smelly hot water tank : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Hi to all. A thread a few days ago about water heaters said to remove the rod? I have a new water heater that has smelled since we installed it. I've looked at it but don't know where to take it out of. Do you have to drain it and take off the whole top or is it in the pressure relief valve? Looking at my papers that came with it are you talking about the Anode rod? If so mine looks to be sealed up? Any info would be very helpful. We have used this well for about three years and not had any smell from it until the new water heater. I thought it was because of the drought but I guess not. Thanks in advance for any help.

-- linda in wyo (, January 28, 2002


Yes, it is the anode rod. It looks like a plastic seal on top of the water heater and it has to be pryed off with a screw driver. When it is off it looks like a bolt and you'll have to use a socket and ratchet to take it out. Put a brass fitting back in. These are my husband's instructions.

-- vicki in NW OH (, January 28, 2002.

The anode rod is about the same diameter as a 10 gauge wire and it can be attached to the output tap on the top of the heater. This is the same pipe that your hot water out is connected to

-- Marc (, January 28, 2002.

I have replaced the anodes in two of my electric water heaters. Vicki is right, you have to get a socket to remove the anode rods. If I remember, I had to buy a special size to remove the anode. Once removed, you will find a "rusty" looking wire attached to it if any and you have to replace the whole thing. The rusty wire means all the anode is gone and you have no protection for corrision. You can buy an anode rod at a wholesale water heater distributor. They come in one length, if you have a low boy water heater you will need to cut it with a hacksaw to fit the tank depth. The rod is the diameter of a nickel and is made of magnesium (sp) and all it does is keeps the electric element(s) from corrision. I don't know if it has anything to do with making the water smell better. I do know if you don't replace them the elements will corode much faster. The first set of elements lasted less than 4 yrs. Since then I have replaced the anodes and removed the factory drain on the water heater and installed a "full" port ball valve which I drain once a month to get the "stuff" out of the bottom of the tank. It's been 10 yrs and my two elect w/h are working fine. (Knock on wood here!) Hope this helps...

-- milam gerick (, January 29, 2002.

Just turn the water off and let it down a little. Remove the rod and cut it off with a hacksaw next to the cap and replace the cap in the heater. No more stink.

-- Mel Kelly (, January 29, 2002.

It is the magnesium that Milam mentioned above that causes the smell! It reacts to certain minerals in your water and causes it.

-- Novina in ND (, January 30, 2002.

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