I have a 6 year old 80 gallon American water heater, looking to check/replace the anode rod for the first time. It currently has a 3/4" aluminum anode rod, 52" length. I need a flexible anode rod, as I have very little clearance to put a new one in. The longest flexible one I found is 44". Can I use a shorter anode rod than what it calls for? Would it simply mean it may corrode faster?

  • how tall is the water heater tank?
    – Jasen
    Jan 24 '20 at 23:26
  • You'll want to hold onto that beauty. You can't buy another. 80 gallon resistive tank heaters are outlawed now. Jan 25 '20 at 0:05
  • Does your heater have a dedicated hex-head for the anode rod, or is the anode-rod attached to the fitting in the hot-water-outlet port? (a so-called "combo anode") Jan 25 '20 at 1:31
  • The heater is ~60" tall. It is a dedicated hex-head. Both HD and some other online site said the standard 3/4" flex 42" length would fit the heater, I just didn't know if there was an issue with putting a shorter rod in. This is the part: supplyhouse.com/…. In all fairness, I think I could get a 52" rod in there, but with the way it is facing, I would have to disassemble the connections because of the way everything is situated. But if a flex 42" would work, then no disassembly would be needed.
    – Greg
    Jan 25 '20 at 1:52
  • If it currently has a 52” rod there should be no issue in getting another one of the same length in there - unless you have changed something else.
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 25 '20 at 7:33

It should work still. Just make sure not to overtighten when replacing if it is a glass lined tank.

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