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Plumber told me to NOT replace sacrificial anode
Posted by: space-time
Date: March 13, 2019 10:28AM
I called the plumber that installed the water heater about 5 1/2 years ago to get a quotation for pressure regulator and shut off valve quotations, and I asked about a quotation to replace the sacrificial anode. He told me to not replace that unless water smells bad. he said once I replace that, that is when I start having problems with the water heater. I am very confused about this, as I thought it is recommended to replace those about every 6 years.


BTW: for the pressure regulator he quoted about $180-$215 and for shut off valves about $40-$45 depending on model and the hourly rate is $130 and it should take about 1.5 hours (1-2 hours) for the entire job.


What do you think about these prices and about the anode? I suspect they do not want you to replace the anode so that you replace the entire water heater, more business for them.
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Re: Plumber told me to NOT replace sacrificial anode
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: March 13, 2019 10:33AM
....but it is 'sacrificial'.......its inherent in the name.....



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Re: Plumber told me to NOT replace sacrificial anode
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: March 13, 2019 10:37AM
"Smells bad" ? Whaaa ? The anode helps reduce galvanic corrosion in the tank itself. The only 'bad smell' may be metallic from anode sublimation. And since that takes place at a molecular level... well, seems kind of BS to me. However....

Do you use city water or well water ?

Rotten egg smell is common to well water, and caused by cyanobacteria buildup in the pipes and/or water heater. Most commonly in the water heater. Running the water heater on super hot kills it. It is NOT common to city water because of chlorination.

If you're worried, you can get a 'free' water test at a home store, but it comes with an annoying sales call by the Culligan man or equivalent, who will happily try to sell you an expensive reverse osmosis filter, water softener, and a handful of magic beans.

Also the regulator is just a screw on the main water shutoff valve area. You can adjust it yourself. Heck, you can add shutoff valves yourself. With the modern push on stuff, all you need to know is how to shut off the water to the house, drain the line (open the lowest faucet), shut off the hot water heater, cut pipe, and push the shutoff valve on.

You work with frickin' lasers. You got this !
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Re: Plumber told me to NOT replace sacrificial anode
Posted by: space-time
Date: March 13, 2019 10:52AM
cbelt3, these are not the little shutoff valves under the sink, this is the MAIN shutoff valve. And yes I know the pressure can be adjusted, but the thing is not working properly. Pressure is too high (90 PSI) and drops to 30 psi when using the water. If it was stable around 90 then yes I would try to adjust it myself.

I like to tinker with stuff but I know my limits.
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Re: Plumber told me to NOT replace sacrificial anode
Posted by: deckeda
Date: March 13, 2019 11:00AM
If you can turn the water off at the street you can replace anything inside the domicile. Just know that the water could likely trickle even when off, which makes soldering harder. Or potentially impossible.

The water heater response sounds like the job is too small for him to do, with too high risk for him. If he somehow breaks something on the water heater trying to loosen the anode, he won’t be happy buying you a new heater. Keep in mind you need whatever length the anode might still be, to exist above the heater for it to come out.

On the other hand, manufacturers have all but made this task redundant by ensuring long life water heaters don’t exist any more. Something else will break.
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Re: Plumber told me to NOT replace sacrificial anode
Posted by: MGS_forgot_password
Date: March 13, 2019 12:19PM
Sounds like he's more interested in getting your money for a water heater replacement in a couple of years.
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Re: Plumber told me to NOT replace sacrificial anode
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: March 13, 2019 12:25PM
Quote
space-time
cbelt3, these are not the little shutoff valves under the sink, this is the MAIN shutoff valve. And yes I know the pressure can be adjusted, but the thing is not working properly. Pressure is too high (90 PSI) and drops to 30 psi when using the water. If it was stable around 90 then yes I would try to adjust it myself.

I like to tinker with stuff but I know my limits.

