There are three kinds of anode rods for Water Heaters. They include aluminum, magnesium and zinc. If your home pumps out hard water, then aluminum is the best choice. Today, many scientists believe that aluminum in the diet is linked to the development of Alzheimer's disease. Therefore, you should never drink or cook with water from a water heater tank which uses aluminum rods. On the other hand, Magnesium is better suited for softer water. Magnesium rods are the most common type of anode rod. Zinc pipes are made of aluminum with a minor bit of zinc added to it. The zinc is added to battle against any sulfur odors coming from the water.
The anode rod is probably the most important part in your water heater. In fact, it’s one of the main factors in determining how long the unit will last. This anode rod protects the steel on the inside of your tank from rust by a method known as electrolysis. Through this process, the anode rod will sacrifice itself by becoming corroding instead of the metal lining on the inside of your water heater tank.
It’s important that you check your anode rod on a regular basis. When you notice that the rod has been corroded from the top to the bottom, it’s no longer offering any sort of protection and will to be replaced as soon as possible.