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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought 9 year water heater, rheem. It's gas and the local water is slightly hard. I got used to it but noticed that shampoo didn't soap up as much as previous house. I thought 9 year meant I can wait couple more years, 6th now, before replacing the rod but decided to search anyway and every site is saying 3-5 years.
I'm now wondering which is true. Also, does this mean longer warranty is completely waste of money?
 

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I bought 9 year water heater, rheem. It's gas and the local water is slightly hard. I got used to it but noticed that shampoo didn't soap up as much as previous house. I thought 9 year meant I can wait couple more years, 6th now, before replacing the rod but decided to search anyway and every site is saying 3-5 years.
I'm now wondering which is true. Also, does this mean longer warranty is completely waste of money?
Did you mean you bought a new water heater with a 9 year warranty?
 

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Generally the warranty is considing that by the 9th yr the anode is completly gone and the protection along with it.
So depending on water type 3-5 yrs to replace the anode is a good timeframe.
Or to at least pull it out and check it.
 

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Generally the warranty is considing that by the 9th yr the anode is completly gone and the protection along with it.
So depending on water type 3-5 yrs to replace the anode is a good timeframe.
Or to at least pull it out and check it.
Most of the time a water heater is smashed in a little closet with little to no room to get it out.

I wonder how many people actually ever do it. I be it's a low percentage.
 

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If you want to replace an anode rod in the future, start when the WH is new. Before you install or during the install of the WH, remove the new anode rod and reinstall with Teflon tape AND pipe dope. This will give you the best chance to get the rod out down the road.

Sent from my SM-T500 using Tapatalk
 

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If you want to replace an anode rod in the future, start when the WH is new. Before you install or during the install of the WH, remove the new anode rod and reinstall with Teflon tape AND pipe dope. This will give you the best chance to get the rod out down the road.

Sent from my SM-T500 using Tapatalk

This is a good idea, but I have what might be an unfounded concern with the idea of using teflon tape and/or pipe dope on these threads. My concern is that the teflon tape and/or pipe dope could insulate the threads and prevent a good electrical connection from happening, which could prevent the anode rod from doing it's job to the best of it's abilities.

I know this isn't an electrical device, but in a way it kind of is.

On my anode rods (and also on low-water cutoff probes that I sometimes have to install on boilers) I like to use anti-seize instead, because I know that it is conductive to electricity. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all for replies. It is 9 year water heater. I thought I knew what that meant.:) I bought a rod and was going to change it on year 8, but I guess safe bet is every 5 years for me. Every 3 feels extreme. I am going to change it in a week or so. I guess the condition of the original rod may tell. One site said change if about 70% gone. Another said if it's caked with white minerals.
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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Thank you all for replies. It is 9 year water heater. I thought I knew what that meant.:) I bought a rod and was going to change it on year 8, but I guess safe bet is every 5 years for me. Every 3 feels extreme. I am going to change it in a week or so. I guess the condition of the original rod may tell. One site said change if about 70% gone. Another said if it's caked with white minerals.
On a9 year old WH, the hardest part will be getting the old one out.

Sent from my SM-T500 using Tapatalk
 

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This is a good idea, but I have what might be an unfounded concern with the idea of using teflon tape and/or pipe dope on these threads. My concern is that the teflon tape and/or pipe dope could insulate the threads and prevent a good electrical connection from happening, which could prevent the anode rod from doing it's job to the best of it's abilities.

I know this isn't an electrical device, but in a way it kind of is.

On my anode rods (and also on low-water cutoff probes that I sometimes have to install on boilers) I like to use anti-seize instead, because I know that it is conductive to electricity. (y)
I'm replying to my own post to say that my theory might be unfounded. I actually happen to have an extra anode rod laying around and just looked at it. My water heater anode is a little different than most because mine is built into the hot water outlet pipe (Bradford White water heater's often use this kind for some reason). Anyways, how mine is there is a steel nipple with a plastic piece inserted into it that extends a couple of inches into the water heater, and then the anode is attached to that.

So basically there is no actual electrical continuity between the anode and the steel tank (other than the water).

Maybe my idea to use anti-seize instead of dope and tape is still worth something with conventional anodes, maybe not. I have no idea. In case it matters, here's a picture of what my tank's style of anode rod kind of looks like...

 

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I'm replying to my own post to say that my theory might be unfounded. I actually happen to have an extra anode rod laying around and just looked at it. My water heater anode is a little different than most because mine is built into the hot water outlet pipe (Bradford White water heater's often use this kind for some reason). Anyways, how mine is there is a steel nipple with a plastic piece inserted into it that extends a couple of inches into the water heater, and then the anode is attached to that.

So basically there is no actual electrical continuity between the anode and the steel tank (other than the water).

Maybe my idea to use anti-seize instead of dope and tape is still worth something with conventional anodes, maybe not. I have no idea. In case it matters, here's a picture of what my tank's style of anode rod kind of looks like...

Exactly. You don't need to go crazy with the pipe tape, just put it on the first few threads is all that is needed, like the one you pictured. It will still make a good contact and work correctly.

This little step before new wh is put in service will make it much easier in the future to remove it for replacement/inspection if you so desire. Based on my own personal experience.

