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I would like to replace the cathode rod from our electric water heater. It is a 6 year tank and was new in 2003. I have located the rod at the top of the heater. It has a hard foam cover covering the nut. Any help is appreciated. Thank you. Gerald Harrell

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Rip that foam off and get yourself either a gigantic socket or just get a water heater element removal tool. there are many sizes so make sure you get model number off the heater and check that out. are you sure you have a bad heating element? test it with an electric amp meter if it has power and draws no amps its probably bad. could be the thermostat which is much easier to change

Posted on Oct 10, 2009

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1 Answer

My hot water heater is 6 yrs old should i change the elements or replace the water heater


Replace elements and thermostats
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-water-heater-element.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html
Check the anode rod
http://waterheatertimer.org/Replace-anode-rod.html

If anode is replaced, then tank will not rust.
This maintenance will keep electric water heater is good operating order indefinitely.
You never need to replace electric water heater if water pressure is kept below 80 psi, and anode is good and keeps tank from rusting.

Nov 20, 2012 | Water Heaters

1 Answer

I have a Reliance 501 electric water heater ... Everything works great but below the water out. Be rusty? How can I fix it?


The tank is rusting. Replace anode rod or replace water heater.
Once the anode rod depletes, then the tank starts to rust.
IF you can replace the anode rod, it will stop rusting, and then flush the rust out of water heater.
This might buy more life with same tank, but old anode rods are pretty solid and even impact wrench might not loosen it up.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Replace-anode-rod.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/Clean-sediment-out-of-water-heater.html#flush

Loosen anode rod on new tank before installing, and then inspect every 1-3 years, and 1-2 years if water is softened.
Add a comment for more help.

Upvote the help.
And take advantage of fixya expert assistance live.
For a price, expert works with you while you work on timer or any do-it-yourself project.
Fixya is always less expensive than a service call.

Jun 08, 2011 | RELIANCE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER

1 Answer

I have a 40 gallon rheem water heater for a mobil home that is leaking from the top.


If water heater is leaking, then open following 2 links to avoid tank rupture and troubleshoot leak:
http://waterheatertimer.org/Emergency-steps-for-leaking-water-heater.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-heater-is-leaking.html

Open following link if you want to install your own gas water heater:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-install-gas-water-heater.html

40 gallon electric heater at Lowes costs 207, and is easy do-it-yourself using same basic information shown in link above for installing gas heater, except less work.

To have gas water heater installed, can run $2-300 for installation plus cost of heater.
40 gallon natural gas water heater at Lowes starts at $300+, and tanks with longer warranty cost more and last longer.
Trailers require specific type of gas water heater, so be sure to request correct model.

If you maintain the tank: keep chemicals out of same room as gas water heater, attach bare copper ground wire between hot and cold pipes, flush tank each 6 months, clean gas burner each year as shown in manual, read the manual entirely for specific information about your model, and inspect/replace anode rod every 2-3 years then basic 6-year tank can last much longer.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Replace-anode-rod.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/9-ways-to-save-with-water-heater.html

Apr 08, 2011 | Water Heaters

1 Answer

I have a hot water heater model # EES 52917. It is 8 years old. The tank has rusted around the top heating element. Why has this happened and what can be done about this issue. From what I understand...


AO Smith is biggest manufacturer and ships about 140,000 units per month sold under different brands. Look at rating on tank. Is it a 9 year tank? Or 6 year? Or lifetime?
http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-heater-manufacturers.html

Number of factors can cause rust around element:

1) Element is seeping moisture: check and replace element.
Elements can start leaking any time
http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-heater-is-leaking.html

2) Anode rod can be depleted from variety of factors including water softener or calcification over anode so it will not work: Check and replace anode rod every 1-2 years with water softener, every 3-5 without water softener. New anode rod will STOP the rust, but will not repair tank that is rusted.
Tanks with longer warranties have 2 anode rods, one on hot water nipple, the other on top of tank.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Replace-anode-rod.html

