Do plumbers normally replace hot water heater anodes?

Old 03-02-21, 11:44 AM
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Do plumbers normally replace hot water heater anodes?

If I call a plumber to replace an anode what do I say? Is this a normal service all for the plumber? How long does it take?
Old 03-02-21, 03:17 PM
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The truth is very few people ever replace anodes but a plumber would be a good one to call if you don't do it yourself.
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Old 03-03-21, 05:24 AM
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You would say you want to have the "anode rod" replaced and you tell him the make, model, and height (of the shell top) of your water heater, and the distance from the top of the water heater to the ceiling..

Do not discus the paragraphs below with the plumber unless he asks specific questions about them.

All professionals' skill sets vary. For a plumber, because this job is not requested often, changing the anode might be outside of or borderline on his skill set. There are several variables that go into anode serivice.

1. The original anode might be stuck tight.
1a. Wrenching it loose runs the danger of moving the water heater and snapping off the gas feed.
1b. Wrenching it loose might tear the port (mounting hole) out of the tank requiring an immediate replacement of the heater.
1c. Some experts suggest that, if the anode is really difficult to remove and the heater several years old, not to bother replacing the anode.

2. While you can request an inspection as opposed to a replacement of the anode, the service call labor price will be about the same for an inspection as for a replacement.

3. When in doubt it would be better to choose a jointed anode over a rigid anode.
3a. A jointed rod is used when the ceiling clearance is low.

4. Some heaters require disassembling of parts on top of the main shell but these heaters need anode service more than simpler water heaters because all the special equipment on top goes to waste when the tank leaks too soon.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 03-03-21 at 05:45 AM.
Old 03-06-21, 12:37 PM
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I suspect you may have to make calls to several plumbers to find one willing to replace an anode rod. I believe most plumbers would recommend just replacing the water heater.
Old 03-06-21, 01:04 PM
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Depending on the age of the water heater it may make more sense to replace it. If your HWH is old paying a plumber would probably not be cost efficient. You can find several "how to" YouTube videos on the subject. Check them out and see if you feel comfortable doing it yourself.
Old 03-07-21, 10:00 AM
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They typically last the life of the heater... No need to replace. But if you do replace the heater have an electrical anode rode installed... That water heater will last a lifetime..
Old 03-07-21, 10:00 AM
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