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Old 03-22-2020, 08:56 PM   #1
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Hot Water Tank Anode

I just open the door of the hot water tank and found that my anode that I had left out for the winter has been deteriorating. The area under the anode would have been clean last fall when I put it there.

Reading up on the subject in the manual states that it should be replaced every year. I guess getting two years out of it is not that bad. Glad all that crap and the anode itself did not end up in the tank.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:04 PM   #2
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Looks pretty good to me, I would rinse it off and use it again.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:04 PM   #3
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That anode is good for another six years. We have soft water here in BC so anodes last a long time. Here is image of what an anode looks like when it's time to replace it.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:19 PM   #4
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That anode looks really good. I'm getting ready to go on year six for the one in Ten Forward... it's still more than 50%.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:57 PM   #5
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Ok then...I was afraid it was going to break off at the threads and drop in the tank.
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:31 PM   #6
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Yup, anode looks good, as others have said. Now the fun part, threading it back in. -Tom
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:39 PM   #7
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The steel rod in the middle of the sacrificial aluminum or magnesium material will prevent your concern. I use a ratchet and socket with a 5 or 6" extension to re-install or replace it. I place coins ( loonies in my case ) in the socket to fill it enough to be able to apply pressure to the anode head and keep it oriented.
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Old 03-23-2020, 12:12 AM   #8
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Good to know! Here's what ours looked like after 1 year (and we have very hard water here). I thought the rod would be worse but since the owner's manual recommends changing it out every year, we did. Oh well, they don't cost very much (about $8). But was glad to rinse out the tank and was surprised how much junk/white stuff came out. Sounds like next year we can save a little $ and reuse. Thanks! Bea
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Old 03-23-2020, 08:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnest View Post
Yup, anode looks good, as others have said. Now the fun part, threading it back in. -Tom
Yes, clean those threads up real good on the anode and the water heater side. It can be awkward to get back in because the weight of the anode itself wants to naturally angle the whole thing down and misalign it with the threads. It needs to be supported and turned simultaneously which is why Glenn's idea of coins in the socket probably works well.

I know we don't want any chance of petroleum based lubricants getting in the tank, but has anyone used anything on the threads? I read somewhere that you can use mineral oil but that doesn't look to be that great either. Just Teflon tape?
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Old 03-23-2020, 08:47 AM   #10
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Yep, I can only add that that anode looks fine yet, Ed.

One does have to ensure the anode threads are aligned proper to the tank,, just as with any threaded connection, but I am not understanding this socket with coins thing? Is this for the final tightening? I just use a socket alone for that.
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Old 03-23-2020, 09:38 AM   #11
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One does have to ensure the anode threads are aligned proper to the tank,, just as with any threaded connection, but I am not understanding this socket with coins thing? Is this for the final tightening? I just use a socket alone for that.
What I think Glenn is referring to is if the socket is deeper than the head of the anode it falls into the socket and then the socket rim hits the water heater casing first. Then you have to slide back on the head a bit to be able to tighten which means you cannot maintain any inward pressure simultaneously. This is really not an issue if one can get the anode started by hand but it is a bit tight as can be seen in post #1.
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Old 03-23-2020, 10:46 AM   #12
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I've never been able to start the anode by hand. The coins help me control the position of the anode.
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Old 03-23-2020, 10:53 AM   #13
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I just use Teflon tape.
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Old 03-23-2020, 10:56 AM   #14
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I have never had an issue with threading the anode. I guess, having threaded many hundreds of thousands of bolts in my life I am fairly qdept at it
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Old 03-23-2020, 11:25 AM   #15
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The only things I can add is that when you flush out your tank be thorough about it. If you put your finger in the tank just below the threaded hole you will find a deposit of gritty calcium just under the lip. You have to work at it A little to rinse it out with the hose. I think that, left unchecked) the wet “sand” could encourage corrosion in the front edge of the tank bottom. It only takes a couple minutes to flush it clean. I get about three years out of a magnesium anode. I flush the tank after the spring season? And in the fall before I winterize. I leave the rod out for the winter. I use about 4 Wraps of Teflon tape to seal the threads. I’m still able to get the anode started by hand so I leave my shower quarters in the crown royal bag in the Highlander.
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Old 03-23-2020, 11:38 AM   #16
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My first hw tank flush removed about 2 cups of deposits, and left me wondering if the neighbors were going to complain about my clogging the street gutter. Many of the bits had a curved indentation from the heating element. This was after 4 months camping while using extremely mineral laden water in Big Bend - RGV. It took more than a few minutes and I was a mess afterword.

Like others, I use Teflon tape to keep the threads from seizing and start by hand to feel for the subtle signs of cross-threading. It can take a few tries.

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Old 03-23-2020, 12:17 PM   #17
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I use a small rock which I keep in the garage, mind you last week in a parking lot in Minneapolis I had to look around for another, will have to remember the coin trick.
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