Another Surprise – the water heater

Another Surprise – the water heater

 Inside the car at two in the afternoon, it registered 122 degrees.

On this last August day, I sweated walking from the cool house into the sweltering sun’s ambient outside 107 temperatures. I opened the car door to be greeted to a car oven. The car was parked in the shaded carport.

I was going to visit my Casita at the storage facility. There is always a surprise when I visit my Casita.

Surprises began the first day. I discovered the model I thought I bought was not the model delivered. From Day One, I have encountered surprise after surprise.

No complaints. I have accepted and never-ending series of uphill challenges.

I’ve become used to it.

Today’s surprise is the water heater. How long a water heater lasts depends on how much maintenance it has been given. Many people believe “If it isn’t broke… Don’t fix it.”

I’m not a tinkerer. I don’t like work. I prefer things to work without constant adjustment.

However, all water heaters require maintenance. They are designed to fail. It’s chemistry. The water heater is vulnerable to rusting and corroding due to materials manufacturers use to build them.

Water gases naturally dissolve… Like carbon monoxide, making water highly acidic.

Enter the anode rod. It is the ‘sacrificial lamb.’ It sacrifices itself to corrosion to protect the water heater.

Before sharing the technical details, here is MY original anode rod… Next, to the NEW anode rod, I will use.

anode rods-400

The skinny rod is the original anode rod I pulled from my water heater.

When new, that skinny anode rod had the same thickness as the new anode rod. The anode rod is made of magnesium. It sacrifices itself to corrosion to protect the water heater from rusting out.

The composition of water, combined with heat, creates an environment that corrodes the tank and its elements. The anode rod prevents that from happening.

Sometime in the last seven years, my skinny anode rod gave up its life. From that time until now, tank corrosion has been happening.

I have no idea how long it will be before the water heater starts leaking. I will have to replace the unit. It could last another five years or even ten years.

Why wasn’t maintenance performed?

Pulling the anode rode takes special tools. It is extremely difficult to break loose. I didn’t have the correct tools. I called on my friend John.

John has two things I lack. The proper tools and physical grunt power. It took his ‘breaking bar tool’ to exert enough leverage to break the rusted anode rod loose.

I have a lot of work to do. I need to flush the water tank and insert the new anode rod.

I will tackle that task in a few days.

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