Great replacement for your used up anode rod
First, some information about why you need a good anode rod in your hot water heater tank. An anode rod help keep your tank style water heater in good condition. The anode rod keeps the tank from rusting from the inside. The anode rod gets eaten up instead of the tank, but if the anode rod gets down to the steel core, then it can't do it's job and the water heater tank starts to deteriorate. Some water heaters have two anode rods (12-15 year tanks) which is a good thing, but most have only
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This anode rod is a segmented magnesium rod. The reason I chose the segmented anode rod is so I could get it in the heater without tipping it (the ceiling in the hot water heater closet isn't high enough). Removing the old rod was pretty easy. I had to remove the water heater cover, since the anode rod was hidden below the cover - some are accessible from the top of the tank without removing the cover. I turned off the water in the house, I hooked up a hose to the drain, then opened it up and drained about 2 gallons of water (keep most of the water in the tank, so it's more stable when trying to get the anode rod bolt off), then closed the valve. No leaks - that's good! I then removed the water lines and the vent pipe, then took the cover off. The anode rod bolt is 1 1/16" and I used a socket and breaker bar. I sprayed the bolt with my special penetrating oil (a mixture of kerosene and transmission fluid) and let it sit for an hour. When I pulled to old anode rod out, it still had some metal over the core, but I couldn't get it out, so I pulled it as high as I could, then I cut the rod with a metal blade in my jig saw. I had to do this twice to get the old rod out.
Installing the new rod was a breeze. Some teflon paste on the threads, drop it in the tank - one section at a time, then cinch up the bolt. I put the cover back on and I decided to drain the tank, remove the debris at the bottom of the tank and install new water pipes - I figured that it was a good time to do some much needed maintenance on the old water heater.
Installing a new anode rod should give me another 7 years from my water heater. With a new water heater in the $500 range, I feel that it's a smart move to change the anode rod.
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