Ao Smith Water Heater Anode Rod Replacement

Ao Smith Water Heater Anode Rod Replacement.

Water Heater Anode Rods 101

Erin Trybulec • Mar 03, 2020

What is an Anode Rod?

An anode rod is a metal rod with a steel wire on the inside that screws into the top of a water heater. They are made of magnesium, aluminum, or zinc-aluminum alloy.

What is the Purpose of an Anode Rod?

Anode Rods prolong the life of your heater by preventing corrosion via electrolysis. Water contains various bacteria and minerals, depending on its source. Bacteria can cause water to smell, while minerals like calcium and magnesium contribute to corrosion inside the tank; if your home is located in a rural negeri or an area where excess non-harmful bacteria and minerals are present in the water supply, you may have hard water. With the tank constantly expanding and contracting as the water is heated, the tank and its lining are being put under stress. Over time, the stress can result in cracks in the lining that enable the bacteria and minerals from the hard water to reach the metal of the tank, increasing the chances of a leak.

  • corroded anode rods

    Anode Rod Corrosion from Well Water

    Anode Rod corrosion on well water


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How Can We Fix Smelly Water?

Smelly water is typically caused by the origin of the water. Sulfur is another common mineral found in water, often responsible for causing a rotten egg smell.
A.Udara murni. Smith
recommends several fixes for smelly water: increasing the temperature on the gas control valve or thermostat above 140 degrees (recommended temperature setting is 150 degrees) and installing mixing valves at each point of use to kill any bacteria; engaging in a chlorine treatment, and changing the anode rod from magnesium or aluminum to one made of zinc-aluminum alloy. In some cases, using the wrong anode rod in certain types of water can result in a chemical reaction, where non-harmful sulfur reducing bacteria produce smelly water.

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One of the commonly used zinc-aluminum anode rods our technicians install is an A.O. Smith KA-90 Anode Rod (100108571). This type of anode has helped many of our well water based customers rid their homes of the smelly water (see image slider).

How Do I Know if I Have Hard Water?

You can easily determine whether you have hard water by performing a PH Test on water samples from your home. When you dip the test strip into the water, your result should read around a 7. If your strip does not match the green/neutral kawasan on the test kit chart, you likely have hard water.
Example Test Strip Kit

How Often Should an Anode Rod Be Checked?

Anode Rods should be checked on an annual basis. Manufacturers often recommend annual anode rod checks as part of the annual

preventative maintenance, but heaters operating on well water will likely need additional attention.

How Do I Know When to Change My Anode Rod?

Anode Rods with noticeable sediment build-up and/or corrosion should be changed, especially if your anode rod is corroded down to the steel wire. Sediment build up on the anode will be easily noticeable, just as it is on an
If you have an electric heater and you notice sediment/corrosion on your anode rod, you may also want to consider having the elements checked and possibly replaced. See below for an example of the stages of anode rod depletion.

Can Anode Rods be Replaced?

Yes, the heater must be drained below the anode rod. The technician will then unscrew and remove the old anode rod, which will likely show signs of corrosion. In some rare cases, the amount of build-up around the threading of the anode rod may prevent anode rod replacement. The technician will also need some headspace above the heater to clear the old anode rod’s removal and to insert the new one. If you do not have sufficient space for the new traditional style anode rod, you may opt for a flexible anode rod such as the A.Udara murni. Smith 100110784 (Magnesium Flex Anode Rod) or 100110627 (Aluminum Flex Anode Rod). Although there is a large variety of anode rods across the major manufacturers, our technicians all carry the A.Udara murni. Smith KA-90 Anode Rod (100108571) as part of their regular truck stock and we also maintain a small stock of the Magnesium Flex Anode Rods in our warehouse as well.

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How Much Will the Anode Rod Cost?

Standard anode rods tend to cost anywhere from $50-$150, averaging about $75 each. If you are contacting a service provider to change your anode rod, you can save some money on labor costs by draining the tank yourself and having a technician install the anode rod. Powered anode rods (typically found in commercial units) are usually more expensive and can cost upwards of $300 apiece.

Anode Rods | New, Partially Depleted, Depleted

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Ao Smith Water Heater Anode Rod Replacement