Working for a local water utility, every so often we get calls from customers about white flakes in their household water. In most cases this is due to corrosion from the anode rod in the water heater. What is an anode rod you ask? Well, I had to do some research on this myself. An anode rod is a rod in your water heater that is designed to corrode in order to prevent corrosion of the interior of the water heater.
You may not have read the owner’s manual for your water heater, I sure hadn’t before now, but most recommend to inspect the anode rod annually and replace it every few years or when it has deteriorated.
One of my favorite home shows, This Old House, has a great video (watch it here) explaining the interior of a water heater and it shows you how to identify and replace the anode rod. Some simple home maintenance could save you money in the long run by prolonging the life of your water heater…and keeping flakes out of your plumbing.
So, if you ever see white flakes in your water, think to yourself, does my water heater need maintenance? Be sure to read your owner’s manual, and if you’re not a do-it-yourself kind of person, you may want to contact a plumber. Of course, if you investigate and find out it isn’t your anode rod, there might be another problem so don’t hesitate to contact your local water utility; we’re always here to help!