An anode is a sacrificial magnesium rod that protects your hot water tank by attracting the chemical reactions that cause rust. The anode rusts in place of your tank rusting or corroding. This ensures the quality and safety of your hot water tank.
Why Do Water Heaters Corrode (Rust)?
Corrosion in water heaters is associated with the passage of minute electrical currents that travel through the metal and the water inside your tank. Corrosion takes place at the anode which is where the current releases ions to dissolve in the water. Areas develop at the tank walls where the circuit is completed. These are called cathodic areas. Provided there is an effective anode working inside the tank, no corrosion can, or will, take place in these areas. Once the original anode stops working, the steel tank will react with other incompatible metals such as the copper pipes, brass fittings and the element(s). Once this occurs, the tank wall becomes anodic and corrosion (rust) commences.
How Do Anodes Stop Corrosion?
Anodes are manufactured from a special grade of magnesium and they protect steel with their sacrificial action. When a magnesium rod (the anode) is fitted to a steel tank filled with fresh water, a current will constantly flow through the water between the rod and any exposed steel area on the tank wall. This protective current is produced by the magnesium. It releases ions which cause the anode to corrode instead of the steel tank.
What About Older Heaters?
The older a heater is, the more chance of it having little or no remaining active anode, thus tank corrosion may have already occurred. While that corrosion cannot be reversed, it can certainly be stopped from becoming worse with the installation of a fresh, new anode.
How do you replace the anode?
Chiswick Plumbing can inspect and change the anode in your hot water system. We are currently offering 25% off anode replacements for a limited time!
Difficult or Restricted Access?
NO PROBLEM! Chiswick Plumbing have Flexi-Link anodes. They allow us to replace anodes where there is insufficient space for a standard anode replacement.