Bad Anode Rods and How to DIY Fix the Problem

Anode rods are important for the longevity of your water heater. They are comprised of various metals including aluminum and other “perishable” elements that could corrode with time. With the proper maintenance, you shouldn’t have a problem.

What makes anode rods so special?

The main reason heating systems require an anode rod is due to its ability to corrode instead of the water tank itself corroding. The anode rod is a special metal that dissolves slowly and with time it will completely corrode.

Once the anode rod is corroded and ready to replace, you can simply change the old one out for a new one.

If you left a completely corroded anode rod inside the water tank, it wouldn’t protect the tank from deteriorating.

DIY anode rod purchases

If you considered DIY maintaining your anode rod and plumbing systems, you’d probably have to find a good store that supplies them. Replacing the anode rod yourself is easy and you don’t have to be a qualified plumber to do so.

There are step-by-step ways to replace an anode rod that you can check out below:

How to DIY replace bad anode rod for the longevity of the water tank heater.

Step 1

It’s highly important to shut off the power source running to the water heater. This you’ll have to do at the main breaker board.

Step 2

Shut off the main source of cold water coming in or at the cold water inlet line of your water supply tank.

Step 3

To decrease pressure inside the water heater tank, it’s important to open a hot water faucet to allow the pressure to escape.

Step 4

At the drainage system of the water heater tank, connect a garden hose. This is used to drain excess water. Make sure that it’s running into an outlet drain.

Step 5

Next, you’ll have to allocate the anode rode. Sometimes it’s covered with a plastic lid and other times it might be exposed. It depends on the age of the water tank model.

Step 6

You’ll need to remove the anode rod with a socket, turning anticlockwise

Step 7

After removing the old anode rod, you’ll tape round the new one with Teflon. As soon as that’s done, you will tighten the new anode rod in place.

Step 8

Turn the hot water faucet on.

Step 9

Turn the cold water supply at the main source on again.

Step 10

Lastly, check the anode rod for any water seepage.

Spotting a bad anode rode that may need replacing.
Since changing anode rods from time to time is important for the lifespan of your hot water heater, making sure you keep tabs on the condition of the current anode will help. But how do you do this without getting your hands dirty?

There are some tell-tale signs that the current anode rod might need replacing. These include the following: 

  • Water from the water heater tank smells off
  • The water from the hot water faucet connected to the heater tank looks funny
  • There might be a rattling sound coming from the hot water heater

The rod might be looking rusty, corroded, moldy, and brittle. Sometimes the metal is already worn away by the time people have to change their anode rods.


It’s clear that anode rods serve an important role. Replacing a bad enode rod will save you much more than allowing it to sit and lead to damage. As mentioned after the rod has perished, it can no longer protect your water tank, which then leads to damage to your tank.

This will cost a fortune more to replace. DIY might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but thankfully there are always professionals that can help.