Readers ask: Water Heater Anode Rod Replacement How Often?

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.

How long does a water heater anode rod last?

When there’s no sacrificial metal left on the anode rod, your water heater tank can rust out, eventually causing it to burst. Anode rods generally can last about three to five years but it really depends mostly on the quality of your water and how much water travels through your water heater.

How do you know when to replace an anode rod?

Schedule professional inspection of the burner, temperature/pressure release valve, venting system, and other system components at least once a year. Inspect the anode rod every year; replace the anode rod every 3-5 years.

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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.

Can anode rod causing rotten egg smell?

The most common cause of smelly water is anaerobic bacteria that exist in some water and react with the magnesium and aluminum sacrificial anodes that come with most water heaters to produce hydrogen sulfide gas, making the classic rotten egg odor. Softening can make smelly water much worse.

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.

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.

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Is it too late to replace anode rod?

Anode rods are made of either magnesium or an aluminum-zinc alloy. The downside is that if you wait too long to replace the anode rod, it may be too late. If more than five years has passed, it may be too late to save the water heater.

How often should you flush your water heater?

It is recommended that you flush your water heater at least once per year. Doing so will help to prevent the potential problems that sediment can bring over time.

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

Why does 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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Why does my hot water smell?

This smell is typically caused by sulfate bacteria that can develop within the tank. This issue usually happens when warm water is left too long in the tank and bacteria builds up in the water. The soft water breaks down the magnesium and creates sulfate gas within the water heater.

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