(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 15 of 20

Thread: How difficult is it to replace the Anode rod

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    DIY Member paulsiu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Itasca, IL
    Posts
    32

    Default How difficult is it to replace the Anode rod

    Hi,

    After reading various article on water heaters, I have a better idea how it works. The role of the Anode rod is suppose to be sacrificial. It rust instead of the tank.

    Then it's logical to replace the rod every couple of years to extend the life of the tank. I was wondering if this is something that can be done by someone who's good with mechanical stuff but has no experience in plumbing. Most articles seemed to indicate that it is difficult because either there is no clearance or the rod gets stuck due to build up.

    Thanks.

    Paul

  2. #2
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    SW Florida
    Posts
    1,317

    Default

    It's just bolted onto the top. 1 1/16" 6pt socket for A.O. Smith residential units.
    Matt
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  3. #3
    Plunger/TurdPuncher kingsotall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Flagstaff, AZ Sitting on an upside down 5 gallon bucket next to the GO 68HD
    Posts
    1,260

    Default

    The consensus around here is an impact wrench is the solution.
    I just post cuz I like to see my avatar.

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,382

    Default

    It's the same concept as the anodes placed on a ship's hull...they get attacked before the hull does, and yes, they do need to be replaced if you want maximum life. The biggest hassle, other than getting the thing loose in the first place, is height. The average home may not have enough overhead room to get the thing out without breaking it (which isn't too bad if required). But, the new ones are available in a few configurations...one has segments that can bend, one is curved, and the stock one is just a straight rod. So, you need to know how much clearance you have. Also, depending on your water, they come in several compositions.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    SW Florida
    Posts
    1,317

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    The biggest hassle, other than getting the thing loose in the first place, is height. The average home may not have enough overhead room to get the thing out without breaking it (which isn't too bad if required).
    I did a high-rise project and the owners installed a building softener system without telling us so we could spec the right anode (the decision was made in the 11th hour before getting CO'd. 120 gallon water heaters in each unit and they had to pull the rod out and cut it to get it all the way out. The ended up not having enough room to put aluminum rods in. The GC made plans to eat the replacement cost of the water heaters that now no longer had any anode rods in them.

    120 gallon heaters x 64 units =
    Matt
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  6. #6
    DIY Member paulsiu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Itasca, IL
    Posts
    32

    Default

    So the problem is a matter of reach. I think around the heater, it's quite high, so it shouldn't be a problem.

    Any idea whether to use alum or magnesium? One site suggested that magnesium is best because it corrodes slower (and the site said aluminum may be bad for your health). I notice several post on this site citing that using magnesium rod result in rotten egg taste.

    Paul

  7. #7
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    SW Florida
    Posts
    1,317

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by paulsiu View Post
    So the problem is a matter of reach. I think around the heater, it's quite high, so it shouldn't be a problem.

    Any idea whether to use alum or magnesium? One site suggested that magnesium is best because it corrodes slower (and the site said aluminum may be bad for your health). I notice several post on this site citing that using magnesium rod result in rotten egg taste.

    Paul

    Aluminum rods are used where some filter systems filter out chlorine (at least by my experience). When the chlorine is almost completely filtered bacteria begins to breed in the water heater on the magnesium anode rod. The bacteria generally isn't a health issue but will make the hot water have an egg smell. That's the only situation where I've ever had to spec aluminum rods.
    Matt
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  8. #8
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    South of Boston, MA
    Posts
    885

    Default

    Any problem as time goes on?
    These are threaded in, so maybe checking it every 3 years is a good idea?
    Just to at least keep the thing free from rusting together?
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •