Reply To: How to check condition of comb anode?

The Tank How to check condition of comb anode? Reply To: How to check condition of comb anode?

Randy Schuyler

It sounds as if you have hard copper plumbing and maybe a union. That will be tricky because there may not be enough give in the copper line to get it out of the way.

Also, I’ve seen older BWs whose combo rod was rather short with no place to get a bite with a pipe wrench without chewing up the threads. I saw some new ones last week that had longer-nipple anodes, but where the port was recessed well into the cover. If that is the case for you, you should think about having a new anode standing by in case you damage the old one removing it. That’s more likely to happen removing a factory anode than a replacement one that you’ve installed with Teflon tape.

There will also be a question about the replacement anode. Unless you’re ready to cut the copper piping and install a male adaptor and flex line, then you’ll want to be very sure that the new anode is exactly the same length as the old one.

For instance, the combo anodes I sell are 48 inches long overall, with a 3-inch plastic-lined nipple. That rod might stick too far out of the tank to reconnect your plumbing. Or it might be just right. But too short or too long and it won’t match your plumbing any more.

Randy Schuyler

Water Heater Rescue

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