Replacing water heater anodes


So, what's teh concensus? Is the projected improvement in longevity worth the expense? TIA, C
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C & E wrote:

Shut the water off *before* you unscrew the old anode. Don't ask me how I know this.
Best regards, Bob
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zxcvbob wrote:

LOL I think this is a story that needs to be heard! Here's mine. Years ago my kid and friend managed to back a large toy jeep under water heater PRV downspout, then snapped it clear off as they pulled away. I was at work and got the call- fortunately a friend got in to shut off water, which was of course spraying everywhere. I think the consensus is :yes, it is worth it
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Sev wrote:

Sorry, there is no story. I just saw the set-up for a good joke and I went for it. (it should have made a *great* mental picture though)
Here's a slightly related story: I once unscrewed about a 1 1/2" pipe plug from the bottom of a 50 gallon pressure tank before all the pressure was bled off. It had maybe 10 gallons of water left in it at about 8 or 9 psi. All the water blew out in about a millisecond...
Best regards, ;-) Bob
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Here's a good one. We had this guy in Automotive trade school that was dumber than dumb. He asked about the "sight glass" on his chevy A/C unit. We explained to him that is how you know if the refrigerant is full or not. Then, before we saw what he was doing, he took an allen wrench and unscrewed the durn thing!! 'Bout took his head off with the flying sight glass and refrigerant. We laughed until we cried....
--
Steve Barker



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Too funny, Bob. Glad to see that I'm not alone in the, "Wish I'd thought to..." camp!!

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$10 or $20 for a new anode vs. $400 for a new tank. That should answer the question.
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How long do anodes last?
--
------
Mr. P.V.\'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY
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Not really, Bob. At face value your comment is correct. But, I'm wondering if you get sustantially increased longevity to warrant the hassle and expense. In my case the anode will have to the segmented type which is considerably more expensive. If I;m looking at squeezing only a couple of years out of it I don't think that I would consider it. Thanks, C
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C & E wrote:

It depends. I many (most?) parts of the country the water tends to cause problems. Water heaters in these areas often don't make it to their rated life. In other areas (like mine) they last well over the rated life, even if they anodes are not replaced or water drained every month.
Unless you live in an area like mine, I would suggest replacing it. You will save more than you will spend.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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I've never seen any hard data on whether replacing them extends the life enough to be worth it. My guess is that it does. The concept of using sacrificial anodes is well founded and used in many other applications. The classic is the zinc used on boats to protect the underwater metals.
A lot probably depends on the water and any stray grounding currents, etc. If the anode is oretty much gone in say 4 years, then I would think replacing it would have a big impact on extending the life. If it's gone at 10 years, then it probably won't matter as much, because there are other failure modes that are going to do the tank in as well
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I have a friend who late one evening decided to drain some water out of his hot water tank... last good dead of the day:)
well the valve broke so no one had hot showers the next morning:( cheap vaves meant for only one use draion tank at time of disposal. no dirty water came out nice and clean so he accomplished nothing
worse when replacing the valve he found the place it screwed into in poor shape, corroded he had to buy a bigger wrench to get the valve out..... the valve collapsed:(
Well he did in a fashion get it together, and had repeated leaks.
a month later he replaced the tank.......... now he replaces the tank every 8 years.to prevent water damage to his shop if it leaked.
now lets talk about the economics of all this.
someone said a new tank is 400 bucks........50 bucks a year! less than the cost of a nice candy bar a week. few things are that cheap.:(
I have tried unscrewing the anodes from a couple old tanks and couldnt budge them.
just first shop for a NEW tank, then begin the anode job first thing in the AM with all the tools help etc to replace the tank just in case things go sour and your forced to install a hole new tank after a fitting breaks and jams.......
;et us know what happens and good luck.
i leave my tank alone and replace every 8 years wether it needs it or not, hate inconvenient failures and flooded shop
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So who makes a decent gas water heater. Here they die from build up in the tank. So rusting out is not a problem. Friend or mine had an electric water heater. It quit, so I went to see what was wrong. The lower element was open. I tried to take it out but the element was stuck solid in the calcium or whatever is in the bottom. We replaced the heater and I stuck a rod in the outlet to see how much stuff was in the bottom. It was a foot thick!
Al
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Portable compressed air tank + impact driver. Zips right out.
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point is you may get it out but find tanks condition is poor and get leak either short or long term.......
just just be prepared to replace tank
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Good story - better point made!! Thanks!
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Any concensus if gas vs electric lasts longer? I'm wondering if the flame on a gas unit hastens rust out/burn out?
Bob
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Bob wrote:

In my experience, electric lasts longer, maybe a 20 year life vs 13 or so for a gas one.
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