What Protects Your Water Heater From Rusting?

By Four Seasons Heating, Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric - March 19, 2015
rusted water heater heating part

As we all know, water over periods of exposure creates a chemical reaction that turns metal into rust. How is it then that a hot water tank, a device constantly filled with water, avoids rusting? Is the fate of every hot water tank to eventually corrode from the inside out? Of course not! Instead, hot water tanks are fitted with a galvanic anode or otherwise known as a sacrificial anode.

The Sacrificial Anode and Your Water Heater

  • What does it do? The sacrificial anode is placed inside the tank of your water heater for the sole purpose of rusting. With an anode in place, the interior of the tank will not rust. The sacrificial anode will corrode instead leaving your hot water tank free to continue functioning normally.
  • How does it work? Essentially, the anode is made from a more “active” metal, and when introduced to the water alongside the standard metallic materials in a water heater, the sacrificial anode becomes a much more “attractive” option for rust to form upon. So long as bits of the anode remains to rust away, no other component of the hot water tank will suffer.
  • How long do they last? On average, your sacrificial anode will last between two and 6 years, but the longevity can be influenced by a number of factors including the heat of the water. If your hot water tank is over 6 years old, your sacrificial anode has likely corroded away. This leaves your hot water tank vulnerable to rust.

Contact Four Seasons for a Rheem Hot Water Heater!

If your hot water tank has experienced difficulty, can no longer provide enough hot water for your family, or is growing old, Four Seasons can replace your tank today! Plus, with the Trade in Your Tank program, we will properly dispose of your old tank and even credit you $100 towards your new one.

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