I just bought a Bradford White electric heater with the combination anode/hot water port. Before installing the heater, I thought I'd break the torque on the nipple, figuring that would make it easier to R&R in future years.
The problem is the nipple doesn't have enough exposed area for the wrench (darn, why can't they use a nipple with integral nut, if such a thing exists?!). I tried to remove the top of the heater, hoping that would expose more grip area on the nipple. However, the top seems stuck on one side. Before I pry it off and risk bending, I thought I'd check to see if someone can confirm the stock B-W nipple indeed has more than the exposed 1/4" of grip area. The last thing I want to do is bugger up a new heater!
Also, I plan to install a water softener in the next few weeks. Our water has lots of calcium, although it's not terribly hard. What's the best anode material when using a softener? I thought about replacing the anode now, before installing the heater, if a different material would last a lot longer.
TIA for any information you can provide!
I understand the tank may not outlast the anode rod. But that's certainly not a given. And if the anode rod goes first, then the tank life will definitely be affected. My last electric water heater was nearly 20 years old when I sold the house (different water, no softener). What I'm trying to avoid is having to toss the tank in a few years because the anode rod has failed and can't be removed.
The question remains... if I remove the top cover of the heater, will it expose a larger grip band on the nipple?
As for changing out the rod, I'll check with local B-W dealer on Monday to see if they order heaters with a particular rod due to water conditions. However, it would seem that the issue here is the water softener, not the water supply. Not all people have softeners.
Good luck removing the top without destroying it. Most heaters have a "poured in place" insulation and it glues the jacket and tank together.
You are right, heaters at one time lasted 20 years but that's a thing of the past. Most are warranted for six years and that's about how long they last if your lucky.
water softeners do eat up a heater fairley fast...
something to do with the sodium and the water in the heater..
I suggest that you install quick connects on the heater
to break the contunity and ground to the plumbing system
as far as fooling with the anode rod, dont worry about it
the ground in your electrical heater is another matter cause you are still going to get juich through the water from the elements anyway....
its just something we are doing on almost all of our
heater installs, because they are better than dialectric unions and they are time savers
also, I have noticed that the ones we installed with brass craft black braided connectors over ten years ago are still going strong today, and ones that we tied in directly to
the copper have failed....
check back with me in 5 more years.....on this experiment
the black one is the absolute best one to install on your bradford white
Last edited by master plumber mark; 09-13-2009 at 09:17 PM.