for my information

good day america’s finest. i have this question regarding my own water heater and have come to this spot since ive noted the presence of some knowledgeable plumbers at times. we suddenly came to have terribly stinky water one day…drives me wife bonkers (and thats not goode) …not over time, but suddenly. sulfer stink. the research i have done turned up various theoretical solutions including shock the well by dumping bleach through the system, buy a new water heater, replace the anode rod, cut off the anode rod (??)…anyway i for the life of me cant find any anode rod at all. this a reliant 606, 86 gallon, about 10 years old, tag is scratched off but looks like maybe model 68220RT. if anybody kind of knows what may be up here that would be appreciated.
thanks for looking
mike in MN

You need to find the anode rod.

Got pic?

How to change the anode rod:

  1. Always turn off power to your water heater first, usually from the circuit breaker. Turn off the water supply to the tank, and run all hot water out through a faucet in the house. Once the water has drained, turn off the faucet.
  2. The top of your water heater tank should have a hex nut. It may be under a metal cap that must first be removed, but this is the anode rod. Take the screws out (usually you’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver) to find the hex nut beneath.
  3. Use a socket wrench (with a 1 1/16” socket) to loosen and remove the nut, turning counterclockwise. You may need a second set of hands to hold the tank still, and if the hex nut is locked down too tight, you can use a long breaker bar, a handy tool for water heater repair.
  4. Use the hex nut to lift the anode rod up and out from inside the tank.
  5. Before installing the new anode rod, wrap all threading with plumber’s tape for a better seal. Lower the rod in and hand tighten the hex nut at the top of the tank before tightening with the socket wrench.
  6. Turn the cold water supply back on, and power on the circuit breaker (for gas water heaters, you’ll also need to light the pilot to begin heating water).

Water heater repair such as this is a simple job, and under normal circumstances, is something you can do yourself, especially if you have a partner with a second set of hands. Save yourself some money on costly repairs and early replacement of your water heater by making sure your anode rod is in good working condition and doing its job effectively. However, if this doesn’t solve your water heater problem you may want to consider calling your local plumber to come and take a look at what maybe going wrong with your water heater.

Anode Rod.JPG