Extend The Life of Your Water Heater and Save Energy

Water is Water, right? Wrong! Minerals in your water can ruin your by rusting it from the inside out, or these minerals can settle in the bottom of your tank and create a layer between the water that needs to be heated and the burner. This layer will cause you to use more gas to heat the same amount of water, thereby increasing your cost, and degrading the bottom of the tank, thereby shortening its life.
Introduce the . This is installed in your , and without using a lot of scientific terms, it basically attracts these minerals and sacrifices itself instead of your tank. When the anode rod has given all that it can give, it needs to be replaced or these minerals will now attack your tank. The life of an anode rod can range from 2 to 5 years depending on the type of water you have. It is far better to replace it earlier rather than later.

The anode rod can be made of magnesium, aluminum alloy, or zinc. Some scientist’s research has linked aluminum in our diet to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The industry recommendation is do not cook with or drink water that has been in the hot water tank using an aluminum anodizing rod. Some magnesium rods will react with bacteria in the water and cause a foul smell, similar to that of rotten eggs. To eliminate this smell you can try switching to a zinc anode rod, which should solve the problem. As a last resort use an aluminum rod but please read the earlier warning.
To replace the anode rod;
1. Turn the gas or electric to the unit off.
2. Turn the water supply to the tank off.
3. Drain 4 or 5 gallons of water from the tank using a garden hose connected to the drain outlet near the bottom of the tank. The tank may become air locked when you do this and you may have to open the pressure relief valve near the top of the tank. This is a brass, gold color valve typically with a small silver arm on it and a pipe running down ending near the floor
4. To access the rod loosen the hex head cap found on the top of the tank.
5. Pull the rod out of the tank. Notice the difference in appearance compared to the new rod.
6. Slide the new rod into the tank
7. Reinstall the hex head cap, using Teflon tape on the threads to seal it properly.
8. Make sure the pressure relief valve is closed
9. Turn the water supply back on
10. Turn your electric or gas back on and pay attention to the manufacturers suggested lighting instructions.

While you are right by the water tank it would be a good idea to lower the temperature and save some energy. Most people have it set to high. Take a meat thermometer and put it in a glass and run the hot water into the glass for a couple minutes. You are aiming for 120 degree water. If it is too hot turn the temperature dial down one notch and test again tomorrow about the same time. It may take you several attempts to get it right.
So i hope that I have taken a scary complex job and broken it into steps that you feel comfortable tackling.

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7 Responses to “Extend The Life of Your Water Heater and Save Energy”

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