3) Stray current corrosion: add a jumper wire between hot and cold pipes, and make sure tank is grounded. If there is stray current, it will deplete steel in tank if tank is not grounded.
For example one fellow had a tank that rusted out every few years until he discovered his big radio antenna was grounded back to hot water pipe and the tank was not grounded, so the interference depleted his tank.
http://waterheatertimer.org/9-ways-to-save-with-water-heater.html#Ground-tank

Add a comment for more free help.
Also take advantage of fixya expert assistance live.
For a price, expert works with you via e-mail or phone while you work on water heater or any do-it-yourself project.
Fixya is always less expensive than a service call.

Feb 23, 2011 | Water Heaters

1 Answer

I have a 30 gal electric reliance 501 240 volt 4500w . getting sulfur smell. I can not find rod to replace.


Anode rods are located on top of tank:
Open links below and watch video.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Replace-anode-rod.html
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/video/0,,20047047,00.html

Top of tank has access to anode, but you might have to take metal top off of tank.
Sometimes product manual has details about location, but drawings in manuals are usually generic and not fully informative.

I suggest loosening anode rod before installing tank so the rod can be easily inspected each 1-3 years.
http://waterheatertimer.org/9-ways-to-save-with-water-heater.html

Add a comment for more free help.
Also take advantage of fixya phone service.
For a price, expert speaks with you over phone while you work on water heater or any do-it-yourself project.
Fixya is always less expensive than a service call.

Feb 14, 2011 | RELIANCE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER

1 Answer

Is my water heater still under warranty leaking water on top of heater and out from bottom and from plate


1) If water heater is leaking, I suggest you protect yourself first.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Emergency-steps-for-leaking-water-heater.html

2) You have to do some work to find out if tank is under warranty.
-Contact manufacturer: http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-heater-manufacturers.html
-Contact installer: If plumber installed heater, then installer backs warranty for some manufacturers. If you installed heater, then warranty is less or void
-Look at paperwork and manual that came with water heater and read about warranty coverage
-Look at markings on tank to see if tank is 6 year, 15 year etc
-Warranty is based on date of manufacture: To find date of water heater, look at serial number located on label on side of tank:
Open link below for serial number decoder by manufacturer.
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/WaterHeaterSerialNumberDecoder.pdf

3) If tank is older than 6 years, and tank label shows this is a 6-year tank, then tank is no longer under warranty.
If you have a lifetime tank, then warranty is in effect, so contact manufacturer.

Open following link to see troubleshoot checklist for leaking water heater:
http://waterheatertimer.org/Leaking-water-heater.html

Other things to consider:
-If tank rusted out after a few years and installer did not install a jumper wire between hot and cold pipes, then tank warranty will probably not cover tank.
-If tank rusted out and you have water softener, and did not inspect anode rod or maintain water heater, then you did not read manual or maintain heater, and warranty might not cover problem.
-I suggest you read water heater manual cover to cover so water heater will not start leaking.

Other useful links:
http://waterheatertimer.org/Clean-sediment-out-of-water-heater.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/Replace-anode-rod.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/9-ways-to-save-with-water-heater.html

Feb 12, 2011 | Reliance Water Heaters

1 Answer

Water is found leaking at the bottom of the tank, near the plastic cap, at the centre of the tank. What actually happens and how to resolve. The heater has been installed more than 5 years ago. From the...


A) Calculate date of water heater manufacture from serial number located on side of tank:
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/WaterHeaterSerialNumberDecoder.pdf
Date of manufacture is not date of installation.
Warranty is usually from date of manufacture
Serial number also shows tank size in gallons, tank volts and watts, and whether tank has 1 or 2 elements.

B) Troubleshoot leaking water heater:
http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-at-bottom-of-water-heater.html
Several things can be looked at to see where leak is coming from.
Carefully go over tank pipes and valves to eliminate every suspect.
Final suspect: tank is rusted out.

