Anode rod: does pipe dope and teflon tape keep from freezing?

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Steve_K2

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If we put teflon tape and pipe dope on the threads of the anode rod, about how many years can we go without the rod freezing to the water heater?

YouTube has a number of videos on getting anode rods loose. Last year I replaced my 12-year-old water heater. Before the new heater was installed, I broke the anode rod loose. (With the help of a 250 pound friend holding it down as I put all my weight on a 20" breaker bar with a 3-foot pipe extension. WHY was it tightened so hard, I still wonder.)

It's time for my first annual flush. Nothing much to it, and something I've done many times before.

But do I need to loosen the anode rod in order to keep it from seizing to the water heater?

Or, as I think, will the teflon tape and the pipe dope protect the connection for what I'm guessing is, say, five years?

Hope to hear from someone with experience in this area.

Thanks.
 

TomFOhio

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The anode rods are put on tight from the factory. With you installing your own with teflon tape and pipe dope
you shouldn't have any trouble getting it out at a later date. I wouldn't mess with it anymore until you want
to replace it again.
 

Steve_K2

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Tom, many thanks. You confirmed my thinking, and I'm taking it to the bank.

"The anode rods are put on tight from the factory." Unbelievable how tight. So tight that I have to wonder, and I'm no conspiracist, if it's not intended to keep us home owners from ever replacing the anode rod, leading to the water heater needing to be replaced when the anode rod has long been used up.

YouTube videos show the anode rod loosened with an impact wrench and with a breaker bar. Not for me. Two half-inch drive impact wrenches (mine and the plumber's) and two air compressors (mine and the plumber's) didn't work. I bought a new water heater and knew my best chance to loosen the anode rod was to do it before installing the heater. I put the new water heater flat on the ground (on its cardboard box), held in place by a big, strong friend while I put all my weight on the breaker bar extension. At first, no joy. I thought the breaker bar would snap. Then we heard a POP, and the anode rod was loose. No way it could be loosened when upright in its closet.

I'm counting on this water heater, what with annual flushes and anode rod changes, lasting me the rest of my life. (I'm almost 75.)

Thanks again for the info on tape/pipe dope (and for letting me vent).
 
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