Water Heater Anode

Most water heaters have what is called a sacrificial anode, a part whose metal composition causes the galvanic activity in the water to erode the anode first, and not the tank itself. Over time, the anode will slowly erode away, reducing its effectiveness. It should be checked and changed every few years. We are a little late in checking and changing ours.

Naturally, removing the anode after it has been in place for a few years was not easy. There was some surface rust, and it seemed pretty seized in place. I did not want to really crank on the breaker bar for fear of damaging or cracking the tank. Now this was a couple of weeks ago, so since then, I have been applying regular doses of Liquid Wrench to it, and today was the day to give it another go.

It is more corroded closer to the threads, but overall, not too bad.

A little pressure on the bar, and I felt it give. Sure enough, we were off to the races. The tank is full, which will provide lots of water to flush as it drains. As the water was draining, it was encouraging to see that is was very clear with no rust or sediment. I had been expecting to see something. Wrapped the threads on the new anode with some teflon tape, then installed it. Snugged it up good, but not crazy tight. The teflon tape should help it come out easier the next time I want to have a look at the anode. Filled the tank, checked for leaks, and we were done.


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