Replacing Anode rod


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Old 04-03-04, 09:51 AM
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Replacing Anode rod

I would like to replace the anode rod on my water heater, but only have about 38" of vertical clearance above the tank to insert the new one, which to my knowledge would be 44" long. Can I simply cut the new rod with a hack saw so its short enough to fit or is it a better idea to spend the extra money on a "segmented" rod?

I have also heard conflicting information about how effective a new rod is in increasing tank life. Our heater is AO Smith Natural Gas, 4.5 years old with "occassionally" softened water (when I remember to get salt blocks). Our past two heaters lasted 8-10 years without any maintanance, is a new rod worth bothering with?

One more question, we have never had any problems with a rotten egg smell, so does it matter what type of metal is used?

Thank in advance!
 
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Old 04-03-04, 10:59 AM
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Hello: DIYNovice

First thought that comes to mind is to know why would it need replacing? Any evidence to indicate the rod is deteriorated to a point of needing replacement? Point being, why replace the rod if there would not be any reason to or any beneficial value in doing so.

At the age of 4.5 years, the rod should not need replacement under normal conditions and if the tank has the insulationing water heater flex lines or insulated unions already installed.

May want to inspect the existing rod. In which case the rod would not have to fully removed to do so. Simply remove as much as possible and inspect what is visable of the amount the rob can be lifted up. Doing so may reveal there is no needed to replace it.
 
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Old 04-03-04, 12:48 PM
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I have considered inspecting the existing rod, but am hesitant because I am unsure if I will be able to get it seated properly upon reinserting it. Is this a valid concern? ie. might the threads be rusted/stripped or a gasket torn which may lead to a leak? I don't want to fix something that isn't broken, especially on something as important as the water heater. I figured that having a new rod ready to go in I'd minimize any potential problems caused by removing the old rod.

The reason why I asked my original question was due to a segment I saw on "ask this old house" last night, where the plumber suggested that replacing the rod every 3 to 5 years would increase life of the heater and reduce the likelihood of problems caused by rust from the tank entering the piping system. I checked our water heater and found the hex connection is easily accessible and worth further research.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 04-03-04, 05:12 PM
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Most times when you unscrew a rusty bolt, screw, or anode rod, the reversal of the threaded item will clear the threads upon removing the item. This isn't always the case, but is the norm.


Keep in mind that anything to protect your investment and save money, is worth the effort.


It is common that people aren't even aware of this item that does go bad in water heaters.



The anode rod does help protect the tank. There is a chance that yours is still in good shape.


Go to www.waterheaterrescue.com and view the image of the comparison of the new and old anode rod. If yours looks like the deteriorated one, your effort was worth the trouble.



If there is some visible wear, and most of the rod is intact, I would leave it be for a couple more years and replace the anode rod then.


http://www.waterheaterrescue.com/pag...er-anodes.html
 
 

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