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  • Writer's pictureNorth Lakes Plumbing & Gas Co

Reasons to Check Your Hot Water System Anode

For most people, their hot water system is a mystery outside of whether it's gas, electric or solar. If we're being honest, as a homeowner or tenant, that's all you really need to know, as long as your maintenance schedule is good.

If you have an electric storage hot water unit there is one extra thing that's worth understanding about your system. We're talking about the sacrificial anode in the centre of the tank, which protects your entire system from rusting from the inside out.

In most instances, you can expect your hot water system to run for up to 15 years while only needing to do the recommended five-year service. However, the most common reason for earlier failure is that the anode rod wasn't replaced until it was too late!

What Is A Hot Water Anode?

The hot water anode rod is also called a 'sacrificial anode'; sounds dramatic, right? But it's not all that complicated. The metal rod is made of aluminium or magnesium and then coated in zinc. Your anode rod is standardly located at the top of your hot water unit and goes inside the chamber itself, where it attracts minerals and impurities in the water, which would otherwise rust the inside of your tank itself. The anode slowly rusts and 'sacrifices' itself, so your tank doesn't cop the abuse instead - what a trooper! This can ultimately delay the replacement of your hot water system and ensure it maximises its lifespan.

When Should I Replace Them?

A hot water system is an investment you want to protect. Maintenance should be performed periodically to ensure your system stays healthy. It's best to replace your anode before it becomes too corroded to protect your tank. Manufacturers recommend replacing these anodes every 4-5 years to extend the cylinder life. It is best to contact a licensed plumber to remove and replace your anode as they can be quite tricky without the correct tools.

How Many Anodes Should I Have?

Most hot water systems have one sacrificial anode, but some may have two. These ensure that corrosion won't occur during the tank's warranty period. Once your warranty wears up, we always recommend a service to ensure everything is working properly.

How To Replace A Hot Water Anode?

Replacing an anode is not a job you should handle yourself. When dealing with scalding hot water and steam, plus electrical power, it's always best for your safety to call in a licensed plumber to help.

At North Lakes Plumbing & Gas Co, we want your home to have fantastic water flow all year round, so if this was a job you could handle solo, we'd let you know. We love sharing DIY tips because we love plumbing and want to share that knowledge with the world. However, in this instance, it's simply not advised.

Organise An Appointment With North Lakes Plumbing & Gas Co

North Lakes Plumbing is a family-owned business operating in Brisbane for over fifteen years. Our friendly team of administrators are in the office during regular business hours and can be reached at (07) 3491 8489 or For after-hours support, call our mobile line on 0418 797 940.


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