content. Hard water makes magnesium anode rod corrode faster so you need to replace it more than usual. We recommend you to install water softener to lessen the mineral content of the water. Another disadvantage is it can cause leaks. You should be careful when putting a magnesium anode rod on a corroded tank, as it can cause a chemical reaction that can cause leaks on your water heater.
2. Aluminium Rods
Before magnesium anode rods were popular; the most used anode rod back in the day was aluminium. The reason why many manufacturers installed aluminium rods was because of its durability. In fact, this rod can even survive under hard water. However, studies suggest that high concentration of aluminium anode rod can cause health complications and even poisoning.
The result was the integration of new anode rod types to avert any trouble of using aluminium anode rod. There are still water heaters that have aluminium anode rods in the tank, but it’s not pure aluminium. These anode rods only contain a few compositions of aluminium.
3. Zinc Rods
Zinc rods are actually a combination of aluminium. It’s bizarre that these anode rods are called zinc anode rods when it’s mostly made up of aluminium. Basically, the composition of this anode rod has a ratio of 1 zinc out of 10 aluminium. The zinc component is really useful since it fights off odour-causing bacteria in the water heater tank. Some water heaters have foul smells because of bacterial production in the tank. The zinc anode rod is especially made for this issue. This anode rod basically serves two purposes: to prevent the components from corroding while also controlling bacterial growth and eliminate odours.