Anode Rod Replacement


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Old 01-06-08, 07:46 PM
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Anode Rod Replacement

In the past 2 days, our 13 year old, 50-gal gas water heater has begun producing an iron-brown cloudiness.
- The water seems to need a few hours in the tank to acquire the color. The cold tap is clear, and if I draw the hot water until it's cold, it becomes clear.
- There is no odor.
- There was very little sediment in the tank when I flushed it. (It ran clear after just one quart.)
- I suspect the annode has never been changed in 13 years. I tried to inspect it, but the annode wouldn't budge (with even 50+ lbs of torque). I fear that if I torque any harder, I'll damage the tank.

At this point, do I keep trying to inspect the annode, or is it too late?

And if changing the annode will help, do you have any advice about removing it?

Thanks for your help.
 
  #2  
Old 01-06-08, 08:03 PM
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Most if not all anode rods in water heaters have a very brief life expectancy. By 5 to 6 years they expire and are usually all but gone.


This is all dictated by how aggressive the water is. Your situation may solely be just recent work done on the city mains that is slowly being stirred up in the tank during periodic use.


Being that the tank is 13 years old I don't think I'd consider, let alone provide the service to replace an anode on a water heater that old. The welded port into the tank has probably taken on considerable deterioration and most likely will start to leak when torque is applied to the anode bolt.

If you can drain down a few gallons and heat that connection, I would say try it but you in essence need a new water heater.

Don't replace the heater until the the tank starts to leak. The new ones are by far more efficient and provide better recovery.
 
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Old 01-06-08, 08:15 PM
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Thanks for the advice. I'm on a private well, so I'll rule out the city main. I guess this is the bad news I was hoping to avoid. ( I assume you meant to say don't WAIT TO replace the heater. )

On that same subject, is there a tell-tale sign when the annode goes, that you can pickup from the tap?
 

Last edited by js1; 01-06-08 at 08:16 PM. Reason: puntucation
  #4  
Old 01-06-08, 08:24 PM
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No timeline, you could best tell wear and tear by removing the anode after a couple years and inspecting how fast it's deteriorating.


Seems like in my area, every one I've removed at 4-6 years was 90% gone.
 
 

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