Water Heater Rescue: Know-How, Troubleshooting, Anodes graphic
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Adding an Anode to a Water Heater

You can't get the old anode out, but you want to extend the life of your water heater. Leave the hex anode where it is, and add a combo hot-water outlet/anode rod in on the hot side. If you don't know how, have a plumber do it, but make sure he uses pipe thread seal tape and a flex connector so you can monitor the deterioration of the anode yourself in the future.

Regular anodes are about 48 inches long, so you need that much overhead clearance. Flexible anodes can be used down to 12 inches clearance.

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