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Heard that this part should be replaced and I can't find a replacement part for my model in my manual or online anywhere. Can I just buy a generic one at the hardware store and what kind should I get? I have a Whirlpool 319118-002.

  • Have you checked yous? With a good water supply some times they do last a few years longer. Some have a screw in like a bolt and some have 2 screws and a gasket. Do you have clearance above the tank for a solid anode? If you don't have enough room a flexible anode that has joints or segments may be needed. I like the mixed metal type. They don't tend to fall apart as quickly on well water or that has been my experience. – Ed Beal Oct 30 '16 at 14:03
  • i don't think we changed our tank before so i think it's 16 years old. i do have clearance but am not sure what kind of water we have. we live in san jose, ca. – Jon Oct 31 '16 at 10:46
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There are only a few types of anodes out there -- different materials (aluminum, magnesium, aluminum/zinc) and different form factors (rigid vs flexible/segmented, hex head vs combination).

Your heater comes stock with an aluminum hex anode (all American/Whirlpool/US Craftmaster heaters use aluminum, and the manual for your heater has a parts diagram on page 30 that depicts a hex anode -- so you should be able to replace it with a standard hex anode, unless you have overhead clearance problems that require a flexible unit. I'd get a magnesium anode for your replacement if at all possible -- our bodies don't get along particularly well with aluminum ions.

  • thanks for your thorough and knowledgeable answer. i should have clearance so will get the standard type. so will both rod materials get the job done equally well then but magnesium is healthier? it sounds like some people said it depends on the hardness of my water. i live around san jose, ca – Jon Oct 31 '16 at 11:05
  • also i don't believe we've changed our tank before meaning it is 16 years old. is it a bad idea to start flushing and changing the rod if we've never done it before in the past? – Jon Oct 31 '16 at 11:13
  • @Jon -- magnesium is indeed the better option health-wise (especially if the San Andreas lets rip and your water heater's contents are your drinking water supply) and you'll want to check the existing rod to see if it has already given out a while ago. One more thing: remember the earthquake straps to the studs! – ThreePhaseEel Oct 31 '16 at 11:41
  • It most likely has given out if it's that old right? Would that change whether or not I should replace? I'm a little hesitant to mess around with thing now that I read about possible explosions. I just noticed the big tag on the t&p valve warning of required maintenance which my family never performed. Thanks for your help! – Jon Nov 1 '16 at 1:36
  • @Jon -- only way you can see if it's gone or not is to actually check it – ThreePhaseEel Nov 1 '16 at 2:01

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