Replace the rod or the heater?


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Old 10-11-12, 07:35 AM
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Question Replace the rod or the heater?

I had a Bradford White 40 Gal gas hot water heater installed 9 years ago. It had a 6 yr warranty. It has never had the anode rod changed (didn't know you were supposed to), nor has the tank ever been flushed out.
Recently I noticed my water stinks when I shower. It has started to effect the water coming out of my faucets, even when I only draw cold water. I suspect the faucets are being contaminated by the smelly water running through them. I read in the one of the post that the smell was probably due to the anode rod gassing off??
Given the age of the unit which is the smarter thing to do, replace the rod or replace the water heater? I don't want to spent a lot of money replacing the rod if I should be putting that money toward a new heater?
I'm not a plumber, nor am I comfortable doing plumbing. This would be something I will have to hire done either route I take.
 
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Old 10-11-12, 06:43 PM
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If there has never been any maintenance done on your water heater in its nine-year life then anything you do now is tossing good money after bad. The time for maintenance starts about six months after the heater is installed. Depending on the quality of your water you should probably flush the tank via the drain valve once every six months or so. Bad water more often exceptionally good water less often.

You should lift the handle on the safety valve at least once a year to be certain it operates properly. Lift it smartly and let it blow for a couple of seconds and then let it seat quickly. Do NOT "tease" the handle and do not let just a dribble through the valve.

After two years of service you should remove and inspect the anode rod. If it is less than half "eaten" away re-install the rod and check it again in another two years. If it is slightly more than half eaten you can probably get away with one more year of use before replacement. If it is three-quarters eaten away then replace it and inspect the new rod the next year. Never re-install an old anode that has been eaten away more than three-quarters from what is was when new. If you follow these rules you should get maximum life from even the least expensive water heater and that life will generally be considerably longer than the warranty period.
 
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Old 10-12-12, 06:22 AM
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Thanks for the maintenance tips will make sure they get followed this next time. When it was installed the guy never said anything about maintenance, in fact if I remember correctly he said it was maintenance free.

I went down this morning feeling adventurous. I figured if other guys can install one of these maybe I can too. I don't particularly like to mess with anything connected to the gas line. I looked at the top of the tank for this anode rod and there doesn't appear to even be one. There is a pipe to bring cold water in and a pipe taking hot water out, that it other than the exhaust stack. That's all there is on the top of the tank?? The emergency valve is on the side of the tank. It worked just fine, did what you said, yanked it up smartly and blew water out for a few seconds then let it go. It seated without problem.

I think I can drain the tank, I read the directions in the sticky, that seems like a simple enough procedure. The question is, will that get rid of that swamp smell in the water? or am I looking at putting in a new tank? We are on the city water line, not a well. I have an in-line filter at the sink for drinking water so that hasn't been a problem.
 
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Old 10-12-12, 09:58 PM
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Some water heaters have the anode as part of the hot water outlet. These are a bit more difficult to check as you have to remove the piping before you can remove the anode. I would use unions on two areas of the discharge piping (or flexible connectors) to allow removal in these cases.

As for DIYing the change...best to get a permit from your local AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction, often the local building department) before starting. If your area is subject to seismic action (earthquakes) the tank MUST be securely fastened to the building structure AND flexible lines used for both water and gas connections. Sometimes rigid connections are required for either the water or the gas or both in a areas not subject to seismic action.

Do NOT re-use any flexible connector, either water or gas. Make sure that you follow any LOCAL requirements concerning the size and run of the flue gas venting. Many jurisdictions have instruction sheets available on the Web detailing their requirements. Here is the tip sheet for my area.

http://www.mybuildingpermit.com/Cons...et%2007_09.pdf
 
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Old 10-13-12, 08:20 AM
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Furd
I discovered that after my post. I went to there website an found the manual I was never given. Given all of that I think I'm going with my gut on this one. I'm going to call a plumber and have it installed. I will however make sure he puts those unions on so I can do it myself (change the anode). We don't get many earthquakes around here, but I am about 6 miles from a gravel pit where they are always doing underground blasting.
I looked at the ones at the home centers and the price is not that much different from GE to the Bradford White. Needless to say why buy crap when quality is available for a few bucks more. I'd still end up paying the plumber and I'm sure he doesn't care what he installs.

I'll let you know what it sets me back after I get it done. Monday I have to go to NC for 10 days. I'll get it done as soon as I get back. I hate coming out of the shower and having the bathroom smell like an ole swamp.
George
 
 

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