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Hot Water Heater Anode Rod

 Alright today on Repairs101 I’m going to change the sacrificial anode rod in this gas fired hot water heater. Let’s rock!

This episode of Repairs101 is sponsored by Princess Auto. All the tools you need to complete this repair are available at Princess Auto. Check out princess auto dot com.

A sacrificial anode is made of zinc, magnesium or aluminum alloys that attract iron and limestone and things like that in water via electrolysis and sacrifice itself via corrosion.

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Read the instructions on the tank.

Turn off the burner, then shut off the gas supply.

Then shut off the water supply and open a tap to depressurize the system.

Grab a good size bucket and drain off about two to four gallons. Don’t worry; when the pressure relief valve opens it will flow quickly.

I tried to break the torque by hand but you can see I moved the whole tank.

“Oh dear. OK. That’s no good.”

Though my impact gun had it out in a few seconds. But I did need a rare earth magnet to be able to grab onto the fitting and pull the rod out.


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You can see after seven and a half years, this one is well corroded.

I put a little PTFE thread sealant tape on the threads before dropping the rod in, spinning it down and giving it about a ninety degree torque turn.

Again: read the instructions on the side of the tank.

Open the fuel supply.

Press and hold the PILOT button on the gas cock valve.

Press the piezo igniter until you have a flame.

Hold the PILOT button for 45 seconds.

Turn the gas cock knob to ON.

And so all that’s left is to turn the water back on and purge the air out of the system.

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