Replacing the Anode Rod In Your Water Heater | Rochester MN

Is your water heater not working properly? It may be the anode rode. Below is some helpful information about the anode rod, what it does and how you can replace it. If you are not comfortable replacing your anode rode in your water heater, you are not alone. Don’t worry, we at Service Pros Plumbing in Rochester MN can help. Just give us a call or fill out our online contact form and we will be in touch with you shortly.

What is an anode rod and why is it important?

Anode rods or “sacrificial rods” are metal rods that are placed inside your hot water tank, attracting corrosive materials to prevent those materials from sticking to the walls of the tank and causing damage. These anode rods corrode over time and need then to be replaced. Anode rods can be made of different materials, each of which is better or worse at doing certain things.

Aluminum rods are the best if you have hard water and magnesium rods are better for soft water. Anode rods with zinc can be use to eliminate foul odors and have antifungal properties. Most anode rods will fit any tank, but some tanks are shorter and the rods need to be cut to fit.

How often should you replace the anode rod?

Typically you should change the anode rod in your water heater once every five years, however, if you’re using a water softener, it can erode in just six months. Other factors like your water composition and the material of your anode rod can effect how long the anode rod lasts. You should normally check your anode rod yearly to see if it’s still intact or check it every six months if you use a water softener. Since you should be cleaning out the water heater tank at least once a year anyway, this is a great time to check the anode rod. There are also some signs that you should change your anode rod, like rotten egg smells or loud noises from the water heater. Call Service Pros Plumbing today and we can schedule someone to come out and change your anode rode for you.

How to replace an anode rod:

  1. Before starting be sure you have the new anode rod, thread/plumbers tape, a flathead screwdriver, ratchet wrench, 1-1/16 inch socket, pliers, a hose (regular garden hoses work), gloves, and goggles.
  2. Shut off electricity to the water heater via the circuit breaker board.
  3. Turn off the water to the heater via the water valve that connects to the heater.
  4. Wait a few hours to let the water in the tank cool.
  5. Attach a hose to the drain valve near the bottom of the water heater.
  6. Turn on the hot water on a faucet in your home or open the pressure relief valve.
  7. Open the drain valve and let out several gallons of water.
  8. Close the drain valve and detach the hose.
  9. Use the flat head to pop the anode cap off (located atop the water heater).
  10. Use the ratchet wrench and socket to unscrew the anode rod.
  11. Use the pliers to pull out the anode rod out of the water heater and discard.
  12. Wrap plumbers tape around the threads of the new anode rod.
  13. Slide the new anode rod into the water heater tank.
  14. Tighten the new anode rod with the ratchet wrench and replace the cap.
  15. Turn on the water supply valve and the electricity to the water heater.

As we mentioned before, if you don’t want to change our and replace your anode rod, give us a call today and we will help you out. Service Pros Plumbing has been helping customers in the Rochester Mn area for over a decade.