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tigerwoodKhorns

Water Heater Anode Question

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So I noticed a brown mark in my tub where water would drip from the faucet. 

 

My water heater is 8 years old with a 12 year warranty, I have very hard water and a water softener. 

 

I flush the heater every year and last did it in March.  I got some water from the heater and it had a brown tint.  The second bucket came out clear looking.

 

Should I go ahead and replace the anode now?  How often do you replace your anodes? 

 

I really do not want to have to replace the heater any time soon.   I assume that a sectioned aluminum one is what I need as I am on city water with no rotten egg issues. 

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In for this subject... what about tankless heaters?

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Just now, Schu said:

In for this subject... what about tankless heaters?

No anode that I'm aware but they need maint annually.

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1 hour ago, tigerwoodKhorns said:

Should I go ahead and replace the anode now?  How often do you replace your anodes? 

Sounds like you need it but the only way to actually be sure is to pull it and look at it.  If it's in a room with a very low ceiling you may have to bend or break it to get it out.  Look for a replacement that's segmented for ease of installation.

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I know nothing... but if you need a new anode don't you just need a new water heater? Especially if you get your water from the Colorado river.

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Anode failure is the most common reason for a new heater.  But if the tank is relatively young and in good shape, and you don't want to upgrade to bigger and/or more efficient model, replacing the anode is cheaper and easier.  Water softener, now that's a laugh.  Wussification of our water?  Don't you love feeling the hard minerals pelting your back in the shower?  I know I do.  Soft water feels slimy slippery, like listening to a cd.

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I have all electric water heaters so the element is towards the bottom of the tank but not at the bottom like a gas water heater would be.  I mention that because sediment could  make it harder for the gas heater to heat the water.  With the electric  I absolutely do NO maintenance on those !@&$! things anymore.  We have hard water and I just let that sediment settle on the bottom of the tank undisturbed.  Trying to flush the tank brings only trouble!   Even brand new after just a year or so the valve can be very difficult to shut off because it gets clogged with sediment.   I have 4 tanks that are over 22 years old and 2 that are over 25 still working great.  A plumber once told me by the time the anode is shot your tank probably is too.  I assume that might be true in my area but might not be the case in other areas.  I'd worry more about getting rid of the drip at the bathtub.  Those are usually pretty easy to fix.

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15 minutes ago, oldtimer said:

Wussification of our water?  Don't you love feeling the hard minerals pelting your back in the shower?  I know I do.  Soft water feels slimy slippery, like listening to a cd.

Really loved the CD part of that comment.

 

I'm from the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" group. Does the water get hot?

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I'd want to look at the anode and go from there...  that said, I DID buy a replacement and had it sitting around for about 2-years and put it in last summer.  Needed my impact driver to get it to budge.  Sucker was tight!!  I've not done it yet, but intend on buying another and let it sit until needed.

 

My understanding is the length of warranty is essentially related to how long the anode might last.  Some units have two anodes and therefore have a longer warranty.  Clean it out, replace the rod every now & then and have fun splashing.

 

regarding 'soft' water....

 

I get calcium buildup in my water heater.

 

What I'm looking to do (probably next summer) is drain the tank, fill it with maybe 1-3 gallons of vinegar and let that sit for a couple hours or maybe overnight...  basically letting the slightly acidic vinegar dissolve some (all?) the calcium and then drain it out.  (or so this is my grand plan)

 

Last summer, I drained tank, pulled it to driveway....turned it upside down while I had the anode rod out and tried to rinse as much of the calcium out from the TOP as I could.  I had to build a little stand for it to sit on and keep the draining of it flowing away.

 

I likely got more calcium chips out but I'm liking the idea of trying the vinegar more & more....maybe I can do that while keeping unit in place and not have to wrestle it around.

 

I was going to watch the pile of calcium in (gravel) driveway and see how long it took to dissolve away....  but, didn't tell the wife and she picked most of it up (thinking I was simply leaving a mess for her to cleanup instead of me planning on watching it dissolve....    or did I just leave it? :blush:)

 

 

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48 minutes ago, muel said:

I have all electric water heaters so the element is towards the bottom of the tank but not at the bottom like a gas water heater would be. 

There should be 2.  One at the bottom and one about 2/3 of the way up.

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16 minutes ago, CECAA850 said:

There should be 2.  One at the bottom and one about 2/3 of the way up.

It depends on the model and age.

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1 minute ago, oldtimer said:

It depends on the model and age.

And size but single element electrics are the exception to the rule.

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1 hour ago, babadono said:

I know nothing... but if you need a new anode don't you just need a new water heater? Especially if you get your water from the Colorado river.

 

Flush it every year and change the annode in time and a water heater will last a very long time. 

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19 minutes ago, tigerwoodKhorns said:

How do you add vinegar to the tank?  Through the annode hole?

 

I don't plan to do it that way....the anode is a real bugger (on mine) to remove, though I do have the ceiling room.

 

No, my intent would be to pull one of my elements out (probably upper), use a funnel to fill though there then fill tank back up to cover the element.  This way, the vinegar will also help clean the elements while in place.  (I usually pull them out and let them soak in vinegar to clean them off or, swap them with my spares and then clean them)

 

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I would like to put anti-seize on the annode, but I think that teflon tape is what is needed.  I don't know how hard mien will be to remove but expect it to be difficult. 

 

If you want to add vinegar every year, add a T to the inlet with a valve where you can drain the tank, open the valve and pour in the vinegar. 

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Something else to consider....  the drain valves on these things are atrocious...  I bought mine (80 gallon electric) and before installing it, immediately pulled the drain valve OUT and replaced it with a 3/4" nipple with a 3/4" gate valve.  Now, I have a straight 3/4" shot into the tank for the drain instead of the lousy little dribble dribble drain.  (took me HOURS to drain my last tank because of the buildup of calcium acting like a big plug, slowing down the flow)

 

 

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4 hours ago, tigerwoodKhorns said:

So I noticed a brown mark in my tub where water would drip from the faucet. 

 

My water heater is 8 years old with a 12 year warranty, I have very hard water and a water softener. 

 

I flush the heater every year and last did it in March.  I got some water from the heater and it had a brown tint.  The second bucket came out clear looking.

 

Should I go ahead and replace the anode now?  How often do you replace your anodes? 

 

I really do not want to have to replace the heater any time soon.   I assume that a sectioned aluminum one is what I need as I am on city water with no rotten egg issues. 

better than having brown stains

In your under ware

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