Ah.. sorry... yes. I'd hesitate at that one too. FWIW once you do find someone to do that, remember that you will need to clear your lines of debris. Best way is to open the closest faucet after removing the debris filter and let it run into a bucket or clear cup until the little bits of gunk stop coming out.
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Re: Plumber told me to NOT replace sacrificial anode
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: March 13, 2019 12:26PM
space-time, allow me the following observations:
  1. With your recent plumbing issues, you should be a plumber by now
  2. Plumbers hate anode replacement, those threads can actually 'weld' together after many years.
  3. You need no soldering skills with copper if you're willing to pay for SharkBite connectors.
  4. Call @ least one other plumber for estimates.
Good Luck my friend thumbsup smiley

HomeDepot SharkBites



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Re: Plumber told me to NOT replace sacrificial anode
Posted by: JoeH
Date: March 13, 2019 12:32PM
Quote
deckeda
. . .
Keep in mind you need whatever length the anode might still be, to exist above the heater for it to come out.

Actually you don't need that much distance. When replacing an anode it usually can be bent as it is removed, replacement anodes that are flexible are sold that make it easier to install without having that many feet clear above the water heater.

If the anode can't be bent, it probably did not need replacing yet.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/13/2019 12:32PM by JoeH.
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Re: Plumber told me to NOT replace sacrificial anode
Posted by: space-time
Date: March 13, 2019 01:36PM
I think I have enough space above the water heater but I will check. I also know that you can get active anodes that supposedly do not wear out.
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Re: Plumber told me to NOT replace sacrificial anode
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: March 13, 2019 01:47PM
Also FWIW... a water hammer tank on top of your water heater is always a good idea if you are pulling it apart anyway....
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Re: Plumber told me to NOT replace sacrificial anode
Posted by: srf1957
Date: March 13, 2019 01:48PM
I haven't replaced anode in 27 years which is when current water heater went in .
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Re: Plumber told me to NOT replace sacrificial anode
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: March 13, 2019 02:09PM
Yeah, unless you really like this guy from a previous visit, find someone that will give you a quote for replacing the anode.

My shutoff valve is kind of hard to get to, it's recessed in the ground 24" to help prevent freezing, and the previous owners poured a slab over it for a small patio outside the kitchen. facepalm It's easier to go out to the water meter to shut off the water.



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Re: Plumber told me to NOT replace sacrificial anode
Posted by: Forrest
Date: March 13, 2019 02:11PM
My first water heater lasted 20 years, and the current water heater is 13 years old. I've never needed to replace the anode in either of these natural gas water heaters.
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Re: Plumber told me to NOT replace sacrificial anode
Posted by: JoeH
Date: March 13, 2019 02:33PM
Quote
Forrest
My first water heater lasted 20 years, and the current water heater is 13 years old. I've never needed to replace the anode in either of these natural gas water heaters.

Quote
srf1957
I haven't replaced anode in 27 years which is when current water heater went in .

Anode life, and therefore water heater life, is very dependent on the mineral and other content of your water supply. So in you areas you and your neighbors can expect that kind of length of service, most of us can not.

Where I live, from what I hear from plumbers and others, a "6 year anode" is good for about 7-9 years usually, water heaters with twin anodes can last almost 20 years. But a place I used to live would barely make 5 or 6 years per anode, some brands of water heaters failed even sooner from other water problems.
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Re: Plumber told me to NOT replace sacrificial anode
Posted by: WHiiP
Date: March 13, 2019 02:36PM
I have a Hybrid Water Heater. I can keep the water 140º by using the heat pump Only. Never need to use the electrical coils at all. Yes, I know the heat pump uses electricity, but very minor in comparison.



Bill
Flagler Beach, FL 32136

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Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire.
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Re: Plumber told me to NOT replace sacrificial anode
Posted by: space-time
Date: March 13, 2019 03:30PM
Quote
WHiiP
I have a Hybrid Water Heater. I can keep the water 140º by using the heat pump Only. Never need to use the electrical coils at all. Yes, I know the heat pump uses electricity, but very minor in comparison.

This is off topic... nothing to do with Anode. Also in the winter when I want to keep the house warm, I do not want the water heater pulling heat from the air. If this were in a basement somewhere, sure, I would go for it, Would not help me in the winter. it may be nice in the summer since it would pull some heat from the house and help with AC.
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Re: Plumber told me to NOT replace sacrificial anode
Posted by: davester
Date: March 13, 2019 04:43PM
Quote
space-time
I think I have enough space above the water heater but I will check. I also know that you can get active anodes that supposedly do not wear out.

