Water Heater Maintenance: What Is an Anode Rod and Is It Time to Replace It?


Water Heater Maintenance: What Is an Anode Rod and Is It Time to Replace It?

You may not know it, but water heaters are built with safety in mind. One of the best examples of this in action is an anode rod. 

But what is an anode rod?

Is your water heater up to code?

An anode rod is a long metal rod that sits in your water heater. It is designed to attract corrosive elements in the water, especially when the inner lining of the tank eventually cracks.

Eventually, this rod will become corroded and can no longer do its job, which is when it’s time to replace it. Usually, they need to be replaced every five years or so but can expand the life of a water heater if maintained. 

Here’s how to replace an anode rod in your water heater. 

  1. Turn off the water heater. You can learn how to do that here.
  1. Remove old anode rod. The anode rod can be found at the top of the water heater and is held in place by a hex nut. It may be covered by a metal cap. To remove the rod, use a socket wrench that has a 1 1/16” socket. Rotate the wrench counterclockwise, and when it’s detached, lift the rod out with the hex nut.
  2. Wrap all threadings with plumber’s tape. You want to do this to allow for a better seal.
  3. Install a new anode rod. Insert the rod with the hex nut on top and screw it back in.
  4. Turn the water heater back on. Once the new rod is installed, you can turn the water heater back on. Turning it back on includes turning the power source on again, as well as the water source.

Need help installing a new anode rod? The experts at Agentis are ready to help.