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Thread: Water heater anode rod replacement. I know you're supposed to, but do you?

  1. #1

    Water heater anode rod replacement. I know you're supposed to, but do you?

    There are some maintenance things we should do and I think most of us do regularly. Change the oil in our vehicles, change the air filters in our HVAC, etc.

    Then there are the other things that we might should do, but probably don't. Things like brush after every meal, change our wiper blades regularly, clean your gutters quarterly and replace the anode rod in our hot water heaters.

    I'm good at the first list, not so much the second. I can honestly say in all the years I've done maintenance around our houses, I've never replaced an anode rod. I'm just curious, how many here actually change theirs on a regular basis?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    I asked my old standard Plumbing Supply house if they had anode rods. The answer was, "We sell the water heaters". My trouble is not only do ours require segmented ones, to be able to change them, but too much other stuff to do.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Maybe thats a regional-water quality thing. Here, I've never heard of anybody recommending or doing that. My WH lasted 20 years which I think is pretty good.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    West Central Illinois
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    I am not on your level in terms of what all parts are called. If this is the magnesium rod, we pull them out and cut them off in my area. Town water does not get along with them and so it is removed at install with a hacksaw.

    Red neck Illinois perspective....

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Herzog View Post
    I am not on your level in terms of what all parts are called. If this is the magnesium rod, we pull them out and cut them off in my area. Town water does not get along with them and so it is removed at install with a hacksaw.

    Red neck Illinois perspective....
    Chris, you got my curiosity going. When you say "Town water does not get along with them," what exactly happens when you leave them in?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    N.E, Ohio
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    Where we lived in 1988 they caused a rotten eg smell in our drinking glasses. We had well water and the plumbing supply told me to eliminate the rotten egg smell remove the anode rod. The rotten egg smell was common with anode rod and well water in our area.
    George

    Making sawdust regularly, occasionally a project is completed.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by George Bokros View Post
    Where we lived in 1988 they caused a rotten eg smell in our drinking glasses. We had well water and the plumbing supply told me to eliminate the rotten egg smell remove the anode rod. The rotten egg smell was common with anode rod and well water in our area.
    Good to know, never heard of it here where we have public water and no problems lke that. At my cottage we have well water and while I don't have that problem, my brother nearby has had some foul smelling hot water. I bet that is what was going on.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    location? pure snow melt into granite gravel is not much problem with water picking up chemicals.
    Bill D

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    black river falls wisconsin
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    in my first house put in new water heater and water had weard smell. company sent me different rod. smell went away.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Mt Pleasant SC
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    711
    I changed one years ago, took about 150ftlbs of force to loosen it. Then I read that they last the life of the unit in most cases. A poor ground going to the water heater will cause it to self destruct with some water types. Whenever a house is going to be unoccupied for a week or longer it should be turned off or the rotten egg smell will begin.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    I'm on a municipal well, and my water is fine. My neighbor lives down the street and is on a private well and has odor problems. Both gas fired. His anode rod was totally eaten up after 5 years. Replaced it with a new aluminum rod and still had an odor even in the cold water. Had the well chlorinated and the smell went away.
    Last edited by Ole Anderson; 03-21-2021 at 6:07 PM.
    NOW you tell me...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Longview WA
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    Hmmmm, been meaning to replace mine for the last decade.

    After reading this, guess it can likely wait another decade.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Lancaster, Ohio
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    729
    at my first house on well water had the rotten egg smell issue , removed the anode and it went away
    havn't touched an anode in any house since
    Ron

  14. #14
    According to the powers that be, you're supposed to change them every 3-5 years. I'm temped to try, just to see how bad the original one looks after 15 years. That's if the original one can even be removed after all these years.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    The first one I tried to change, I had a big enough wrench to go on the anode hex, but not a big enough one to keep the water heater from turning.

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