I’ve been trying to remove my water heater and anode noticed some rust around the electric conduit. I pulled off the panel and it’s fairly rusty in there. The cold water connection also looks a little corroded, but the tank otherwise is pretty spotless. I haven’t noticed any issues with the heater other than this rust - it seems to be working fine.

Should I go ahead and try to replace the anode and get a few more years out of this heater? I have no idea when (if ever) the anode was last replaced as we bought our place recently.

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1 Answer 1


That much rust would certainly degrade my confidence that repairs are worthwhile. In my experience water heaters fail in one of two ways--the heating element burns out or the tank rusts through. In your case, the latter is probably likely in the near term.

The real problem here is the local moisture, though. That much bright rust indicates a highly saturated environment. You need mitigation in the form of water control or ventilation, stat. Then get yourself a shiny new heater.

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