What you Need to Know About an Anode Rod

What you Need to Know About
an Anode Rod

What is an anode rod? It is one of the components of a water heater that has a significant function. It is a long metal rod, made of magnesium or aluminum which is very easy to corrode. It is screwed in the top of the water heater and goes down to the inside as a bait to corrosion. That is why it is also called the “sacrificial rod”, referring to its sacrifice to corrode itself instead of the tank. Without this anode rod, the water tank will be exposed to corroding elements.

Some people fail to understand the importance of anode rod in the water heater. Yes, it is just a piece of metal placed inside the water heater, but its function is big enough to save your water heater. Among the components of the water heater, the tank is the most expensive to replace. Some parts can be fixed or cheap to be replaced. This makes the anode rod significant to the life of the water tank. Once the anode rod is rusted, the corroding elements will attack the tank. So, to prolong the life of the water tank, this anode rod should be replaced regularly. It should be replaced every 3 to 4 years or more often when the water is more corroding.

How to replace the anode rod?
Here is the basic instruction on how to replace the anode rode. However, there are different brands of water heater and have its own instruction on how to replace your anode rod. You can refer to its instruction for additional guide. Instruction may vary from what is below:

  • Turn off the water heater power supply. If you have an electric water heater, you can turn off the circuit breaker. For gas heater, you can turn it to the lowest setting or “vacation mode” so you don’t have to light the pilot light again when you are done. Turn off the cold water supply too.
  • Drain the water in the tank of about ½ gallon if the anode is located in the top. If the anode is located in the side, you have to drain it until the water is below the anode port. You are draining ht water, so precaution is needed to avoid burning or scalding. After draining enough, you can close the drain valve and take out the hose.
  • Using wretch, you can unscrew the hex head to loosen the anode rod. Unscrewing can be difficult because the screw has had a grip for several years. Make sure not to pound the hex head to unloose the screw, you may damage the glass lining of the water heater.
  • After you have successfully unscrewed the anode, lift it out from the water heater. Typically, it is easy to pull out the anode rod because there is not much left from corroding. However, if you find it hard to pull out and it seems the anode is still intact, you can screw it back. There is still enough anode to work with your water heater.
  • Once you pull out the old one, you can insert the new one wrap with a thread sealing tape. Then tighten it using the wrench.
  • Then, open the cold water supply back on to refill the tank. Open the faucet and run it freely to get rid the air in the tank. Also, check any leaks in the connection.
  • Turn back on your power supply.

If you need help on replacing your anode rod, or any other problem with your water heater, Call us!