Do I need to replace whole hot water heater or just the sacrificial anode? Details in post!

The Tank Do I need to replace whole hot water heater or just the sacrificial anode? Details in post!

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  • #23081
    FilmTraveler
    Participant

    I was hoping to get some expert advice here. About a month ago, I noticed the water from the hot water heater (a 2002 Envirotemp, gas) had a visibly brownish cast. I repeatedly flushed the tank (probably around 10 times) before it finally ran clear. Yesterday I noticed it’s gone brown again.
    Should I replace the anode and let it carry on for a while? Or is this generally speaking a sign that it’s too late? I don’t believe the anode has ever been replaced before. (I still have to buy a 1 1/16″ socket to get it out so I haven’t tried to peek inside yet.)
    My newbie understanding is that the anode is a preventative rather than a cure, so on a 14-year-old tank, if it’s turning brown it means the previous owners didn’t do their maintenance and it’s basically done for, you’re outta luck, go ahead and replace the tank. Thoughts?

    #23082
    Randy Schuyler
    Keymaster

    If not too late, very late. A new anode will stop any further rust but it will also be consumed much more rapidly because of the damage to the interior. You’d have to watch it like a hawk. I’d lean toward a new heater.

    Randy Schuyler

    #23087
    FilmTraveler
    Participant

    I went ahead and picked up a new AOSmith. I was getting a very bad feeling about that old tank. Thank you for the advice!

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