1. Preparing the water heater: If it is an electric water heater, turn off the power when not in use. , turn off the water to the water heater; close the valve on the cold water line. To release the buildup air pressure, open a hot water tap inside the house. Open the drain valve of the water (located at the bottom of the water heater). Allow a gallon or more out of the water heater. Make sure, no one uses the water heater for this duration.
2. Overhead clearance: Anode rod is almost of same height as the water heater. Usually, the ceiling is too close to the top of the water heater to be able to take out the entire anode rod out. Doesn’t matter; take the anode rod out as much as possible. Check if there is any flaking on the surface or any of its core wire is uncovered. If not, then you can reinstall the anode again. Most of the anode rods issues happen at its top because that is where most of the hot water is. If you have to remove the anode rod, bend it in the middle against the opening of water heater and pull it out. In order to put a new one, again bend it in the middle and straighten it out at the opening.
3. Choosing and replacing anodes: Three types of metals are used to make anode rods. They are aluminum, magnesium and zinc. You should install a magnesium anode, if you have naturally soft water. If water is very hard then aluminum anode rod should be used. When replacing anode rod that has deteriorated heavily, installing aluminum anode is recommended. Installing a magnesium anode when replacing the highly deteriorated anode should be avoided as it could cause a negative reaction in the water. Zinc anodes are rare to find. You should try to purchase anodes that are more than 3 feet and 8 inches.
4. Remove sediment: A few signs that suggest you have sediment buildup in your water heater include a lower element burnout in electric water heater. In case of gas water heater, you will notice that your water heater is making a lot of noise, or foul odor. If the sediment piles up really high, it will affect the temperature of the water. In several cases, the sediment covers the lower heating element which unables water to heat. Removing the sediment is really important.
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