Help Your Water Heater Last Longer By Upgrading This One Part

Water heaters are important to daily life here in America. Especially where Eid-Co builds their homes in North Dakota and Minnesota. From cooking, to cleaning, to bathing, a water heater is essential. Typically, a well-cared for water heater can last anywhere from 15-20 years. Replacing a water heater will leave you with a substantial bill. If you want yours to last as long as possible, regular maintenance is crucial. And one item will make the most dramatic difference in the lifespan of your water heater, and that item is the anode rod.

Replacing your water heater’s anode rod will prevent rust from over taking it. Generally, replacing the anode rod every 3-5 years is good practice. An anode rod will run you about $20-$50 and plumbing services for this type of replacement sit around $200-$300. Knowing how to replace the piece on your own, however, can save you a good bit of money. Here’s how to do it.

Shut Off Water and Fuel Lines

Before you begin, it is important to shut off both the water supply and the fuel supply to the water heater. Usually, these elvers are located on top of the tank. If your water heater is electric, make sure to switch that circuit breaker off.

Drain the Tank

Next step is to drain the tank of existing water. You can do this by connecting a garden hose to the valve at the bottom of the tank. Have the other end of the hose empty into a nearby drain or a large utility bucket. You only need to drain about a gallon of water in order to complete this job, but if you want to, you can take this opportunity to flush your tank of sediment.

Finding the Anode Rod

Once lines are shut off and water is drained, you can find the anode rod. They are usually located on top of the tank but sometimes they can be found on the side. What you need to look for is a hexagonal plug. It is also never a bad idea to reference the water heater’s user manual to confirm the location of the rod for your particular model.

Remove and Replace the Rod

Once you have located your anode rod, use a socket wrench to loosen it and remove it. It should appear quite corroded. If you pull the rod out and it still looks like there is some life left in it, you can reinstall the same rod until a later date.

If you do need to replace the anode rod, take the replacement rod and wrap the threaded parts with a bit of plumber’s tape before placing it in your water heater. Use the same socket wrench to secure the new rod into place. Afterwards, turn your water supply, fuel line, or electrical breaker back on.

And that’s it! This project should only take you about 30 minutes of time but it can greatly increase the lifespan of your well-loved water heater.

By Eid-Co Homes 1-16-2023