The Mysterious Disappearing Anode Rod

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I have seen many people wonder what the heck is going on when they pull out their “drain plug” only to discover that most of it has corroded away! There is nothing more frightening than when you think everything is okay and it looks like something isn’t. Let’s learn a little more about the mysterious disappearing anode rod.

What the heck is an Anode Rod anyway?

An Anode Rod is a metal cylinder that gets screwed into your water heaters drain plug to prevent the tank from rusting on the inside. When inserted inside your hot water heater the anode rod attracts the corrosive elements in the water that can corrode the tank over time. As you use your hot water heater over the course of a season the anode rod will corrode.

How Often Should I change my Anode Rod?

How often you should change your anode rod really depends upon how often you use your hot water heater.
It is recommended to check it at least once a year and replaced when half of the rod has been corroded away. If you wait until more of the anode rod is corroded before replacing it you run the risk of the tank corroding.

How do I replace my Anode Rod?

  1. Remove the Anode Rod from the tank.
  2. Allow the water in the tank to drain completely from the tank (You can open the relief valve to allow air to speed up the draining)
  3. You can also flush the tank out to remove any debris, most people use vinegar (to help remove the rotten egg smell) and then flush it several times with fresh water
  4. Use white Teflon tape to wrap the threads on your new Anode Rod (This will help create a tight seal and prevent potential leaks, as well as be easier to remove for your next maintenance.)
  5. Insert your new Anode Rod and tighten
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