How Extended Will Your Water Heater Past? Your Anode Rods Will Convey to Us


An anode rod is a rod made of “sacrificial” metallic. Like batteries, the anode generates an electrochemical reaction in the tank. The anode slowly and gradually wears absent as an alternative of the lining of the tank. As extensive as the anode is current and useful, practically all corrosion or rusting on the tank’s lining is prevented.


To all consumers who are shopping for a new drinking water heater, an significant element of the new equipment is the accessibility to its anode rod. On leading of the water heater is a part known as a hex head. It is possibly obvious or not. If it is not visible, the hex head is either found beneath the sheet metallic best or is linked underneath the sizzling h2o outlet. You should not have to settle for a difficult to obtain anode rod. I endorse not buying this drinking water heater. Seem for a h2o heater with an easily observed hex head.

In the scenario of professional drinking water heaters, the outer sheet steel prime of the drinking water heater have to normally be eliminated for obtain to the anode rod. The hex head is seldom found uncovered, regardless of whether it is an electric or gasoline heaters. As you get rid of the major to the heater, mark the best of the heater alone so that assembling it collectively afterwards will be a lot easier. At this point the hex head for the anode rod can be uncovered conveniently on any industrial electric heater. On fuel heaters, the hex head will possibly be quick to obtain if it has a one flue vent. If it has more than one particular flue vent, it might will be much more challenging to track down.


An anode is created out of aluminum, zinc, or magnesium. It is fashioned all around a wire operating down the middle of the rod. Tough water places of the place often have h2o heaters with aluminum rods installed because aluminum is the very best substance for hard water conditions. If your anode rod has deteriorated down to the wire or is absent entirely, this is typically a sign of hard drinking water. Be cautious of aluminum anode rods, on the other hand. Science believes that there is a url amongst aluminum in the diet program and Alzheimer’s disease. Do not consume or cook dinner with incredibly hot drinking water from a tank which employs an anode rod manufactured out of aluminum. To establish if you have an aluminum anode rod, eliminate it, then bend it. If it bends conveniently in your fingers, it is most likely created out of aluminum.

Mixture Anode

Typically anodes are installed with 3/4 in. hex heads screwed in the top of the tank. Having said that, a combination anode is connected to the sizzling drinking water outlet pipe nipple, also screwed in at the prime. All water heaters have a least of a person anode rod. Some water heaters have for a longer time warranties for the reason that they have two anode rods. If there are two anode rods, that is since a single is attached to a hex head at the prime and the other is a blend anode connected to the very hot drinking water outlet. Some residential heaters have two hex headed anode rods and no blend anodes although.
To discover out if you have a combination anode rod, disconnect the incredibly hot water outlet at the top rated of the heater employing a pipe wrench. You should not fail to remember to shut off the h2o initially! Subsequent poke a rigid wire down the hole the place the sizzling water nipple was. If it stops about 3 to 6 inches directly down, then you have located the mix anode. If the wire meets absolutely nothing inside, the anode is somewhere else. The mixture anode can be taken off with a pipe wrench.

If you do not have a combination anode and you want to install a person, then clear away the incredibly hot drinking water pipe nipple and change it with a blend anode rod. The nipple on the anode rode will will need to be for a longer time than the thickness of the insulation on top rated of the heater, which is normally 2 to 6 inches.


Magnesium is applied extra often than the other metals for anodes. When the drinking water in your area is not specifically really hard, use of magnesium rods is possibly best. Be mindful with magnesium rods, on the other hand, when replacing them in an previously corroded tank. The electrochemical response from the new magnesium anode can trigger hydrogen fuel to establish up in the tank. This can lead to drinking water leaks.


New drinking water heaters hardly ever have a zinc rod already mounted. Zinc rods are basically aluminum rods with a 1/10 part of the rod getting genuine zinc. Zinc’s only goal in an anode rod is to decrease the odor of sulfur in the drinking water.

Consumption of Anodes

Softening tough h2o with salt is actually much more harming to anodes than the calcium carbonate–the lead to of tricky water. Salt can take in an anode up to a few moments speedier than usual. Phosphates can have the very same adverse influence on an anode. The anode ought to be inspected each individual two decades or sooner if you use these water softening agents.

The anode is the reason the heater stays useful for yrs or even many years. Anodes corrode predictably. Most periods it corrodes at the best or base and exposes the steel wire underneath.
Main Wire

The drinking water heater will only be guarded if the anode rod has plenty of metallic hanging on it. The metal core wire keeps the sacrificial metal on the anode. Be sure to inspect the anode for an uncovered core wire every two many years at least.

