AO Smith..Anode rod..I have another HWH leaker!!!

Old 06-04-14, 05:55 PM
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AO Smith..Anode rod..I have another HWH leaker!!!

Well this one made it 4 yrs 1 month and 21 days....( After hours so need to get to Ferguson tomorrow)

I dont know what to try next... Possibly an electric anode? I know I am the plumber but my PH is adjusted.. It must be the softener adding conductivity to the water...

Wife gave little one a bath and said " WE HAVE NO HOT WATER"!!!!!

Here is what I found as I always do before the 6 yr mark..

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Leaking from the vent/flue weld at the top as they all do.

You may see the water bubbling up..

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Flushed twice a yr but that's not my issues...

I have been doing a buy one , get one free under warranty for 12 years now...This is my 3rd water heater. Once I get the new one it will be 4 in 12 yrs..

( Not a good record huh??? )

Last edited by lawrosa; 06-05-14 at 08:23 AM. Reason: Added to header for better search criteria...
Old 06-04-14, 05:57 PM
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Im going to try to pull the anode too so we can all see what it looks like.....( take a pic)

I figure this thread is good under general chats as I am not seeking assistance...LOL
Old 06-04-14, 06:01 PM
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I've got my 36" Rigid pipe wrench at the ready
Old 06-05-14, 07:16 AM
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Well having an issue with warranty. Seems they want out of pocket for new heater until approved by AO smith. I called AO smith and they said take a pic of the leak and e mail it to us...LOL

So I did. Now I wait for return call for reference #. The ref # is supposed to guarantee payment. So I need to show Ferguson that. But Ferguson policy's may have changed too..

We will see.
Old 06-05-14, 08:13 AM
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Guess I need another course of action here,,

On previous heaters I changed the anode but never made it past 6 years...

This heater I talked myself into not touching the anode to see how it goes. This is in part that I adjusted my softener so it back washes every 2 weeks and not as often as it did.

Just an FYI its 1 - 1/16" socket gets the anode out. Unless some are part of the hot water outlet nipple...

So I need to think. A powered anode? Or get two anodes in there as it suggests here..

$200 for a powered anode... Umm maybe not...

Powered Anode/Water Heaters With Hex-Head Anodes

Maybe a magnesium rod. Ill replace the aluminum/zinc one, and also install one in the hot water outlet...

Hot water heater anodes and rust protection

Dont Laugh... ( Yes and I am the plumber right? Hey the shoemakers kids have no shoes you know!!!)

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Old 06-05-14, 05:04 PM
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Well what a day. After talking to AO smith, they called me back and gave me the ref# needed to go get another heater. Ferguson was helpful because they knew me somewhat, but typically they make you buy a new heater and they do the warranty process. I circumvented that and did it myself.

Still, when they have to do the paperwork, they want a company name, or want you to have an account. I pay cash..LOL. So they had to finagle stuff to make it work. Left there with a new heater under warranty.. No charge...

I must say I have/had some issues. The nipples they use are too short now. They never been that way. The problem is if you do not tighten the mail adapters enough or have a leak, you cant see it.. Water can slowly drip down inside the heater. IMO change them to longer brass ones, or remove the blue and red insert/sleeve they use to identify the ports..

Sure enough I had a leak at the hot adapter. To fix I heated the ell on top and heated it enough to turn the adapter on more so it would stop the leak..Heat and turn at the same time!!! Whew.. Worked out well, But i found the male adapter was still leaking. Yes it was leaking from a crack.. The male adapter split.. ( Crappy overseas stuff. im telling you its going down hill man!!!)

I re-used my old adapters and risers to, so that may be the reason???..

I urge everyone to use new fittings at all times. Never re-use fitting or you'll make more work for yourself as I did.. With that said I needed to remove that adapter and replace. But the factory nipple turned out with it.
( Pre installed nipples)

So now i had one in my parts bucket and its longer as it should be. Had to use a street ell as it was too tall. I would of had to redo the close piping if it did not work... ( I was making a lot of work for myself...ugg)

Last I failed to get an anode from Ferguson, because I just wanted to get out of there.... They used to have them at the home stores, but not no more. I went to both orange and blue to no avail. So this unit is installed with the aluminum rod. ( I wanted to put the 2 magnesiums in. One in the factory port and one in the hot nipple port..but that did not happen.)

So I will monitor this anode, and probably replace it in a year with a mag. I think my best bet is to get a powered anode. Or turn off the softner...


Here are some pics...

This is the old heater and how the air intakes are on the smiths.. Unlike the corderite disks of old 100 series these dont clog AFAIK. If they do and you get an over heat situation this is what needs to be vacuumed..

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Just a note the 40 gallon smiths are always 40k btu. This is why I buy them. Most other makes are 32K btu or somewhere lower. Some ever 28K btu...

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The new gas valve.. Unlike the old the gas inlets this is not metal. It looks it but its not. Be-careful. Not too much Teflon tape as you can probably crack this. Do be mr muscles either..

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Always after transport and having the heater on its side re adjust the baffle. Sometimes they dislodge and that can cause draft issues...

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Anode port on the smiths. I like that they are here and not part of the outlet nipple...

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Even though i flush twice a year, this is the sludge that was left in the driveway from the old heater. ( yes we all been doing it wrong. There is a right way to flush but that's another subject)

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Notice the new nipple that's bigger on the hot port..That was my fix as it was the only nipple i had. ( Dielectric) I also pop out the heat traps on mine as I don't need them. My pipes go down to floor level after they leave the heater...

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I think between my truck brake issue and this water heater i have grown additional gray hair.. Not on my head though. I seem to be losing that more and more..

But after all is said and done I am still smiling....

I hope this helps anyone installing their own heater...

Now I am going to take a hot bath... ( Calgon take me away!!!!!!)

I dont usually take selfies, But when i do this is what they look like...LOL..

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