I installed an AO Smith water heater about five years ago (January 2018). I figured it was time to inspect and probably replace the anode rod. There's only about 24 inches of overhead clearance, so I was prepared to bend and/or cut it, and then drop in a new, segmented, nunchucks-style rod.

When I pulled it up and got a good look though, I see it hasn't deteriorated much beyond having a rough surface (see photos below).

Given the need to bend and/or cut it out, I decided to just screw it back down.

Right decision?



Anode Rod Removed for Inspection

Closeup of Anode Rod

1 Answer 1


Yup. That looks fine, particularly for the age.

Image of anode rod condition from whirlpoolwaterheaters.com, no endorsement implied

You don't want to get to the bottom image, but there's a long way to go yet.

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