How to Replace an Anode Rod


depleted anode rod replacement Gilbert, AZ

An essential component that contributes to the longevity and efficiency of a water heater is the anode rod, designed to prevent corrosion inside the tank by attracting corrosive elements in the water. Over time, the anode rod depletes and must be replaced to keep your appliance functioning properly and spare you from needing water heater repair in Gilbert, AZ. Our experts at Gold Star Plumbing & Drain go over the process of replacing this vital part and share important tips to keep in mind.

Gather Your Tools and Materials

These include a garden hose, a pipe wrench, the replacement anode rod (make sure it is compatible with your specific water heater), Teflon tape or joint compound, and a socket set if necessary. As your plumber advised during water heater installation, it’s best to consult the manufacturer’s manual or contact a professional to determine the right size and type of anode rod for your particular unit.

Turn Off the Power and Water Supply

Safety first! Any water heater replacement or repair work requires shutting off the power and water supply to the appliance. An anode rod replacement is no different. If your water heater runs on electricity, turn off the circuit breaker from the main electrical panel. For gas-powered units, locate the gas control valve and switch it off. Then, close the water supply valve located on the cold water inlet pipe above the water heater.

Drain the Water Heater

Attach a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater and run the other end to a suitable drainage area. Open the drain valve and a hot water faucet in your house to allow air to enter the tank and the water to drain out. Draining a few gallons should be sufficient, but if your water heater is older or has never been serviced, you may want to drain more to clear out any sediment.

Locate and Remove the Anode Rod

The anode rod is typically located at the top of the water heater. You may need to remove a plastic cap or metal lid to access it. Using a pipe wrench or socket set, carefully loosen and remove the old anode rod from its position.

Install the New Anode Rod

Using Teflon tape or joint compound on any threaded areas, install the new anode rod in place of the old one. Make sure it is securely tightened, but avoid over-tightening which could cause damage.

Refill and Restart

After replacing the anode rod, close the drain valve and remove the hose. Turn on the cold water supply to refill the tank. Once full, turn on the power source and allow time for the water to heat up before using hot water again.

Maintaining Your Water Heater Anode

The water heater anode rod typically lasts 3-5 years, but this can vary depending on the quality of your water and usage. Regularly checking the condition of your anode rod and replacing it when necessary can help extend the lifespan of your water heater. Additionally, flushing the tank once a year can also help remove sediment and prolong its efficiency. A tankless unit would not concern you with anode rod maintenance, but routine flushing is also recommended for these systems to avoid mineral buildup and premature tankless water heater replacement.

If you’re not comfortable performing an anode rod replacement yourself, don’t hesitate to entrust the job to our experienced plumbers at Gold Star Plumbing & Drain. We specialize in all aspects of tank and tankless water heater repair and replacement, so you can trust us to keep your unit running smoothly and efficiently. Reach out to us today by phone or via our online contact form.



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