Rheem Hot Water Heat Pump Anode Replacement

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by BrianJR, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. BrianJR

    BrianJR New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2019
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    I recently moved into a new construction home with a Rheem hybrid hot water heater (PROPH50 T2 RH350 DC). Unfortunately, my hot water has developed that dreaded sulfur smell so I would like to try replacing the anode in this tank with a powered unit. The manual for the tank says there is an anode, but there are no instructions indicating where it is located. I took the cover off the unit and burred below the condenser under some foam is what appears to be an anode bolt. However, there is a plastic sleeve around the bolt and since it isn't centered I can't get a 1 1/16" socket over the bolt. In addition, right next to the exposed bolt is what appears to be cap that is glued to the foam. See the attached photos. Does anyone know if either one or both of these are anodes? If so, any suggestions on how to access and replace them?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    That thing surrounded by the gray plastic looks like an anode to me.

    Can you lift the plastic? Fingernails? Putty knife?
     
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  4. BrianJR

    BrianJR New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2019
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    That's what I though too. I think I could hack away at the plastic so that my socket will fit. But I'm hoping to confirm that is the anode, since I did find this link online that states the anode is not accessible on Rheem hot water heaters (page3):

    http://cdn.globalimageserver.com/FetchDocument.aspx?ID=AEDBBC95-9A6B-4780-AA23-B0ED9ABE41CD/1201 - Anode Rods and Cathodic Protection

    It could be they state it is inaccessible over fears people would damage the condenser or compressor. Even if I can get my socket over the bolt, I'll need at least 16inches of extender to reach down there. Not gonna be an easy task!
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    On that page it says
    The anode rod on some water heaters are not accessible. They include the heat pump water heater, point of use
    water heaters of 20 gallons or less, residential direct vent water heaters and the DVX models made for manufactured
    housing. If you are not sure if the anode rod on your water heater is accessible, please call technical support at 800-
    432-8373.

    1. Yours is a heat pump water heater. Supposing that is the anode, I can see why they might call that inaccessible, which was your point.
    2. Third sentence has a good action item for you..
    If that hex is 1-1/8 across (I suggest you measure) it seems highly probably that that is an anode.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
  6. BrianJR

    BrianJR New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2019
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    I just wanted to give an update to close this thread (for future google searchers). I used a dremel tool to hack off the plastic grey plastic sleeve so that my socket would fit. I can confirm it was just a standard anode rod, so i have replaced it with a powered unit (Corro-Protec CP-R) and the sulphur has gone away. :)
     
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  7. shawn thomas

    shawn thomas New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2019
    Location:
    ohio
    I purchased the Rheem hybrid also had it installed a few months ago. Been extremely happy with the reduction in electric costs. However, the rotten egg smell showed up about a month after installation. It is certainly the anode rod. I have never had this problem for past 10 years with old tank.

    1. Manufacture says warranty is voided if the anode is removed, does that concern you since the warranty is 10 years.

    2. I would like to install this myself, can you post step by step instructions how you were able to get to the rod.

    3.Which corro-protect CP R rod did you purchase?
     
  8. BrianJR

    BrianJR New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2019
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    Hi Shawn,

    1. I didn't know that! It was actually Rheem that told me the anode was replaceable (I called them up). I could understand them voiding the warranty if you removed the anode and didn't replace it. I'm not too concerned and at the end of the day I'd rather have no warranty and water that doesn't stink!
    2. I removed the top metal cap (maybe 6 or so screws?) and propped it open to gain access to the inside of the unit. Between the condenser and the fan was a piece of foam. Peel away this foam to gain access to the anode bolt. Use a 1 1/16" socket with a long drive extension to remove the anode rod. If the socket doesn't fit over the end of the anode, you will need to do what I did above and remove the grey plastic surround with a dremmel tool or a very sharp knife. Follow the instructions for the installation of the new anode rod. I had to drill a small hole in the top cover for the wire to pass through.
    3. Corro-Protec CP-R Water Heater Powered Titanium Anode Rod (40-89 Gallon Tank) - Eliminate Odor (Sulfur/rotten egg smell), Corrosion and Reduce Limescale

    This job was a bit of a pain, but certainly doable for a DIYer. Its an awkward space to work in and you need to be careful not to damage the fins on the condenser.
     
  9. Gnisna

    Gnisna New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2021
    Location:
    Picton
    What a legend. Made an account just to tell you this. I was thinking about buying this one, but I have so many other projects. Maybe will just find an AO tank instead...
     
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  10. Fali12

    Fali12 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2021
    Location:
    Florida
    G0ing through the same exact situation as you now and created an account here to thank you for providing closure!

    Quick question - do you think that a sacrificial anode would have been just as effective as the powered unit you chose to install?
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
  11. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I like the more-expensive Ceranode unit because the element is longer. That's what I have.

    A magnesium sacrificial anode would be as good as a powered anode. An aluminum+zinc I don't know. The main point to the powered anode is to not generate H2S.
     
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  12. Fali12

    Fali12 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2021
    Location:
    Florida
    I wasn't expecting a reply so quickly :)

    We're in a new build and just had a water softener installed - and hot water now has sulfur smell (oddly enough, only in my guest bathroom and kitchen but not really noticing it in my master bathroom).

    Since we're asking the builder to help address the issue, I am thinking the plumber their warranty department contracts with will replace the anode rod with one of their choice. Do you think the Mg rod will work for treating H2S?
     
  13. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Magnesium rod protects well, but it generates the most H2S (sulfur smell). Aluminum less. Powered anode least.
     
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