How do I change the anode rod in my electric water heater?

Asked By: Nouman Ehrenfrucht | Last Updated: 2nd June, 2020
Category: home and garden home appliances
4.1/5 (242 Views . 43 Votes)
  1. Turn Off Water and Fuel Supply (Gas or Electric) Locate the gas line near the bottom of your water heater.
  2. Drain Some Water.
  3. Locate Anode Rod.
  4. Loosen the Hex Head and Remove the Anode Rod.
  5. Install New Sacrificial Anode Rod.
  6. Turn Off Water and Fuel Supply (Gas or Electric)
  7. Drain Some Water.
  8. Locate Anode Rod.

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Beside this, how often should I change the anode rod in my water heater?

In most cases, you will need to change your water heater anode rod approximately once every 6 years so long as it operates under normal working conditions. However, depending on the composition of your water, you may need to change the anode rod more frequently.

Furthermore, how tight should anode rod be? Once you get the anode rod inside, tighten it by hand until you cannot anymore. Then, use the socket wrench to tighten it a bit more, about 1/2 turn, 180 degrees. Do not tighten so hard that the water heater begins to move or twist.

One may also ask, how much does it cost to replace a water heater anode rod?

If a tank lasts ten years and costs $800 to install, that's $80 per year. Most tanks come with one anode, which, in most waters will last four years before needing replacement. Say you do charge $100 to replace the rod.

Which anode rod do I need?

Aluminum anode rods are best for places with hard water. The aluminum rod will withstand harder water better than a magnesium or zinc rod. Zinc anode rods are designed to eliminate or reduce the sulphur or rotten egg smell present. A Zinc anode rod made from a combination of aluminum and zinc.

34 Related Question Answers Found

Can anode rod causing rotten egg smell?

Each water heater is equipped with a magnesium anode rod in order to temporarily limit corrosion within the tank. In most cases, the smell of sulfur will be caused by high magnesium content water that comes into contact with the original anode already present within the water heater.

How much does an anode rod cost?

Anode Rod - $20-$50
Plumbers suggest getting a new anode rod every five years. The rod itself is only $20-$50 and, with proper instructions and precautions, you can perform this maintenance on your own. The anode rod keeps the inside of your tank from corroding. It does so by drawing the corrosion to itself.

Which is better magnesium or aluminum anode rod?

For harder water an aluminum anode rod is the best choice for your heater and if you live in an area with soft water then a magnesium anode rod is your best choice. Aluminum anodes tend to be cheaper than magnesium anode rods. A magnesium rod will generally last less than an aluminum rod.

Do you need an anode rod?

The reason an Anode Rod is required by a Suburban Water Heater is because the tank of the Suburban Water Heater uses glass enamel over a steel tank. If the enamel cracks for any reason it will expose the steel to the water and the steel will start to corrode even from a pinhole in the enamel.

Can you remove the anode rod from water heater?


If the water heater anode is removed, it will greatly reduce the life of the heater. You can replace everything on a water heater except the tank.

Should I replace the anode rod in my water heater?

When the rod itself becomes so corroded that it can no longer do its job, the tank soon rusts out, leaks and needs replacement. However, if you replace your water heater anode rod before it fails, about every five years, you can double the life of your water heater.

Is it too late to replace anode rod?

Anode rods are made of either magnesium or an aluminum-zinc alloy. The downside is that if you wait too long to replace the anode rod, it may be too late. If more than five years has passed, it may be too late to save the water heater.

Can I cut an anode rod?

You can cut the anode rod to the length you need. The best way to cut the anode rod is with a hacksaw. Use a file to smooth the cut and install the rod.

What size socket do I need for a water heater anode rod?

1-1/16" socket. Be sure to use a 1/2" drive socket, an extension (6" to 12") and a long handled socket wrench or better yet, a breaker bar if you have one. Use a two turns of Teflon tape on the new anode rod.

What does a anode rod do?


Protecting Your Water Heater
The anode rod is a piece designed to slow down corrosion and rusting in water heaters. When water corrodes the magnesium, the anode rod releases electrons into the tank which form a protective barrier around the steel of the tank.

What is the best anode rod for a water heater?

Aluminum. Aluminum and aluminum/zinc anode rods are used in similar ways as magnesium sacrificial rods. However, aluminum rods are the better choice for a water heater that heats up sulfate-tinged water. Sacrificial anodes change sulfates into hydrogen sulfides.

Do electric anode rods work?

When your water gets a sulfur smell, it often involves the anode rod in your hot water heater. This rod is designed to attract corrosive elements, extending the life of your heater.

Anode Rod Comparison.
Powered Anode Rod Normal Sacrificial Anode Rod
Antibacteria Effectiveness Excellent Moderate/Excellent for zinc rods

Why is my hot water heater leaking at the bottom?

If the tank is leaking, there's an internal problem that's causing water to slowly leak out and pool at the bottom of the tank. Usually, the root cause, is a build-up of sediment within the tank. When sediment isn't drained from the tank on a regular basis, it'll begin to cause the steel tank to crack and rust.

Are anode rods universal?

They're impossible to find. Now that I've found you sell them, are anode rods universal? A: An anode rod is aluminum or magnesium cast around a steel core wire and hex head. For residential-type heaters, all anodes are the same diameter -- 3/4-inch.

Why does my hot water smell like sewer?


The smell of sewage is likely caused by bacteria in your drain producing gases that arise when the faucet is turned on. It is commonly caused by bacteria that forms in your hot water heater when it is run at low temperatures or turned off for a period of time. Hydrogen sulfide can be smelled at levels as low as .

How long do anode rods last?

Anode rods generally can last about three to five years but it really depends mostly on the quality of your water and how much water travels through your water heater.

What are the signs of a hot water heater going bad?

Here are a few telltale signs that indicate your hot water heater is not working properly and likely requires service.
  • Poor Water Quality.
  • Leakage.
  • Inconsistent Temperature.
  • Water Takes Forever to Heat Up.
  • Things That Go Bump in the Night: Your Water Heater.
  • Age.