How Do You Remove an Anode Rod From an A.O. Smith Water Heater?

Removing the anode rod from an A.O. Smith water heater is relatively simple and involves draining the water, loosening the rod, and pulling it off. Anode rods prevent the interior of a water heater from corroding. As such, they need to be replaced periodically.

Follow these steps for removing the rod.

  1. Turn off the gas or electricity to the water heater.
  2. Turn off the cold water input valve located at the top of the water heater.
  3. Allow the water heater to sit dormant for a minimum of two hours.
  4. Open the hot water tap nearest to the tank to relieve the pressure.
  5. Attach a hose to the drain valve and drain 2 to 5 gallons of water.
  6. Attach an 11/16th socket wrench to the top of the rod and twist until it comes loose.
  7. Pull the rod out of the top of the water heater.
  8. Dispose of the used rod by contacting your local waste disposal facility or take it to a local contractor. It is made of magnesium and should not be added to standard trash.