Most water heaters (hot water tanks) have a lifespan of 7-12 years. The glass lining inside your home’s water heater is usually the first point of failure. After repeated heating and cooling the glass eventually expands and cracks. These cracks in the water heater’s glass lining expose the outer metal sheathing which ultimately results in rust and slow leaks. Over time slow leaks can become large leaks which could result in further damage to the surrounding areas and objects.
Unknown to many homeowners is that a waters heater’s life span can be improved with maintenance. Most tanks come with a second fail point known as an anode rod. The anode rod is made of magnesium, aluminum or aluminum/zinc alloy. The anode rod’s primary job is to attract corrosive elements and prolong the life of the tank. Over time the anode rod becomes corroded and requires replacement (about every 5 years)(The picture to the right shows a comparison between a new anode rod and one which has failed). At this time if you opt not to replace your anode rod corrosive elements will begin corroding the tank’s outer metal sheathing. Homeowners who do change their anode rod can expect to double the life span of their water heater (hot water tank).