Anode rods are important components that are installed inside water heater tanks. These anode rods are made with metals like magnesium, aluminum, and zinc and prevent your water heater tank from rusting or exploding. However, many homeowners are unsure of how long anode rods should be.
The length of your anode rod should be proportional to your water heater tank’s size. As a golden rule, anode rods should be roughly two inches shorter than the length of your tank. An incorrectly sized anode rod size will reduce the anode rod’s lifespan and could damage your water heater tank.
We’ll break down everything you must know about the length of anode rods. Once we’ve explained how long these rods should be, we’ll outline the risks of installing a rod that’s too short or long for your water heater tank. We’ll also discuss how to find a correctly sized anode rod for your tank!
How Long Should An Anode Rod Be?
Many homeowners have wondered how long an anode rod should be. Since anode rods in water heater tanks only last between three and five years, you’ll need to know the length of your replacement rod. Generally, most anode rods measure upwards of forty inches in length – but the length of an anode rod varies based on the size of water heater tanks.
Larger and longer water heaters will require long anode rods, while smaller water heaters will require shorter anode rods. Ultimately, this means homeowners will need to purchase an anode rod that’s the right size for their water tank. As a rule of thumb, your water heater’s anode rod should run from the top of the water heater tank to the bottom.
Ideally, your tank’s anode rod should be roughly 2-inches shorter than the tank itself. Getting the right size anode rod will ensure that the rod is long enough to protect your water heater from corrosion and has a decent lifespan. Read on if you’re wondering whether the length of these rods matters!
Does The Length Of An Anode Rod Actually Matter?
In the previous section, we explained that the size of anode rods should be proportional to your water heater tank. However, many people question whether the length of these rods matters. To answer this, we’ll outline the risks of installing an anode rod that’s too long or short for your water heater.
Firstly, let’s discuss anode rods that are too short. If you install an anode rod that is too short, it will not last as long as a correctly sized anode rod. This affects sacrificial anode rods, in particular, such as those made from magnesium. These rods degrade over time to protect your water heater’s inner lining. However, the shorter the rod is, the less material there is to degrade.
Now, let’s discuss anode rods that are too long. As we explained earlier, your water heater’s anode rode should ideally be two inches shorter than your tank. Sticking to this size will ensure your anode rod doesn’t touch the bottom of the tank. However, anode rods that are too long will touch the bottom of the heater and will wear down the inner later. Once again, this will reduce the lifespan of the anode rod.
Overall, installing an anode rod that’s too long or short will result in a reduced lifespan. Not only will you need to replace the component sooner, but you will also risk damaging your water heater tank! To ensure your anode rod lasts a long time and to avoid damaging your water heater, you should install the right rod size.
Finding The Right Length Anode Rod For Your Hot Water Tank
As we explained earlier, your anode rod should be two inches shorter than the length of your water heater tank. To determine the correct size for a replacement anode rod, you should measure your tank’s length and then minus two inches. However, you might be wondering where you can find the right size anode rod for your tank.
Many different anode rods are available today, which can be purchased in many sizes and lengths. Aluminum anode rods, in particular, are available in many different sizes. Many homeowners prefer purchasing aluminum anode rods for this exact reason! You shouldn’t fret if you didn’t find the right anode rod length.
Anode rods can be cut to the right size, which we’ll outline in the following section. Since these rods can be cut to size, you can purchase a rod that is longer than your necessary size. Once you’ve determined how long your anode rod needs to be, you can purchase any suitable rod longer than that length and cut it to size.
Can You Cut Anode Rods To The Correct Size?
To avoid damaging your water heater tank, you should install anode rods that are the right size for your tank. However, you don’t need to worry if you can’t find the right size! You can always purchase a longer anode rod and cut it to the correct size, which you can calculate by measuring your water heater and subtracting two inches from the length.
Overall, the process of cutting anode rods is relatively simple. You won’t even need the help of a licensed plumber to cut the rod! When cutting a replacement anode rod, you can use your old anode rod as a reference. However, you’ll need a few tools to cut your anode rod.
To cut an anode rod, you’ll need a tape measure, work gloves, a hacksaw, and a metal file. The hacksaw will be used to cut the anode rod, while the metal file will be used to shave the edges of the rod to prevent an injury. However, as long as you have a hacksaw, you’ll be able to cut an anode rod to the right size for your water heater tank!
The length of your water heater’s anode rod should be proportional to your tank’s size. Ideally, your anode rod should be two inches shorter than the length of your tank. Using a rod that is too long or short will reduce the anode rod’s lifespan and could potentially damage your water heater. Luckily, it’s possible to purchase a longer rod and cut it down to size!