Replace Anode Rod in Water Heater: A Step-by-Step Guide


If your water heater's anode rod looks sad and tired, it's time to replace it. An anode rod is a metal bar that helps reduce the risk of corrosion in your water heater.

However, over time, the anode rod can become pitted and worn, which can lead to corrosion and a loss of heat. Replacing the anode rod is a simple and affordable way to prevent all of this from happening.

How to identify when an anode rod needs to be replaced?

Water heaters can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years, but the anode rods need to be replaced every year to maintain safe electrical operation.

To identify when this is necessary, you'll need to take the following steps:

 - Check the anode rod for signs of corrosion. This includes looking for gummed-up deposits or discoloration.

- Check the anode rod wire for cracks or breaks.

- Test the anode rod's resistance by putting a voltmeter on it and measuring the reading. It should be close to 3,000 volts.

- If any of these signs are present, then it's time to replace the anode rod.

Why is it necessary to replace the anode rod?

Anode rods are crucial components of water heaters, and they must be replaced regularly to ensure proper function.

The anode rod is a metal rod that sits on the inside of the water heater tank and helps to remove impurities from the water. Without an anode rod, the water will become contaminated very quickly and will not heat up properly.

 The most common reason for needing to replace an anode rod is because it has become corroded or ripped. 

If this happens, the aluminum content inside the water heater will start to rise, which can cause serious problems down the line. In addition, if the metal becomes too corroded, it can even release harmful chemicals into the air.

Sooner or later, all water heaters will need to be replaced due to wear and tear - so it's important to do it sooner rather than later! By replacing your anode rod regularly, you'll keep your water heater functioning properly and safe for use.

How often does the anode rod need to be replaced?

The anode rod on a water heater generally lasts between three to five years. After that, it really depends on the manufacturer, the quality of your water, and how much water travels through the water heater. Most manufacturers recommend inspecting the anode rod every two years.

We also inspect it during our annual plumbing inspection.

The anode rod should be replaced every two to four years, depending on the composition of the water. If you are a new homeowner, be sure to inquire as to when the water heater was last serviced when you took possession of your home.

What are the consequences of not replacing the anode rod?

When you don't replace your anode rod, the metal in your water heater corrodes. This can cause a number of problems, including:

- Rusting and pitting of the tank

- Leaks

- Reduced efficiency or even failure of the water heater

If any of these things happen, it can be costly to repair or replace your water heater. That's why it's important to follow The Family Handyman's advice and replace your anode rod when necessary.

How do you replace the anode rod?

Replacing the anode rod in your water heater is a great way to protect it from corrosion. The anode rod helps absorb carbon monoxide gas produced when the water burns.

Unfortunately, this gas can corrode the metal parts of your water heater, so it's important to replace the anode rod on a regular basis.

To do this, follow these steps:

Turn off the water supply to the water heater by turning off the main breaker or disconnecting the power at the meter.

Remove the cover on the water heater and locate the anode rod. It will be located in a metal tube attached to a wall of the tank.

Remove the anode rod from its tube and place it in a safe container. Make sure that you keep all parts of the anode rod intact so that you can re-use it if necessary.

Replace the anode rod with a new one by following these instructions:

Unscrew the old anode rod from its metal tube

Lift out the old anode assembly and discard it

Screw on a new anode assembly

Reattach the cover to the water heater and turn on the main breaker or reconnect power at the meter

What tools will you need?

Replacing an anode rod in a water heater is a fairly simple project, but it's helpful to have the right tools on hand before you start.

You'll need a socket wrench (1 1/16 socket size), a bar or pipe, and a flathead screwdriver. If you're not comfortable working with electricity, it might be best to call in a professional to do the job.

Once you have all your tools ready, make sure you have replacement anode rods on hand. It's always good to be prepared before starting any project!

If you need extra leverage when tightening the nut on the anode rod, you can tape the ends of a bar or pipe together to create a makeshift lever. Just be careful not to scratch the tank while doing so.

Once you've removed all of the debris from your toilet bowl with the garden hose, it's time to get started on the project properly. To complete the job, you will need an air compressor, bucket, impact wrench, rags, and socket/ratchet set. Again, be sure to read through the instructions carefully before starting anything!

What are the steps involved in replacing the anode rod?

Several steps are involved in replacing the anode rod, and it can be done by the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine.

First, turn off the power to the water heater at the breaker panel.

Next, disconnect the power supply to the water heater.

Then, remove the access panel on top of the water heater.

After that, you'll need to remove the old anode rod.

Finally, insert and tighten the new anode rod.

Make sure you follow all safety precautions when working with electricity and hot water.

Is there anything else you need to know about maintaining your water heater?

There are a few other things you should keep in mind when it comes to maintaining your water heater:

-If the water heater is more than 10 years old, it may be time for a replacement.

-If you have hard water, you'll need to descale the unit every 6 months to prevent mineral deposits from building up and damaging the tank.

-Be sure to check the anode rod on a regular basis and replace it if necessary (an annual inspection will do this for you).

Watch How to replace anode rod in water heater

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the different types of anode rods available?

 Three types of anode rods are lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, and lithium-ion. Lead-acid anode rods are the most common and use lead as the anode material.

Nickel-cadmium anode rods use a combination of nickel and cadmium as the anode materials, and lithium-ion anode rods use lithium as the anode material.

 What are the best practices for replacing an anode rod in a water heater?


There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best practices for replacing

an anode rod in a water heater will vary depending on ever. Some general tips that may be helpful include: the make and model of your water heater.

How do I remove and replace the anode rod without causing further damage?

 If the anode rod is an older model, the rod may have been replaced with a newer one, and the screw that holds the anode rod in place may be loose or missing. In this case, you can remove the anode rod by loosening the screw which

attaches it to the CRT socket, then remove the rod. On the other hand, if the anode rod is a new model, the rod may have a socket that screws into the CRT socket. In this case, you would remove the socket by unscrewing it.

Is it necessary to have a licensed electrician replace the anode rod in my water heater?

 Yes, you must have an electrician replace the anode rod in your water heater.

What should I do if the breaker trips when I try to replace the anode rod?

If the breaker trips when you try to replace the anode rod, there may be an obstruction in the water supply line. Therefore, the water supply line must be cleared before replacing the rod.

Who can I call if I have questions or need help replacing my anode rod?

Replacing your anode rod can be a daunting task. Luckily, some people can help. You can call a Ford dealership if you have questions or need assistance. The dealership will be able to help you with your anode rod replacement and provide you with the necessary information.

If you're uncomfortable replacing the anode rod, don't worry--Plumbing Navigator is here to help. We provide information about plumbing repairs and the best plumbing products on the market. So we're here for you, whether you have questions or just need some guidance.


Anode rods are an essential part of your water heater system. Without it, the entire system can become compromised and may even lead to major issues, such as overheating water or bursting pipes.

The right replacement can ensure that these risks do not occur in your home anymore, so make sure you follow the steps we have explained above.