Hot Water Anode

Hot Water Tanks & their Anode

Replacing your Electric, Gas & Solar Hot Water System’s Anode


An anode is a highly reactive metal component inside your hot water system which protects it from corrosion by attracting electrolytes more strongly than the rest of the hot water system.

If you want your hot water system to live longer, Moyle Plumbing & Gasfitting strongly recommend a routine replacement of the sacrificial anode inside your hot water system.


What is a sacrificial anode? Most tank-based hot water systems feature a ‘sacrificial anode’. A sacrificial anode is a metal rod, normally made from aluminum or magnesium and coated in zinc, which hangs down inside your hot water tank.

The sacrificial anode is designed to attract minerals and impurities in the water which would otherwise react with the inside of the tank and cause it to rust and deteriorate. This ‘sacrificial’ rod slowly breaks down and degrades, sacrificing its own life for the greater good of your hot water tank.


Why should an Anode be replaced regularly? The anode sacrifices itself to protect the rest of the HWS. In most cases (and depending on the properties of the water where you live), sacrificial anodes need to be replaced once every 5 to 7 years. Regular replacement of the anode may extend the service live of your hot water tank by five to ten years.


Who should replace the Anode? – Replacing an anode is not a job you should carry out yourself. Hot water tanks contain scalding hot water and steam and are connected to the electricity or gas supply. This work should only be performed by a licensed experienced plumber such as Moyle Plumbing & Gasfitting.


How does a sacrificial anode work? – Corrosion or rust is the result of electrolytic action which travels through the water and reacts with a surface of the metal at risk. A sacrificial anode works by attracting electrolytes more strongly than the rest of the hot water system, keeping other system components out of harm’s way. As well as hot water heaters, sacrificial anodes protect ships at sea, pipelines, boilers and other steel structures that are under water or in damp soil conditions where risk of corrosion exists.


When should the anode be replaced? - Replacing the anode every 5 to 7 years will extend the life of your hot water system. Replacing the anode every 5 years should extend the life expectancy of your hot water tank. Water softened or acidic water can accelerate anode corrosion, therefor yours may require replacement sooner. If you notice a ‘rotten egg’ smell from your hot water taps, this too may be an indication that your anode needs replacing. Give us a call here at Moyle Plumbing & Gasfitting if you would like to discuss when your anode is to be replaced.


Call for hassle-free sacrificial anode replacement Replacing the sacrificial anode is the easiest and most cost-effective way to extend the life of your hot water system. Moyle Plumbing & Gasfitting are experts in the replacement of all types of hot water system sacrificial anodes and can provide honest advice on all aspects of your hot water system servicing. Extend the life of your hot water system by calling Moyle Plumbing & Gasfitting for a qualified and experienced hot water plumber to attend.

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For more technical information, follow this link from one of the hot water system manufacturers -

Vulcan Owners Manual & Guide to Maintenance -