How You Can Extend the Life of Your Water Heater

hot water tankDid you know that your hot water tank could last much longer than you think? In fact, the protection that is in your hot water tank is designed to last only for a few years. Once this protection disappears, your tank starts to rust and you must replace it. There are 2 types of protection for hot water tanks. Sacrificial anodes and anodes with imposed current. The difference between these anodes is explained in this article.

Corrosion occurs when two materials are immersed in electrolytes (conductive liquid). One of the two materials, the one with the lowest potential, plays the role of the anode and corrodes rapidly. If we take the example of a car, it is often the weaker parts that rust first. It is the same for your hot water tank and that is why it is equipped with protection against corrosion.

Sacrificial Anode

The sacrificial anode in a hot water tank is made of magnesium or aluminium (or more rarely aluminium and zinc). As the name says, this anode sacrifices itself to protect the rest of the water heater. Once this anode is completely consumed, the corrosion then attacks the weakest parts of the water heater. Since this anode is not designed to last, most hot water tank manufacturers recommend inspecting the condition of the anode every 1 to 3 years and replace it when you notice it is worn out more than 50%. ?The lifetime of the anode depends on your water quality, the running temperature, how much the water heater is used and the craftsmanship of the hot water tank. It is also important to know that sodium-softened water can significantly reduce the length of the anodes life.

Magnesium VS Aluminum

The magnesium anode generally offers better protection than the aluminium anode but requires more maintenance, because it dissolves faster. In addition, it is often what causes the smell of sulfur in the water heater! Although very popular (because of its initial cheaper cost), one of the problems with aluminium rods is that the corrosive material that forms on the anode tends to harden and sink to the bottom of the tank, which can cause long-term problems all along the plumbing line. Some people also say that the water can be bad for your health. Since we are not experts in this field, we invite you to read the article on the subject. Aluminium and dementia: Is there a link? From Alzheimer Society Canada

The Powered Titanium Anode Rod (Also know as ICCP System)

A Powered Anode Rod is made of titanium and covered with MMO that receives a low current, electronically regulated by a rectifier (plug-in to a standard 120 V socket). This system provides a layer of permanent corrosion protection on the internal welds and weak points of the tank. These anodes do not need any maintenance!
Click on this link to learn more : How Titanium Powered Anode Rod Works.

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