Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz
also, I probably should have mentioned in my detail description of first time firing up the hot water... before you do ANY of the things I described, make sure the anode is installed in the hot water heater. they are often removed for long term storage as this drains the water heater.
Under the title "make your own mistakes, not mine", make sure you depressurize your water system before removing the anode. I was removing the anode last fall and forgot to depressurize the water system by opening a faucet. While removing the anode, it shot out of the water heater like a torpedo (fortunately the WH was cool and I was standing aside) and embedded itself in a dirt bank 8 feet away.