The active anodes are not a good idea for home water heaters because they can fail without you knowing about it (until the bottom rusts out of your water heater suddenly). Like Mr Nobody said, many plumbers don't like to replace anodes because they'd rather you pay them for replacing a failed water heater so they often try to discourage this work. The smelly water comment is completely bogus...not true. The anodes can be tricky to get out, especially if they've been in there for 10 or 15 years. Since you're only at six, you're more likely to be able to pull yours relatively easily. Go to this website for lots of information on this topic: [www.waterheaterrescue.com]



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Re: Plumber told me to NOT replace sacrificial anode
Posted by: Cary
Date: March 13, 2019 06:49PM
Space-time, you can easily replace the valves and regulator yourself. Sharkbite valves are around $25 each. The regulator (at HD) is about $75.

Depending on how your entrance service is plumbed (copper, pex, etc.), This may be an easy or harderjob.
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Re: Plumber told me to NOT replace sacrificial anode
Posted by: space-time
Date: March 13, 2019 07:39PM
Quote
Cary
Space-time, you can easily replace the valves and regulator yourself. Sharkbite valves are around $25 each. The regulator (at HD) is about $75.

Depending on how your entrance service is plumbed (copper, pex, etc.), This may be an easy or harderjob.

This is the 3/4" main pipe coming into the house. There is no crawls space or basement, where I could let some water drain. The house is on a slab, and this is inside my clothes closet. Over hardwood floor. We use that area for storage, right now I have some bottled water. The water meter is also there. The pipes to/from water meter are not round, but a polygonal shape. If I screw up and end up with a flood, or i screw up and I need to call an emergency plumber, this will cost me way more than the $500ish I am looking at (300 parts + 200 labor).

Look, there are things I can't do, and things I don't WANT to do. This is probably in the fist category and it is definitely in the second category.

here is what is looks like. Notice the stuff on the stem of the valve on the left.

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Re: Plumber told me to NOT replace sacrificial anode
Posted by: Harbourmaster
Date: March 13, 2019 08:54PM
Whoever put those two gate valves in there in the first place should be shot!! Have your plumber install a couple of quality ball valves then if you ever have trouble in the future it's an easy fix to shut the flow off on both sides!



Aloha, Ken


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Re: Plumber told me to NOT replace sacrificial anode
Posted by: pdq
Date: March 13, 2019 10:12PM
Quote
davester
Quote
space-time
I think I have enough space above the water heater but I will check. I also know that you can get active anodes that supposedly do not wear out.

The smelly water comment is completely bogus...not true.

Au contraire, if you’re on well water. Apparently there may be (bacteria-mediated) alteration of sulfates in well water to sulfides, which make rotten egg smell. The ionic content of your well water somehow gets involved too.

We would often get this seasonally, and we’d say “the aquifer water was turning over again”. But then it came and stayed, and stayed. I shocked our well with hydrogen peroxide per our state’s instructions, and that helped for about a week. But then I found out about active anodes.

Long story short, I got one, and replaced the original passive anode (which was a smelly, corroded mess for a 5-7 year old water heater). An afternoon project, and the smell has been gone since. You will need a big socket wrench, and may have to slip a pipe over the end of it, cause the original anodes are screwed in but good.

Quote
davester
The active anodes are not a good idea for home water heaters because they can fail without you knowing about it

Can’t speak directly to this, but the power supply to the powered anode has the brightest green LED in existence, and from other’s reviews, if that stops or weakens, it’s either the power supply or the anode itself.

My Amazon review, which I swear is God’s truth, and was not paid for or otherwise spiffed in any way. I was just happy as hell not to have to shower in what smelled like sewage.
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Re: Plumber told me to NOT replace sacrificial anode
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: March 13, 2019 10:25PM

'not replacing the sacrificial anode will anger the rain gods'
-Toltec Plumbing Services
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Re: Plumber told me to NOT replace sacrificial anode
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: March 14, 2019 05:00AM
Quote
Steve G. -
'not replacing the sacrificial anode will anger the rain gods'
-Toltec Plumbing Services
ROTFL



N39° 39.7234', W075° 33.9788'
...word salad is not a disorder, it is a symptom...

“If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.”
-Albert Einstein

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