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Thread: Replacement Anode for AO Smith

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member
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    Default Replacement Anode for AO Smith

    This site is great. Wish I'd read about AO Smith reputation before installing one.... oh well. Model is GPSH 50 200. Hot water smells (like sulpher). No smell on cold water. I soften my well water. Mfr date is 7/2005. Installed late 2005. I have read recommendations on this site to leave anode alone, but feel I have to replace or add a second rod. Is it correct that original rod is not under either the water inlet or outlet? There was mention on this site of a sectional rod offered by AO Smith that installs below hot water outlet line. Can someone provide a part number or a link to the part? Expert guidance will be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Look for a hex nut on the top of the heater...it will be attatched to it...you will need an impact gun or a long breaker bar and socket to remove the old one...they sell new ones at Home D and plumbing supply houses...

  3. #3
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    Default Thank you Cass

    Much appreciated..... will do this weekend.

    Again, I really appreciate this site.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member Basil's Avatar
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    I'm having the same issue, and wondered if this worked for you or was it a dead end?

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    If you have an odor problem use an aluminum rod, not magnesium.

  6. #6
    DIY Member dargo's Avatar
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    I still cannot understand why they posted "Wish I'd read about AO Smith reputation before installing one.... oh well."...They are inline with all other tanks if installed correctly...They work like all others and all need some maintance time to time.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Out here it is "Welcome to (name your Western state), now go home". You are correct that EVERY manufacturer has his share of bad heaters, and it is the "luck of the draw" whether the one you get will last one week or twenty years.

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member oldanbo's Avatar
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    Having the same issue here. House built and w/h installed in 1997. AO Smith 50 or 55 gal with external recirc installed. Question is, any idea what I should expect to pay a plumber to replace anode? I'm gettin too old for doing some of this myself.

  9. #9
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    It shouldn't be more than the basic service call plus the cost of the part (cheap). Note, sometimes they can be a bear to get out, but the plumber should have the right tools to remove it. Sometimes, if it is near the end of its life, just the jarring of removing it could hasten its demise. The easiest way to remove it is with an impact wrench (which is how they are installed). If you don't have enough vertical height, then you will need a segmented one (which can be bent).
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  10. #10
    DIY Member dargo's Avatar
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    Is your water that bad you need to replace? I have never replaced on in 25 years...AO Smith is inline with all others..

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member oldanbo's Avatar
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    I'm probably the only one whose noticed it, so far.

  12. #12
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dargo View Post
    Is your water that bad you need to replace? I have never replaced on in 25 years...AO Smith is inline with all others..
    Some water softener systems remove chemicals that kill certain bacteria, without the chlorination the bacteria livein the water heater and basically multiply with the magnesium rod. The bacteria is generally harmless but produces a sulfuric smell. Replacing the anod rod with an aluminum one as HJ suggests usually takes care of it.

    I designed a highrise just north of Miami that used a whole building softener without telling us, they added the system right before they opened. Within a month or two the GC was calling us looking for a solution. They had to replace the rods on 80+ 120 gallon heaters. Even better they moved the water heaters from where they were shown on the plans and tucked them under ductwork that was common in every unit. They had to cut each rod out and put in segmented ones..........
    Matt
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  13. #13
    TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP MACPLUMB 777's Avatar
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    Look at the head of your rod if is smooth then it is already a aluminum rod

    if magnesium it will have a welding bead on top center of the head

    MACPLUMB 777

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    35 YEAR MASTER PLUMBER, HEATING, ELECTRIC, DRAINS, FIRE SPRINKLERS, WATER HEATER
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