Because it prevents corrosion in the water heater, anode rod deserves extra attention. It should be inspected and evaluated well and replaced with a new one after a few years. If properly cared for, the anode rod will contribute to the water heater's longevity.
Maintaining and replacing an anode rod is quite simple. But if you need some help, this article will provide you with practical tips on how to do it.
- Always read the owner's manual. There are several maintenance instructions you can find in a lot of different websites. Although they are generally helpful, it is always best to consult your owner's manual. Remember that not all water heaters are alike and that there are brand- and model-specific instructions you need to follow. Failure to follow such instructions usually nullifies warranty. If you happen to misplace your owner's manual, try looking for a PDF version in the Internet. Some manufactures made their product manuals available in the Internet.
- Beware of scalding. Always remember that there is a possibility to get scalds whenever you work on a water heater. So to avoid hurting yourself, it is recommended to wear protective gloves. Also, keep towels and rags within reach, so you can have additional protection when holding the anode rod.
- Make sure to do prompt inspection. Depending on your water's hardness (measured by the amount of minerals present in the water), the water heater should be inspected every after one or four years. This will help you immediately know if you need to make a replacement. Keep in mind that failure to replace the anode rod when needed will lead to the corrosion of the water tank steel. And the damage can be outright more expensive and extensive.
- Preserve the water heater's functionality. A water heater is essential in every home, so you have to avoid damaging it when performing a maintenance procedure. You can avoid damages if you know exactly what has to be done. But if you don't, try to get directions. If, for instance, you can't find the anode rod, take some time to read the owner's manual. If you don't know what kind of anode rod to buy, check your old anode rod or ask the sales person. As a do-it-yourselfer, you probably know pretty well how important it is to do a research before starting a project.
- Have an assistant. Especially if this is your first time, an assistant may be called for when installing a new anode rod. Among other things, an assistant can help you pull the old anode rod and insert the new one. After the first time, the installation process will be much easier for you and might not any more require an assistant.
In some cases, the professional service of a plumber is needed. This is particularly true if you see any unordinary marks or spots in the water heater. Don't take chances and deal with your water heater on your own, because that might aggravate any damage. Let the plumber do the inspection and repair the water heater.