Quick Answer: What Does An Anode Rod Do In A Water Heater?

How do I know if my anode rod is bad?

A bad anode rod can cause discolored water, a rotten egg smell, air in the lines and intermittent hot water. The anode rod protects the tank of electric water heaters & signs it should be replaced are a rotten egg smell, no heat & strange sounds.

What does an anode rod do in a hot water tank?

An anode rod exists to protect the metal lining inside of your water heater tank to prevent explosion or corrosion over time. What Metals Are Used in Anode Rods? Anode rods are generally created from metals including magnesium, aluminum or zinc.

Can you run a water heater without an anode rod?

Without a working anode rod, your water heater tank will be vulnerable to rust, corrosion, and other damaging effects of chemicals and minerals in your water supply.

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Do I need an anode in my water heater?

Not only is it important to put an aluminum/zinc anode into the heater; it’s also important to remove all previous anodes or the hot water will still smell.

Is it worth replacing anode rod?

When the rod itself becomes so corroded that it can no longer do its job, the tank soon rusts out, leaks and needs replacement. However, if you replace your water heater anode rod before it fails, about every five years, you can double the life of your water heater.

How much does it cost to replace anode rod?

An anode rod costs about $50. Some homeowners may feel comfortable replacing it themselves. If not, call a professional plumber, who can assist. The cost of having it replaced professionally may be around $250 or $300.

Which is better aluminum or magnesium anode rod?

For harder water an aluminum anode rod is the best choice for your heater and if you live in an area with soft water then a magnesium anode rod is your best choice. Aluminum anodes tend to be cheaper than magnesium anode rods. A magnesium rod will generally last less than an aluminum rod.

Is it OK to remove anode rod?

Yes, you can cut your sacrificial anode rod, whether it is magnesium or aluminum, to replace it. To do this, use a pair of gloves and a saw and cut as you remove the old anode.

Will a bad anode rod make water smell?

Many anode rods are made of magnesium or aluminum. When these rods corrode, the metals react with the sulfates in the water, turning the sulfate into stinky hydrogen sulfide.

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Do water softeners destroy water heaters?

SHORT: Dont’ do it. It destroys tank water heaters. LONG: The ion exchange that happens inside the softener swaps calcium and magnesium for sodium. Sodium is a great conductor of electricity.

Do aluminum anode rods smell?

The bacteria reacts with the anode rod in your water heater to produce the smell. Aluminum and magnesium anode rods are the types that bring the smell. Smelly water is most common in buildings connected to a well system. Water softeners can also increase the problem of smelly water significantly.

How do I know what size anode rod to buy?

As a rule you want the anode to be “tip to toe” running the full height or length of the tank. If you cant see your brand on the chart then just measure the length of the tank and pick the closest length of anode. If the anode is too long they can be simply cut to length with a hack saw.

Why does my hot water smell like rotten eggs?

You are most likely on well water, and there is a bacteria, known as SRB (sulfate-reducing bacteria), that gets into water heaters and, although harmless to humans from a pure health perspective, creates the odor by digesting naturally occurring sulfur-based elements in the water, releasing tiny amounts of hydrogen

How often should you replace the anode rod in a water heater?

Most water heater manufacturers will recommend inspecting the condition of the sacrificial anode every one (1) to three (3) years and replacing it when it has been consumed more than 50%. This is especially true if you have hard water or use a water softener.

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How do I get rid of a bad smell in my water heater?

If the cold water does not contain odors, but the hot water smells bad, then a thorough sanitizing of the water heater tank with 1 to 2 pints of store-bought hydrogen peroxide will eliminate the odor and smell from the water heater.

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