When analyzing an anode rod for uncovered main wire, the wire can be lined in calcium carbonate that brushes off quickly. This calcium carbonate is not corroded steel from the anode rod, so do not get worried about eliminating it.

Anode Evaluation

If the anode rod has more sacrificial metallic than exposed metal rod, then it is still in very good form. However, if the overall area turns into protected in calcium carbonate and this calcium carbonate gets to be tricky, this will stop the anode from shielding the tank any for a longer time. This is recognised as passivation. If the anode has passivated, it will not appear so by sight on your own. To examination for passivation, you should bend the anode rod by hand. At the bend, notice for smaller amounts of flaking. The anode should really be replaced if additional places of the rod are uncovered wire than sacrificial metal. It should really also be replaced if the top or base of the rod has deteriorated, exposing six or much more inches of uncovered wire. An anode should also be replaced if the anode is less than fifty percent of the rod’s 3/4 in. diameter sizing. If the anode has passivated, split by its length, or has grow to be heavily pitted, it could also be time for alternative. When all the sacrificial metal has worn away, then the steel rod will start off to put on away. Following the steel rod wears away, the only issue still left will be the hex head or the sizzling h2o outlet nipple if it is a blend anode. At this issue, the tank will start out to corrode. If the anode is located in the over stated problems, problems to the tank could have already transpired.

Hidden Hex Head On More recent Styles

Hex heads are threaded watertight plugs about 3/4 inches in diameter. They are hooked up to anode rods at the leading of h2o heaters. Some are easily witnessed from the major of the drinking water heater. Other moments it will be under fiberglass or below a piece of plastic. To find the hex head, drill a shallow 1/4 inch gap by the plastic best of the drinking water heater. Do not drill deep into the tank by itself. Use a prolonged flat-head screwdriver to probe underneath the top rated of the drinking water heater to uncover the hex head. On gasoline heaters, the hex head will be the same distance from the flue as the scorching and cold lines are. On electrics, the anode will be off heart so as not to drop on the heating components. A couple of holes may perhaps need to have to be dug in buy to locate the hex head. The moment the hex head is identified, it need to be permanently exposed. Use a hole saw able of cutting plastic or steel to carve a hole large adequate to allow for future access to the hex head. Use two folks at this place to unscrew the hex head–one to regular the tank, the other to use a breaker bar and a socket that fits the head. Any place from 3/4 inch to 1-1/16 inch.

In the long run, when acquiring a new h2o heater, invest in only those with previously exposed hex heads.

Hidden Hex Head On More mature Designs

To uncover the hex head on older h2o heaters, basically unscrew the screws keeping the prime in place, mark the placement of the prime and the water heater with a marker, then get rid of the top rated to obtain the hex head. Alas, quite a few heaters located in present day properties have foamed-in tops and can not be eradicated. Yet again, if the hex head is not uncovered at the time of purchase, you should not purchase that certain tank. Glimpse for a tank with an by now uncovered hex head.

Anode Inspection

Anodes must be inspected at least every single two years the place softened water is made use of but at the very least each individual 4 years underneath ordinary h2o problems. On celebration, the spot of the anode is actually published on the drinking water heater directions.

Anode Set up

To get rid of the old rod, pull it as much out as possible, bend it, then pull it the rest of the way out. To install the new one particular, bend the rod right in the middle, insert it half way, straighten it versus the opening, and install it the relaxation of the way. Screw in the anode rod at this time. If you are not able to screw it into place because it is much too bent, pull it partially out and use the opening to straighten it more. If there is not enough ceiling home to install the new anode rod, consider a backlink-anode. These anodes have quite a few modest backlinks hooked jointly and search comparable to one-way links of sausages. You can also check out zinc anodes mainly because they bend significantly much easier than magnesium types. One more way to set up an anode is to drain the water heater and tip it about more than enough to allow effortless accessibility for the anode.


Anodes are normally 3 feet 8 inches. Anodes ought to be only a number of inches shorter than the tank alone. Get anodes that are a small far too extended in its place of a small also short. This way you can slash the anode shorter if it is way too tall.

Amazed-Present-day Rod

In relation to commercial drinking water heaters, there are impressed present-day rods. These rods do not self-generate currents like sacrificial anodes. They derive energy from an electrical ability supply. Several business heaters give the area of the impressed-recent rod. They do not need to be changed in the course of their life span. They might require periodic cleaning. Just wipe them off with a towel. If rust appears within a water heater with an impressed-present rod, you ought to either contact the maker, call a plumber, or install sacrificial anodes.