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Old 02-14-2011, 02:16 PM   #16
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Changing anode rod


Hi,
Interesting post and answers. The comment about dielectric unions makes sense. Most water heaters have a "side" T&P (Temp/Presure) valve. But for some reason, the top mounted T&P water heater is popular in CA. And ... if the supply house has "regular" WH, they can convert it by taking out side T&P, plugging it, remmoving anode and putting in top T&P. Then, they remove hot water nipple and replace with combo anode/outlet as mentioned above.

But ... maybe that is a top T&P WH. When you removed plastic plug behind stack (careful, might be hot!!), did you dig around? If you go down 1-1.5 inches, you might find hex head anode.

Also, is that space heating plug on the side? or is it a plugged T&P? Looks like there's impression on the jacket. Can't make it out, though.

Finally, if you get exact serial number and model number, you might be able to find parts manual online and determine for sure if design has Hex anode, or combo anode.

In either case, drain a few gallons out of tank (could be hot, too!). Replace anode, and post pics of old one, please!

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Old 02-14-2011, 02:23 PM   #17
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Changing anode rod


I took out the plastic plug on top, in the back and there is dense foam in there. I stuck a paper clip down about an inch and didn't hit anything. The manufacturer told me that if the spot where the snide rod should be is used for a relief, then the abode rid is in the hot water outlet.
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:47 PM   #18
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Changing anode rod


It sounds to me like the plastic plug was just used for the foaming, then. As you mentioned, you can get combo anode rods on the 'net (or the "cloud"). But you are going to have to break the plumbing connections to the tank to get at the rod. In that case, DEFINITELY put in some dielectric unions. And, while you're at it, before you disconnect the tank, maybe you should run a few gallons through the tank to clean out any sediment.

Just curious: what was the side port for? Space heating?

Good luck!
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:11 PM   #19
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Changing anode rod


Thanks. The side port is labeled that it is a relief and there is a hex nut in there.
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:12 PM   #20
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Changing anode rod


I am gonna go to the store in a little while. What are the main benefits of the dielectric unions and how much are they? Thanks.
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:17 PM   #21
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Changing anode rod


The nipples coming off your tank are galvanized, connecting to copper, the dialectric prevents the dissimilar metals from causing an eletrolitic reation resulting in mass corrosion and premature piping failure.

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Old 02-14-2011, 03:21 PM   #22
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Ok. Thanks
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:23 PM   #23
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Changing anode rod


i have seen a lot of new construction lately, and it appears that none of the contractors bother with dialectric unions. i guess it's the cheap way to go? i just replaced my water heater, it was 18 years old and did not have the unions. maybe i just got lucky, but the copper and galvanized tubing were both fine and there was no issue with corrosion.
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:21 PM   #24
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Changing anode rod


I haven't been able to find the anode rod at the big box stores or plumbing supply places. Any idea where I can find it online? I have an A.O. Smith heater and need the combo one. Thanks

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