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Anode rod

BobC Member Posts: 5,312
I just replaced the anode rod on my gas fired hot water tank.

What a PITA! There was nothing on the threads they just torqued it half to death to make a good seal, they just want to sell you a new one as soon as the warranty ends.

I used a six point socket on a 18" breaker bar and a four ft helper. My buddy held the tank while I bounced the pipe back and forth till the bond broke. After a few more 45 degree twists I used the ratchet to back the rod out, it was about half gone.

I put the new one in 9without the four foot helper) with some TFE pipe dope and checked to be sure I had a good ground connection before I put the tools away. next time it will come out a lot easier.

Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
3PSI gauge


  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,997
    I find that....

    it is easier to pull it out when you do the intial install. Then tape and dope it w/ a soft set dope....
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,312
    I'll keep that in mind

    when I have to replace this tank.

    Hopefully I replaced this rod soon enough to extend the tanks life, they don't give them away anymore.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Pulling Out:

    An electric impact wrench works well also.

    I always took them out and tape and pasted then in the past when they were separate. Now, they come as part of the hot supply nipple. I gave up on them.

    I naver had one go that the anode rod wasn't still working.
  • Steve Whitbeck
    Steve Whitbeck Member Posts: 669
    electrical contact

    Don't you want an electrical connection to the tank?

    using teflon tape can isolate the rod from the tank electrically. That is why you don't use tape on a LWCO.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,590
    For years...

    ... I measured conductivity between tank and anode that I'd installed with teflon and never found one that didn't conduct.  Went back on many of them years later to find the anode being consumed as it should be.  It seems it should be an issue, but it isn't.

    Yours,  Larry
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    edited December 2012

    I've heard that.

    Whenever I have connected a water heater (back in an ancient era, BTT, Before Teflon Tape) I used to have lots of leaks on copper adapters screwed into steel tanks. The leaks started almost as soon as I put the tank in service. After switching to Teflon Tape and paste on any screw fitting, I almost never have any kind of leak. AND, it comes apart at any later date.

    When I pull apart screw fittings, and look at the threads where I put three wraps of Teflon, it doesn't look like when I wrapped it on. The upper/top of the threads are all metal exposed. Sufficient electrical contact until proven otherwise. Another good "air" excuse for reps to blame a difficult problem. same as using Teflon Tape on oil fittings. I know that T-Tape gets strange in the presence of oil, but nothing will ever stop an oil weep like tape. Same with gas.

    If you have funky water, you will have problems, regardless of how you try to deal with it. Water softeners are ion exchange devices. In plastic tanks. The exchange which is electrical, works fine.

    The first two are a water heater that was a warranty replacement. Three weeks ago, I drained it and it was already leaking. Through the tank. Above the bottom element.

    The last picture isn't a yard ornament. It was the real deal. Having a luncheon snack in the middle of the day.
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