The largest expense most property owners have when it comes to plumbing is the water heater. It can cost between $800 and $1,000 to replace a water heater; and in many cases the warranty for a new water heater is only about six years. Sometimes, they don’t last six years. Gary from Rakeman Plumbing is telling me there is a sacrificial rod inside the water heater that can be changed, maybe at two year intervals, which can increase the life of your water heater and protect you from expensive replacements.
The standard water heater comes with an aluminum anode rod. We always recommend the upgraded anode rod that’s made from magnesium. There is also a KA-90 rod, which is an upgrade from the magnesium model. Whatever type of rod happens to be in your water heater, that anode rod is the key component in extending the life of your water heater. Most property managers and home owners do not realize that this anode rod and its replacement is a simple maintenance issue that can prevent bigger and more expensive problems.
Depending on your water heater’s manufacturer, you might need to replace the rod every couple of years in order to stay within your warranty. We recommend you change it every two years. Most of your manufacturers will say between one and three years, but if you have it inspected and changed every two years, you’ll go a long way in protecting and preserving your water heater. It’s a good practice that can double the life of the water heater.
It’s easy to notice the difference in a used rod and a new rod when you replace it. After two years, a rod gets worn down and not much of it is left. When a water heater starts to leak, it’s usually because there is no rod left to do the job you need it to do. Chemicals in the water begin to attack the water heater, causing premature leaks and damage.
Replacing your water heater’s rod will require about one hour of labor and a part that costs around $50. That’s about one-tenth the cost of a new water heater. It makes sense to schedule this service regularly so you can keep your water heater in good shape for longer and stay protected by your warranty.
When a water heater does leak, there is almost always collateral damage in the house. The damaged caused by that water is not covered by a warranty and it can often add up to about $1,500 or $2,000. You want to avoid replacing your water heater before you have to, and you want to avoid the extra expenses involved in cleaning up water damage. Preventative maintenance is the key.
If you have any questions on plumbing issues or water heater maintenance, please contact us at Blackbird Realty and we’d be happy to tell you more.