Replacing anode rods in water heaters?

Page 1 of 2  

Does it make practical sense to preemptively replace anodes in working water heaters in order to extend their lives? Is it better to just wait until leaking begins?
Bill
--
Private Profit; Public Poop! Avoid collateral windfall!

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

if it's leaking, it's too late. at that time, it's garbage. it makes sense to look at the anodes and replace if they're >75% used up.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 19 Aug 2009 15:29:18 -0700, Salmon Egg

Changing it after it starts leaking is not going to help.
Changing it before it is all used up can certainly extend the life. The trick is knowing when. The second trick is actually changing it. Can be a real job to break it loose without damaging anything, and you need a lot of clearance above to replace, although you can find chain type and/or segmented ones that work for low clearance.
Some manufacturers are using a combination inlet/dip tube/anode that require disconnecting the supply piping to remove.
HTH,
Paul F.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thank you both for the quick reply. I had asked a plumber and he seemed to think that I should just wait until a leak develops. That is why I posted.
While I do believe that a new anode could greatly extend life. As was mentioned removal could be difficult. I once tried to remove an anode from a used up heater. I was totally unsuccessful. I would be even less ready now even if the heater were not in a confined space. I have a sneaking suspicion, that the cost of a new heater will be relatively low compared to what it would take to get a plumber to inspect the anode.
Is a job like that one that requires an impact wrench?
Any thoughts on the economics?
Bill
--
Private Profit; Public Poop! Avoid collateral windfall!

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Look at it this way. Which way is the plumber going to make more money? Changing the anode or changing the hot water heater?
Wait, wait. I know the answer to this one.
Cost of a new heater relatively low? You haven't bought, priced, or changed a water heater in a LONG time, right?
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You'd really be PO'd to pull the anode rod, find it is only about half gone, but the water heater is now damaged from the removal and has to be replaced.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ed Pawlowski wrote:

How exactly is the water heater damaged?
How many have you damaged doing this?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob F wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote in message

Anyone that has ever pulled anything out of anything old and untouched has risked or done damage and has a surprise or two. Broken bolts, stripped thread, twisted connections valves that leak by, and on and on.
Example: I helped my maintenance guys today. Last Thursday the were going to pull a basin pan out of a water cooling tower and replace it with the new one. Figured they would do one side in a day, the second side in less time. They are on day 5 and were fabricating more parts this morning. Side two will go easier since we know what parts will fall apart.
I've been working around mechanical things for the past 50+ years. Shit happens.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote in message

Brings to mind EFI fuel pumps in northern vehicles (road salt).          Pickup #1 - removal resulted in destruction of some other costly               gizmo in there as well as connections/tubing.     Pickup #2 - Above plus rim where it mounts therefore gas               tank NFG.
    Both done by shops and not a vehicle hack.     

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It is experiences like these that make me wary of inspecting and replacing the anode. I am pretty sure I will get another few years out of the heater. In the back of my mind is the thought of the effort of taking out the anode only to find out everything was ok until I screwed things up.
Bill
--
Private Profit; Public Poop! Avoid collateral windfall!

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Salmon Egg wrote:

But wouldn't removal be more difficult the longer it is left? I need to check, but I'm almost sure that the instructions for the water heater I installed earlier this year say to check the anode every six months.
Perce
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If it were an easy job, I would have no problem. It is not. Typical instruction also tell you to drain your heater a bit every few months. That is relatively easy with just the presence of a hose bib and a valve. Who does even that?
So after all that, I decided to not worry about the and and let the corrosion do what is natural.
Bill
--
Private Profit; Public Poop! Avoid collateral windfall!

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Salmon Egg wrote:

Lou
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You never know until you size it up?
My 16 year-old gas AO Smith yielded the anode w/o much trouble, no special tools. Anode had about 60% left. It'll come off again in a couple years.
I would look the heater over carefully. If it looks too long-in-the-tooth, leave it alone. If it looks good and solid, I'd squirt some thread- loosener on the nut and very carefully try to break it.
New anode is $30-40. New heater is (what?) about $350?
P
"Law Without Equity Is No Law At All. It Is A Form Of Jungle Rule."
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Puddin' Man wrote:

More than that, around here. At least for gas ones - electrics might run about that.
nate
--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Nate Nagel wrote:

Especially if your dealing with a direct vent or power vent model.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I wrote:

I misremembered: the instructions say to inspect the anode annually *after the warranty period has expired*. In our case that is twelve years. I had tried to remove the anode in the old water heater but was unable to shift it with as much force as I felt comfortable applying. That was a 6-year warranty unit that was 11 years old, so I replaced it preemptively, since there is no floor drain anywhere nearby.
Perce
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Salmon Egg wrote:
(...)

Nonsense.
Measure the flats of the existing anode and pick up a matching socket for your breaker bar.
Using a Q-tip, daub under the head of the anode with Kroil. http://www.kanolabs.com /
Do not spray directly on to your water heater!
Keep the Kroil away from hot parts, like the exhaust stack! Use with adequate ventilation and keep Kroil away from open flame.
Repeat the application every day for a week.
Shut off the water to the house; turn off the gas to the heater. Open a hose bib in the front yard to relieve pressure in the lines.
Use a couple damp rags to clean the dust and Kroil off the anode cap and surrounding area.
Snap your socket on to your breaker bar and spin the old anode out of the tank. It will still be hot!
Inspect the anode. Replace if unduly worn. Decalcify if necessary.
Apply a THIN coating of graphite to the anode threads using a pencil.
Spin the new anode back into the tank and tighten.
Shut off the hose bib in the front yard.
Turn on the water and check for leaks.
No leaks? Turn the gas back on and light the pilot.
Bob's your uncle.
--Winston
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
LouB wrote:

The result seems to be anode not out. I saw nothing about damage that in any way would affect the functionality.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.