We’ve all heard stories about sacrifices made to benefit others, but there is an unsung hero in your home right now that is doing that very thing to save you money.

The name is “rod” – actually the full name is “anode rod” – and there won’t be any medals handed out for bravery due to this sacrifice.

The anode rod is a crucial component in your home’s water heater. Without it, corrosion would take over. Here’s how it works (sorry, but it requires some icky science talk).

The role of the anode rod in a water heater is that it corrodes first, ensuring a longer life for the storage tank. Tanks will inevitably develop voids and cracks which will cause the tank to corrode. The sacrificial rod prevents deterioration of the tank wall by eroding away before the steel tank does.

But how does it do that? It is made from a metal alloy with a more “active” voltage than the metal of the structure, meaning it is sacrificed instead of the tank.

Cool, huh? And selfless too. If only other people made such sacrifices for us…

Replacing the anode rod on a regular maintenance schedule is a smart decision and will save you money because it’s cheaper than replacing an entire hot water heater because of the tank has rusted.

The anode rod is usually screwed into the top of the tank and hangs down inside the tank. Usually the anode rod is installed separately, but in some makes of water heaters, the anode rod is combined with the hot water outlet.

But you don’t have to worry about this. Ask one of our Lewis MacLean 24-hour residential plumbing specialists to inspect your hot water heater and get on a regular maintenance schedule.

Lewis MacLean. Simplifying Your Life.