Anode Question

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by xerodoc, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. xerodoc

    xerodoc New Member

    Nov 26, 2005

    I have a Rheem 50 Gal gas water heater that is now 12 years old. It has a 12 year warranty. I have NO problem with its performance but I would like to pull out and change the Anode. This has never been done before on this unit. The water is not hard in my area. I live on Long Island in New York and use the county's water supply. My question is :am I looking for trouble by trying to remove the old Anode? i.e stripping threads etc? again the unit is working perfectly..

    I know I will need a flexible anode to replace the old one in there because of the lack of room above the heater.

    Thank you all! :eek:
  2. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    If the anode hasn't ever been removed in 12 years, you may not be able to easily remove it.

    I am betting that most of the pros on this site will tell you not to bother trying to patch up a 12-year-old WH.

    A good reference site is .

    The site owner has some tips for keeping a new WH going for a LONG time. It involves regular inspections of the anode. He does sell replacement anodes on the site as well.
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  4. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Dec 28, 2009
    "retired" and still building and troubleshooting
    northfork, california
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    In theory, if you always maintain enough sacrificial anode surface area, the gas valve and controls will die before the tank does (well, the heat exchanger may die, too)...IOW, it should last a very long time. But, if you let the rods get used up, all bets are off. What the soft water does for you is help prevent or limit the mineral deposition (crud buildup) on the bottom of the tank that decreases the volume available and its ability to transfer heat. Theory and practice don't always coincide. If you don't use an impact wrench, you'll probably not ever get them out. Also, you may stress the gas connection and water connections while trying to twist that devil out when you apply the huge lever required to break it loose.
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