Water Heater Anode Replacement in 5 Steps Water Heater Anode Replacement in 5 Steps

What You'll Need
Garden Hose
Tank Cleaner

Water heater anode replacement is a vital operation in ensuring that your water heater tank gives you service for a longer period. Water heater anodes are used to prevent corrosion of the water heater tanks by corroding themselves so as to keep the tank intact. Heating water electrically will cause corrosion of metal, and where there is no anode the water heater tank is the metal that will be corroded. The anodes useful life will largely depend on the purity of water that is being heated, the quality of the tank in use, the maximum temperatures that water is normally heated to as well as the frequency of use. 

Replacing your water heater anode is actually something you can do you self by following the step below.

1. Turn off Power

As with all electrical appliances and installations make sure that your water heater power is turned off before you begin to work on it. It is strongly recommended that you switch of power at the main before you begin working.

2. Assessment

You need to assess whether or not your water heater anode needs replacement. Most manufactures will provide a life expectancy on your anode but as discussed above, your anode life will actually depend on usage and water quality. Your anode will continue to erode over time and you will need to check once in a while so as to establish whether it needs replacement. Do not let it become too brittle neither should you replace it too soon as that will be a waste.

3. Draining

Once it is clear that you need to replace the anode, you should drain you tank to about half way for ease of operation. You could use the tank drain or a regular garden hose for this. However, it would be a good idea to completely drain your tank and combine your anode replacement with a good tank cleaning.

4. Remove Old Anode

At the base of the anode you will find a fitting that will require you use a wrench to loosen. Take care to have the whole fitting removed as your wrench could slip and break the fitting which will complicate removal.

5. Fit New Anode

You will simply need to screw the new anode in and make sure to tighten with the wrench. Tape should also be used to ensure your threads are tightly sealed.

Replacement anodes are available in most local hardware stores and they will be able to recommend a suitable brand and type for your area. It would also be helpful to know the type of anode that you already have so as to determine whether you should retain or change it. The choice of replacement anode will depend on how well the previous one held. If your water supply has soft water, a magnesium anode will serve quite well. However, where the local water is hard and requires softening through addition of salts you should use an aluminium anode. Aluminum anodes are also recommended if your previous anode wore out very fast. Finally, avoid cooking using water from your heater.

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