C) If tank is rusted out, then tank needs to be replaced before it ruptures.
Ruptured tank can cause major damage and water runs until shut off.
To prevent rupture, turn off power to heater, turn off valve located above tank, open tub faucet for a moment to relieve pressure on tank.
Turn on heater only when needed until new tank is installed.
4500 Watt water heater produces 21 gallons hot water per hour.
Shower uses 6-9 gallons hot water. Bath uses 12-14 gallons hot water.

"It is possible to limp along with a failed water heater if the leak is slow and if you turn off power and water when not using hot water. That trick could buy time, possibly up to 3 months. With time, you can consider how to make the system do more for less as well as comparison shop, get competitive bids, etc"

D) Now you're home is safe from damage.
If tank is only 5 years old, it rusted out pretty quick.

There are three things you can do so next heater lasts longer.

1) Learn about anode rods, and inspect anode rod every 1-3 years.
Loosen anode rod before installing new tank so replacement is easier.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Replace-anode-rod.html

2) Attach electrical ground wire between hot and cold pipes to prevent stray current from reducing life of water heater
http://waterheatertimer.org/9-ways-to-save-with-water-heater.html#straycurrent

3) Flush tank each 6 months to prevent sediment
http://waterheatertimer.org/Clean-sediment-out-of-water-heater.html#flushelectric

Dec 28, 2010 | Rheem 81VP6S/430126 Water Heater

1 Answer

How do I Remove Magnesium Anode ?


The following page has instructions and a link to a video:
http://waterheatertimer.org/Replace-anode-rod.html

How to:
Rods are installed in top of tank.
Most are located under a 2" round plastic cover located on top of tank.
Some anode rods are connected to hot water nipple
Read owner's manual to see location of anode rod
See list of water heater manufacturers and brands to find product manual.
Before starting, turn off heater source: electric water heater: turn off circuit breaker; gas water heater move control knob to pilot.
Close shutoff valve on cold water side of water heater
Open bathtub faucet to relieve pressure and let air into water line.
Open drain valve near bottom of tank,, and drain 2 gallons of water.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-heater-will-not-drain.html

Use 1-1/16" socket for hex head rod
Rod will be rusted in place, use generous amount WD-40
WD-40 spray is flammable and will burn so be careful around heat source.
Loosening rod: go slow and check that water does not seep up when loosening rod because hot water can spew out hole if tank is very hot ... it is important to drain enough water out of tank to avoid accidental scalding.

Install new anode rod: One source says/ use pipe compound on thread instead of teflon tape. Other sources say use teflon tape. Either way, tank metal and anode metal must meet, so rod will work.

Dec 23, 2010 | Water Heaters

1 Answer

I have a Servi-star 40 Gal. electric SN# SS 0496B15258, How old is this unit? Thanks, Jim


http://www.buyerschoiceinspections.com/water-heater-ages
There seem to be 2 possible answers: Servi-star vs Servistar

Answer #1: Servi-star by American
1st 2 digits are year, 2nd 2 digits are week

This means water heater was made year 2004, 96th week ....it seems wrong.

Answer #2: Servistar by Craftmaster
1st 2 digits are month, 2nd 2 digits are year

This would mean your water heater was made 4th month of 1996

Which answer is true? 6 years old or 14 years old
If tank had 12 year warranty and came with 2 anode rods, and you have good water, and no stray current on pipes, then tank can last 14 years.
If tank had 6 year warranty and came with one anode rod, and you have hard water and a water softener, and you never changed anode rod or drained tank, then 6 years is a long life for the tank.

Oct 07, 2010 | Rheem Water Heaters

2 Answers

Leaking from the bottom


If the water cooler is more than 10 years old, the cathodic rod is probably all used up and the tank itself is taking a big hit with corrosion. Replace the water heater if the above is true. Otherwise on newer tanks, pull the heating element access panels, scoot aside the insulation, and look for leaks. Look for leaks at the spigot and at the top connections. For gas units, look for leaks only at the plumbing connections. Gas heaters might last 15 years before replacement is needed.

Nov 25, 2009 | Water Heaters

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