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Do I need to replace anode rod in my water heater

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  • Aug 18th, 2018 5:11 pm
[OP]
Member
Oct 24, 2005
448 posts
56 upvotes
Mississauga

Do I need to replace anode rod in my water heater

Hi my water heater was installed about 2.5 year ago. I checked the anode rod today, and the core is visible at top, but the rest seems to be ok, so not sure if I should replace it? Pictures attached.
IMG_4014.JPG
IMG_4016.JPG
As per this website:

With a water softener or acidic water: every 1-2 years

Replace anode when inspection shows exposed core is visible at top or bottom, or more than 6" of exposed core along length.

I also have water softener in my house.

Thanks.
Images
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  • IMG_4017.JPG
8 replies
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2002
6113 posts
765 upvotes
It looks as if there is still a fair amount of aluminum (or magnesium) on the rod. I would sand off any scale if necessary to get back to bare metal and put it back for another year or two if there is indeed a fair amount of metal left. I think I replaced my rod at the 5 year point when the magnesium was about 80% gone overall. I have a water softener.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 1, 2004
5277 posts
376 upvotes
Toronto
Does every heater have one?
Member
User avatar
Feb 25, 2003
260 posts
63 upvotes
Vancouver
I change mine every two years and it looks half as bad as yours. $30 is very insignificant cost to maintain a tank.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 2, 2012
2199 posts
1072 upvotes
KINGSTON,ON
greg123 wrote:
Aug 15th, 2018 1:10 am
Does every heater have one?
Yup.
If you want to extend the life of your tank, it's a good idea to check and change as necessary. Once the rod is gone, your tank starts to rust.
Member
User avatar
Jun 24, 2005
452 posts
50 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Is it true that wrapping teflon tape around the threads on the anode rod will prevent it from doing its job properly?
Member
Nov 30, 2015
219 posts
86 upvotes
GTA, ON
rngun wrote:
Aug 16th, 2018 1:11 pm
Is it true that wrapping teflon tape around the threads on the anode rod will prevent it from doing its job properly?
Don't know if it's true or not but here's what page 30 of my GSW water heater manual says:
"Use Teflon® tape or an approved pipe sealant on threads
of the new anode rod."
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2002
6113 posts
765 upvotes
rngun wrote:
Aug 16th, 2018 1:11 pm
Is it true that wrapping teflon tape around the threads on the anode rod will prevent it from doing its job properly?
No. The anode rod has to make electrical contact with the tank. This occurs with the metal anode threads touching the threaded metal part of the tank. In theory the teflon tape is an insulator and wrapping the anode bolt with tape could prevent contact from taking place. However in reality when you tighten the anode rod down the sharp edges of the threads will cut through the tape to make contact with the tank. It is wise however not to wrap too much teflon tape on - say 2 turns at most. When you install a new anode, after you tighten it down you can undo it and pull it up a few inches to inspect the teflon tape and you will see that the metal threads have indeed cut through it in spots and thus the rod is making electrical contact with the tank. You can then tighten it back down again.

You can probably confirm good contact with an ohmmeter by measuring the resistance between the top of the anode rod and any exposed bare metal point on the tank and the resistance should read 0.

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