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Water Heater Maintenance

Updated on October 21, 2011

Maintaining A Water Heater

Why maintain your water heater and how to do it?

The water heater is one of the most important appliances of your home and one of the most expensive one to repair or be replaced when time comes to do that.

The water heater needs to be maintained to prevent leakage, to protect the tank from corrosion, to stop sediments build ups, to save money with your gas or electric bill and among many other reasons, for safety reasons and, therefore, to prevent incident in your home.

How to maintain a water heater? While I will give you a list of things that you should be concerned about when inspecting your water heater, I will only give you a few tips in how maintain and extend the life of the water heater in this page.

water heater flush,
water heater flush,

Flushing A Water Heater

One of the easiest ways to maintain is to perform an annual flush in the water heater, you will find detailed information and guidelines in how to do that by going to and check under water heater pages.

Why the water heater needs to be flushed once a year? If your state is like most states in the nation, your water probably contains a lot of hardness in it and, hardness in water is one of the main reasons of plumbing problems and, the water heater is not free from it, in fact, the water collects more hardness and water impurities than anything else in your home, so, by flushing the water heater once a year, you are removing those sediments and build ups from the bottom of your tank and, consequently, you are preventing your water heater from corrosion and, consequently, your extending the life of your water heater.

Also, by removing the sedments from the bottom of the tank, you are saving in gas and electricity because, for every each of sedments inside your tank, your water heater will have to work overtime by almost 50% to provide the same amount of hot water.

Anode Rod

What is anode rode? Anode Rode also known as sacrificial rod, it is a piece of soft metal that goes inde the water heater. The anode rod was built and designed to protect the water heater and extend the life of it.

What this rod is made of? The sacrificial rod is made of either alumninum. zinc or magnesium and as the name says, the rod is sacrificed in order to protect the water heater tank.

How that happens? Remember the water hardness and particles that comes with the water, well, if the water didn't have a sacrificial rod, all those particles and hardness would be attracted by the water heater tank that is made of metal, however, the anode rod main purpose is to attract all those impurities, therefore, it protects the water heater from corrosion and, consequently, it extends the life of it.

But what happens if the rod is totally consumed the water impurities? The water heater tank will be next in line to be consumed. So, how long should you replace such a rod? Well, it will depends the level of water hardness in your area, however, if you have a water heater that's more than 3 years old, you should consider checking the rod to see how looks like.

More information in how to do that, please, go to my website for more tips.

Note: Below is a photo of two anode rods, one that is brand new and one almost fully deteriorated due to water hardness.


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      Summer 4 years ago

      Thanks for the informative hub! I didn’t realize that water heaters should be flushed every year- that’s definitely something I will need to check into! I also had no idea what an anode rod was so I appreciated that information! While looking for blogs on water heaters I found this one: . It talks about how your water heater can affect your plumbing. Maybe it will help you and your followers like it helped me!