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Old 02-13-2023, 02:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Have you ever replaced your water heater anode rod?

This video didn't sound interesting, but his videos have never disappointed me:
Quote:
Since the tank is made of steel which, I donít know if youíve heard, but doesnít really like to be in prolonged contact with water, a sacrificial anode rod often made of aluminum or magnesium pokes down into the water to take the corrosion bullet for the rest of the tank and keep it from rusting.
The top of that rod lives buried underneath the foam insulation that's underneath this plug, and it can actually be replaced!
If you do that regularly, it can extend the life of your water heater significantly.
But almost nobody does that, including me.
Yay laziness!
But this isnít a home improvement channelÖ

Mom has complained many times about how quickly her water heaters die, could it be this [relatively] easy?
Home Depot has a 3-section anode for $35: 3/4 in. NPT X 42 in. 3-Section Aluminum Anode Rod
Lowe's has one for $40 and another for $50, so if you decide to do this, make sure you find out what kind of nipples your water heater has.
I certainly never thought I would use that sentence.
Imagine going to the store, seeing two types, calling home, and trying to cut to the chase: "Ma! What kind of..."

Both say "Can be installed with only 14-in clearance."

I would rather drill a hole in the ceiling and patch it afterward than replace my water heater more often than necessary, but I would totally pay a little extra for a three-section staff.

I wonder how this fellow would feel about one of those:
This is Amazon's choice: Magnesium Water Heater Anode Rod (44 inch Flexible) 3/4" NPT Thread for Rheem, Reliance, Richmond, Kenmore, GE by Kelaro

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Old 02-13-2023, 03:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've enjoyed all of the Technology Connections videos.

We can't say what causes mom's water heaters to go early without examining the cause of failure.

It could be scale buildup, or the sacrificial metal may have become depleted...

I thought about flushing my water heater recently, but then needed hot water right away and abandoned the idea. Figured if I were to flush it, then I've also got no excuse to not check the anode.
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Old 02-13-2023, 03:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Have you ever replaced your water heater anode rod?
Yes. Long ago, but it seems I did it twice for some reason. It's an eight gallon tank.
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Old 02-13-2023, 10:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have thought about running a couple hoses to the water heater and melting some ice while I dump sediments.

Yay laziness!
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Old 02-13-2023, 11:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Even though I have already stayed in hotels and houses with boilers like those, I never had to do the maintenance of a boiler. But anyway, I guess the tanks of those solar heating systems are supposed to also feature an anode rod.
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Old 02-14-2023, 09:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah there's stuff I can think of that I would much rather spend $500 on than a new hot water heater.
A hot water heater is potentially a bomb and needs to be cared for properly.
I recommend a magnesium anode, ball valve drain and if it's electric only put a straight element in the bottom, change the magnesium anode every 2 to 3 years.
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Old 02-14-2023, 03:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'd be quite concerned about magnesium, as it's supposed to explode when it's hot and in contact with water.
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Old 02-14-2023, 04:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Maybe it's an alloy. Nearly everything is an alloy. Steel is an alloy, yet we call aluminum wheels "alloys". I'm sure "mag" wheels are an alloy as well.
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Old 02-14-2023, 04:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sure it might be an alloy. The cost of a magnesium alloy might be quite high though. When it comes to aluminium, AFAIK it would always be used as an alloy, never pure, in contrast to cast-iron which for some applications may not have anything else added to it.
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Old 02-14-2023, 10:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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They are high enough magnesium content to hiss when dipped in vinegar.
The main explosion danger is a steam.

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