I am looking into replacing anode rod on my water heater. One of the biggest emphasis during this procedure is ensuring that after replacement anode rod remains in contact with tank - threads when rod is screwed in should remain in contact... this ensures conductivity so that anode rod can do it's job.

However, I can't find which pipe dope I should use for this job. I've called Rheem (water heater manufacturer) and they recommend just wrapping teflon tape - hoping that tape will break when I screw anode rod in. Since teflon could isolate rod and break conductivity I would prefer to use some conductive pipe dope instead (this is what professional plumber suggested).

Unfortunately I can't seem to find pipe dope that's conductive. I've spoke to few employees in local Home Depot and they have no idea if certain pipe dopes are conductive or not. So, can you recommend a brand of pipe dope that is used for jobs like this?

3 Answers 3


I have used a product made by permatex called ultra copper it is RTV for use at high temps. It works well to seal and create a conductive surface The RTV seals and the threads still make contact. Ultra copper in the copper colored tube. It only takes a little to do the job and a well sealed tube stored in a fridge last a very long time.

  • I've googled "Permatex Ultra Copper Maximum Temperature" and sure enough first result points to Amazon for purchase, it's $6 per tube. So if that one is conductive, that's great to know. I've however already replaced anode and used teflon tape per suggestion of licensed plumber. He told me to generously apply it and pressure and rotate it during process so threads break. I did that and sure enough it was easy to rip tape even before installing. Thanks for your advice though, good to know which RTV silicone is conductive.
    – nikib3ro
    May 8, 2017 at 23:07

I used PTFE tape. Then I connected a wire from the tank to the rod with a magnet. I think it is good enough. The voltage drop is 0.1V.


I am thinking that a little 24K gold foil, 1/2" like PTFE tape, might work:

It is 3 1/8" (25/8) and 0.1um thick. Fold it once: 12.5/8" and 0.2 um. Fold it again: 6.25 um and 0.4 um. I think it will wrap once. Will never oxidize. Will reduce friction and make a good seal. Cost: $60 for 25 sheets, or less than $3 per.

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