The Tank › 7 year old anode looks almost new- problem?
- March 9, 2014 at 9:01 pm #20666LeeDParticipant
I purchased a house last year from a guy that lived alone and probably didn’t use much hot water judging by how low the budget billing was for natural gas. The anode in question is from a Ruud pacemaker 50 gal gas water heater that was installed in 2007. Knowing how old the water heater was I decided to check the anode. To my surprise it looks nearly new aside from some pitting in various spots. Could it be that the anode passivated or might it actually just be ok since it was barely used? I highly doubt the guy that owned the house before would have thought to check the anode and replace it. I flushed the tank and the water had just a slight off color to it, barely noticeable if it weren’t for me filling a white bucket to check. I guess the real question would be should I replace the anode or not?March 9, 2014 at 11:53 pm #20667Randy SchuylerKeymaster
It’s passivated. A normal anode would have a rough appearance all over. It’s kind of up to you whether to replace or not. If it weren’t doing anything, the tank would have rusted out by now. It’s just not clear if changing the anode will make a difference or not. I’d be inclined to try it, though, and check it in a year to see what it’s doing.
Randy SchuylerMarch 9, 2014 at 11:57 pm #20668Larry WeingartenParticipant
Hello: Go ahead and replace the anode. Get one that has a bump in the center of the hex head (like is sold on this site!). There is a good chance the one you have is flat across the top which means it has a resister built in to slow it down. Sometimes I’ve seen the anode slowed down way too much. The anode should dissolve away over time and if it hasn’t, it’s not really protecting the tank.
As long as the combustion chamber doesn’t show real damage, a new rod can do you some good. 😉
Yours, LarryMarch 11, 2014 at 10:43 am #20671LeeDParticipant
Thanks for the advice. I will order one from this site and see how long the water heater lasts after that. From the outside it looks like the combustion chamber is in good shape so here’s hoping I can get a few more years out of it.
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