I've checked mine every few years. I think as long as you
do it regularly starting when it's about 5 years old, there
should not be any leak issue. So far, at 10 years have not
had to replace it, but it's about time to check again and
based on how it looked before, now could be the time.
I think it could very well extend the life of the tank.
It's all about the water chemistry.
I have NEVER replaced or checked an anode
but typical SoCal water is hard enough to provide corrosion
Water heater life spans at various SoCal Properties
1963 to 1980,
1980 to 2004
2004 to present
earlier than 1993 to 2005 (replaced at sale just to remove a sticking
If they are needed due to nature of your water, they are useful.
Never replaced an anode or even checked it.
I have a well and a water softener that feeds the propane water heater.
The first 40 gal. water heater was installed in 1986. It was an A.O.Smith.
The tank was replaced in 2006 when it developed a leak. The current is a
40 gal. GE propane tank.
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