Imo, most homeowners never bother ever checking or changing them. Even with the hardest water, you'll probably still get at least 8-9 years out of a tank doing nothing at all to it in most cases.

Imo, extended warantees are a money maker for the store, associates, and manufacturer. I stay away from them.
 

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When removing a rod, use a breaker bar, and possibly with a pipe extention.
Leave the water heater mostly full to help to keep the WH from turning.

If you use an impact gun on the rod, especially if it is in bad shape, all the badly decomposed metal on the rod will shake off from the vibration and fall into the bottom of the tank.
Use only as a last resort, and then just to get the nut to break the rust, then finish with a hand ratchet ot breaker bar.

In the case of the rod shown above a pipe wrench with a pipe added for leverage, again leave the tank mostly full of water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I meant the tank is 9 yr warranty tank. It was installed 2015, so actually 7 years used. I can't remember now but I may have loosened the anode bolt at that time. Anyway, I will try. Last resort will be the impact driver and, per rjniles, hoping it doesn't rip out the thread part.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Success. Again, thanks to all. 1 1/16 12 point socket, amazon, little worried about 12 point sockets. It needed to be tapped in for full seating. But 6 point would not fit. 1/2" drive. 24" break bar. Tank nearly full and cold off. Bsmt hot tap open. Needed strong magnet to fish the bolt up. The anode came up without trouble because lot of it was gone and easy to bend it. If not, will need hack saw and/or bolt cutter.
OEM anode was about 40" (wire) and mine was 54, so cut the 4th segment off. Now I'm thinking was this too late. About half oem was nothing but a tube of minerals and the bottom half was mineral crusted pock marked black stuff. Couldn't bend it, so assuming little anode was still left. Now i'm a believer. I think every 5 years because of all of other factors. Water, how much use. Maybe every 4 if it's used more often. Empty nesters. Left detailed info on the tank. I think i will check it in 3 years if bolt moves by then. OEM bolt had no tape or dope and I didn't use it.
Rheem, 50 gl and 5' tall. 9 year warranty but per steve2444, 9 years means hanging by a thread and the corrosion is on the tank.
Bolt kept turning (socket wrench) even when this non pro was thinking it should stop to what I think is tight? Will search for torq numbers on these bolts.
 

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Success. Again, thanks to all. 1 1/16 12 point socket, amazon, little worried about 12 point sockets. It needed to be tapped in for full seating. But 6 point would not fit. 1/2" drive. 24" break bar. Tank nearly full and cold off. Bsmt hot tap open. Needed strong magnet to fish the bolt up. The anode came up without trouble because lot of it was gone and easy to bend it. If not, will need hack saw and/or bolt cutter.
OEM anode was about 40" (wire) and mine was 54, so cut the 4th segment off. Now I'm thinking was this too late. About half oem was nothing but a tube of minerals and the bottom half was mineral crusted pock marked black stuff. Couldn't bend it, so assuming little anode was still left. Now i'm a believer. I think every 5 years because of all of other factors. Water, how much use. Maybe every 4 if it's used more often. Empty nesters. Left detailed info on the tank. I think i will check it in 3 years if bolt moves by then. OEM bolt had no tape or dope and I didn't use it.
Rheem, 50 gl and 5' tall. 9 year warranty but per steve2444, 9 years means hanging by a thread and the corrosion is on the tank.
Bolt kept turning (socket wrench) even when this non pro was thinking it should stop to what I think is tight? Will search for torq numbers on these bolts.
Always good to attach a hose and drain out the sediment that accumulates in the bottom. Your supposed to do that once a year.
 

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Usually when you see 12yr warranty tanks, it's because those have 2 anode rods in them.
It's the only difference, it not a better tank.
Thats how important the anode rod is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
1. Foam insulation around the bolt was in the way. Just realized why socket had to be tapped in.
2. Some, maybe lot enough, crud fell off the rod wire into the tank. I will100% flush the tank tomorrow. Probably all of it will end up in the spout screen if I leave it alone. Dishwasher especially since it is pain to remove and check. Washing machine.
3. I may go to homedepot to get new rods. Amazon has cheaper anodes, but chance they are fake metal, and cheaper looks like less metal. Rheem is .9" dia x exact 12". 4 segments connected by braided ss wire crimped with copper connector. Cheaper also don't show copper. I need about 40" anode but rheem segmented anodes are all 54", so last segment is a waste.
 

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1. Foam insulation around the bolt was in the way. Just realized why socket had to be tapped in.
2. Some, maybe lot enough, crud fell off the rod wire into the tank. I will100% flush the tank tomorrow. Probably all of it will end up in the spout screen if I leave it alone. Dishwasher especially since it is pain to remove and check. Washing machine.
3. I may go to homedepot to get new rods. Amazon has cheaper anodes, but chance they are fake metal, and cheaper looks like less metal. Rheem is .9" dia x exact 12". 4 segments connected by braided ss wire crimped with copper connector. Cheaper also don't show copper. I need about 40" anode but rheem segmented anodes are all 54", so last segment is a waste.
There are segmented anode rods, kind of like sausages linked together, that coud aid in installing and removal (the next time) made for tight spaces. That would eliminate the bending of the rod installing and removing.
 
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