By Julie Curnow

What is a sacrificial anode in a hot water system and how often should they be replaced?

Electrolysis occurs in all enamel coated steel storage tanks. Electrolysis causes tanks to corrode. To slow down the corrosion, a sacrificial anode is attached within the tank. The anode attracts the electrolytes more than the tank walls, which means the sacrificial anode corrodes rather than the tank. Depending on the quality of the sacrificial anode and the water quality, it should be replaced every 2 – 5 years to maximise the life of your tank.

Stainless steel tanks don’t need a sacrificial anode as they are galvanised, which means they don’t corrode from electrolysis. As a result, stainless steel tanks last longer, but as the galvanisation process is costly to do, stainless steel tanks cost more.

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