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You really don't know unless you pull it and check it. How often to replace them depends on your water quality. Every 3-5 years they should at least be checked.

I replaced mine at the 4 year mark and it was almost disengrated. Hardly anything left to it. I replace it now every 3 years. I have hard sediment water.

If you are going to pull to check it, have another one ready to go. They are cheap about 30 bucks. Any plumbing supply store carrys them. Or you can order directly from your manufacturer. Magniesm type is the one you want. Don't worry if its too long, they can be cut to fit your tank.
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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I have owned and lived in 5 houses, 3 on city water, 2 on private wells. I have never had a WH fail. I have replacedsome after 15 years, some I have left for a new owner to deal with. Have never changed a anode rod.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have owned and lived in 5 houses, 3 on city water, 2 on private wells. I have never had a WH fail. I have replacedsome after 15 years, some I have left for a new owner to deal with. Have never changed a anode rod.

Sent from my Moto E (4) Plus using Tapatalk

Interesting. I thought, as time goes by, the temperature of the water would diminish if this was not changed. Then again, what do I know?
 

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I noticed an unusual amount of air (or other gases) spitting from my hot water faucets several years ago.
I checked the anode rod and it was mostly disintegrated. I replaced it and the spitting ceased. The water heater was approximately 20 years old. Note: When changing an anode rod leave the heater almost full of water, otherwise you can't hold it still when unscrewing the anode rod.
Jack Hottel
 

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Wow! So, I am missing something. I was under the impression that the heater should be empty of water before I try this...
The rod screws into the top of the water heater. You want to drain off enough water so the water level is below the top of the rod. You need the weight of the water inside the tank to hold it solid when you start to unscrew the rod.
 
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