How to Check the Anode Rod in Your Water Heater


rusted anode rod

When we are called for water heater repair in Gilbert, AZ, many times, the call has to do with anode rods. Since they are typically made of steel and other types of metals, a majority of tank-based water heaters utilize anode rods as a preventive measure against accelerated rusting and corrosion. The anode rod is called “sacrificial anode rod” for a reason – it erodes and releases electrons inside the water heater tank that slows down the rate of corrosion.

Since the anode rod, along with proper water heater installation, play an important role in the efficiency of your water heater, it might be useful to know how to check your anode rod from time to time to see whether it’s doing what it’s been designed to do.

  1. Turn off the power to the water heater, including the thermostat as well as your home’s circuit breaker. You can check the water heater manual whether there is a setting that will allow you to work on the water heater without having to relight the pilot.
  1. Use a screwdriver to remove the cap on the water heater. The anode rod will typically be either on the top side of the unit, or directly connected to the hot water line on top of the unit. All tank-based water heaters have anode rods, so if you’re not too keen on having to regularly check an anode rod, then a tankless water heater replacement is worth considering.
  1. After locating the anode rod, you’ll need to drain the water heater a little bit. This is so that the tank will have heft to it so that the thing doesn’t budge when you’re trying to access the anode rod. Keep in mind that you’ll need to wait until the water has cooled before you can begin checking around. The best thing to do is to call us so we can check whether you’d need a water heater replacement altogether.

If, on the other hand, you have a tankless water heater which doesn’t have an anode rod that needs to be checked, we also offer tankless water heater repair services should you find your tankless unit on the fritz.

Don’t hesitate to contact Gold Star Plumbing & Drain for anything plumbing related.



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