Anyone replace a water heater anode rod?

Anyone replace a water heater anode rod?

PostBy: NJJoe On: Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:29 pm

I have a water heater installed in the late 80s that is still chugging along. I dont think any maintenance has been done to it but I know that an anode replacement is highly recommended. It looks pretty straight forward at least as far as some youtube videos I've seen. Use a wrench, unscrew the old one and screw in the new one. Make sure you apply plumbers tape that comes in the kit to seal the rod threads to the tank.

My questions is what material is preferred? Alumininum vs magnesium vs tin vs combo rods? Any help, suggestions etc... thanks.
NJJoe
 

Re: Anyone replace a water heater anode rod?

PostBy: coalkirk On: Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:39 pm

Yes I've replaced an annode rod. The time to do it is long before your water heater is 25 years old however. (late 80's you said) That water heater is well past its service life. Just replace it. As to annode rods, the original one would have been a rigid rod. The replacement will be in sections that are flexible due to clearances to basement ceilings. Makes it easy to get it in the water heater.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: Anyone replace a water heater anode rod?

PostBy: NJJoe On: Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:45 pm

coalkirk wrote:Yes I've replaced an annode rod. The time to do it is long before your water heater is 25 years old however. (late 80's you said) That water heater is well past its service life. Just replace it. As to annode rods, the original one would have been a rigid rod. The replacement will be in sections that are flexible due to clearances to basement ceilings. Makes it easy to get it in the water heater.


You are probably right. This is in a rental unit that I purchased which unfortunately I am already dropping about 15K into it for a kitchen remodel and new appliances. I don't think I have the budget at this point to replace the tank. I'll inspect the combustion chamber (natural gas fired) for any rusting, pitting etc... If any then I have to obviously change the tank. If not, then I'm hoping that I can squeeze a few more years and let my cash reserves recoup before making plans to change the tank. I'm thinking that an anode replacement plus flushing the tank of any sediment will carry it on for a few more years.
NJJoe
 


Re: Anyone replace a water heater anode rod?

PostBy: titleist1 On: Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:16 pm

good luck getting that thing out. a rather large knuckle buster wrench and cheater bar may be needed!

you will probably want to soak the threads with penetrating oil. heat and tapping on it may help break it loose also.
titleist1
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker (old style) one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite

Re: Anyone replace a water heater anode rod?

PostBy: LDPosse On: Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:17 pm

Wrestling around a 25 year old tank may not be the best idea. I tried to remove the anode rod on my 19 year old water heater as a preventive maintenance measure when I had to replace the plastic dip tube. I was using a 3 foot cheater bar, and I wasn't able to hold the tank still to unscrew the anode rod. So I flushed the tank, and put in the new dip tube. Within weeks, I noticed a small amount of water around the base of the water heater. I imagine that the flush and having the tank move around from trying to remove the anode rod probably hastened its demise.

I've had my GE GeoSpring heat pump water heater now for over 2 years, and I couldn't be more pleased. Already paid for itself about twice over.
LDPosse
 
Stove/Furnace Make: DS Machine
Stove/Furnace Model: DS1500, Kozy King 100

Re: Anyone replace a water heater anode rod?

PostBy: Rob R. On: Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:28 pm

If you are determined to change that anode rod, plan on having a friend hold the tank in place with a 2x4 between the hot and cold nipples. The last thing you want is wrestle that tank around and cause plumbing leaks elsewhere, or dislodge a ton of crud inside the tank.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Anyone replace a water heater anode rod?

PostBy: rberq On: Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:35 pm

25 years old and ain't broke yet, don't touch it. :o
rberq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300
Coal Size/Type: Nut -- Kimmel/Blaschak/Reading
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators, propane

Re: Anyone replace a water heater anode rod?

PostBy: EarthWindandFire On: Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:20 pm

Just flush the unit, leave the anode alone. However, when you go to buy a new one, make sure it has a removable anode rod. Also, magnesium is the better sacrificial metal, aluminum is used but its not as good.
EarthWindandFire
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Leisure Line Lil' Heater.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer model 75.
Other Heating: Oil and Natural Gas.

Re: Anyone replace a water heater anode rod?

PostBy: tsb On: Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:03 pm

Never replaced one, never knew of anybody that did.
tsb
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Binford 2000
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Pioneer top vent
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Saey Hanover II

Re: Anyone replace a water heater anode rod?

PostBy: Wanna Bee On: Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:01 am

I just replaced a Bradford white last year. Anode rod turned out to be part of the cold side inlet. When it corodes it also swells and makes it almost impossible to remove.

I replaced it with a Rheem, 100% plastic hot water heater now. It looks like a big giant thermos. The thing cost me $700 but its forever, even the plumbing fittings are plastic going in. You need to use compression fittings from the copper to the heater to keep from damaging the tank with to much heat. Also has some incredible insulation, not just a little bat of fiberglass wrapped around it.
Wanna Bee
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Grander Stove Co.
Stove/Furnace Model: Royal Bride

Re: Anyone replace a water heater anode rod?

PostBy: anthony7812 On: Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:14 am

I just replaced my elements on my electric water heater and eye-balled the anode rod in 'er. She barely has any rust/corrosion to 'er so hell with it IMO. Its already about 10 years old if I ever need to yank out the anode rod I will just replace the tank at that point.
anthony7812
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: VanWert VA 400
Coal Size/Type: Buck/Nut/Anthracite

Re: Anyone replace a water heater anode rod?

PostBy: Freddy On: Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:39 am

I've done a few. If the rod is swelled up so you can't get it out, it's probably got enough left so it'll go a few more years. If it's gone, for sure, replace it. Last I knew they were cheap.... under $10....i that still the case?
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Anyone replace a water heater anode rod?

PostBy: europachris On: Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:39 pm

If you don't have a water softener, the anode rod can last almost forever (or until the tank fills up with minerals on a gas unit and burns out the bottom). However, if you have hard water and run a softener, anode rods can get eaten up in less than a year! I pulled the rod out of my water heater after 7 years and it had nothing left except the wire core. I replaced it and it's been about 3 years so I really should check on it. It's a 50 gallon shorty power vented gas unit and those aren't cheap to replace.

Check out http://waterheaterrescue.com/ and learn all there is to learn about maintaining your water heater!

Chris
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner