bradford white combi anode

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by ginahoy, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. ginahoy

    ginahoy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Sierra Vista, AZ
    I just bought a Bradford White electric heater with the combination anode/hot water port. Before installing the heater, I thought I'd break the torque on the nipple, figuring that would make it easier to R&R in future years.

    The problem is the nipple doesn't have enough exposed area for the wrench (darn, why can't they use a nipple with integral nut, if such a thing exists?!). I tried to remove the top of the heater, hoping that would expose more grip area on the nipple. However, the top seems stuck on one side. Before I pry it off and risk bending, I thought I'd check to see if someone can confirm the stock B-W nipple indeed has more than the exposed 1/4" of grip area. The last thing I want to do is bugger up a new heater!

    Also, I plan to install a water softener in the next few weeks. Our water has lots of calcium, although it's not terribly hard. What's the best anode material when using a softener? I thought about replacing the anode now, before installing the heater, if a different material would last a lot longer.

    TIA for any information you can provide!
  2. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    South*East
    Why replace the anode rod? Have you had problems with others breaking down? The manufactures of water heater put anode rods in specific to the area they are being sold in. I have been in the plumbing business for 49 yrs. and have seen maybe three rods go bad. Today most heaters only last six to ten years or less, sad to say we replace far to many under that time.

    John
  3. ginahoy

    ginahoy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Sierra Vista, AZ
    I guess I've read too many posts claiming water softeners reduce life-span of the rod, and that anode rods can be very difficult to remove, especially those like mine without an integral nut. So I thought that by breaking the torque prior to installing the heater, the rod might be less difficult to remove in the future.

    I understand the tank may not outlast the anode rod. But that's certainly not a given. And if the anode rod goes first, then the tank life will definitely be affected. My last electric water heater was nearly 20 years old when I sold the house (different water, no softener). What I'm trying to avoid is having to toss the tank in a few years because the anode rod has failed and can't be removed.

    The question remains... if I remove the top cover of the heater, will it expose a larger grip band on the nipple?

    As for changing out the rod, I'll check with local B-W dealer on Monday to see if they order heaters with a particular rod due to water conditions. However, it would seem that the issue here is the water softener, not the water supply. Not all people have softeners.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,529
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    tank

    Good luck removing the top without destroying it. Most heaters have a "poured in place" insulation and it glues the jacket and tank together.
  5. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    South*East
    You are right, heaters at one time lasted 20 years but that's a thing of the past. Most are warranted for six years and that's about how long they last if your lucky.

    John
  6. ginahoy

    ginahoy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Sierra Vista, AZ
    That would explain why it feels like it's stuck on one side. I guess I'll leave well enough alone.

    I guess I should have bought a 12 year heater. I don't think they cost twice as much :(
  7. install quick connects

    water softeners do eat up a heater fairley fast...

    something to do with the sodium and the water in the heater..

    I suggest that you install quick connects on the heater
    to break the contunity and ground to the plumbing system

    as far as fooling with the anode rod, dont worry about it
  8. ginahoy

    ginahoy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Sierra Vista, AZ
    Elaborate please? Even with quick disconnects, the heater would still connected to the electrical ground, no? (it's an electric heater).
  9. you cant win them all

    the hose connectors on the water pipes help to disconnect the heater from the ground in the copper plumbing system....(this is my hillbilley theory anyway)

    the ground in your electrical heater is another matter cause you are still going to get juich through the water from the elements anyway....

    its just something we are doing on almost all of our
    heater installs, because they are better than dialectric unions and they are time savers

    also, I have noticed that the ones we installed with brass craft black braided connectors over ten years ago are still going strong today, and ones that we tied in directly to
    the copper have failed....

    check back with me in 5 more years.....on this experiment

    http://www.brasscraft.com/PDF/0665.pdf

    [​IMG]the black one is the absolute best one to install on your bradford white
    heater
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
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