Energy Star Water Heaters

Energy Star Water Heaters
Energy Star Water Heaters – Energy Star has specific criteria for the various water heaters available on the market. To meet these criteria, a manufacturer has to apply its product to Energy Star testing. Furthermore, they also pay a fee that is for costs. However, the charge is mainly for laboratory testing for the product.

The water heater is test tested for the Energy Star specific criteria, and the numbers calculated. Furthermore, if the water heater meets or exceeds the requirements, then the manufacturer can put the Energy Star label on the product. Additionally, the Energy Star name is a sales point for many different brands.



What is a Water Heater Anode Rod, and Why is it Important?

water heater anode rodsWater Heater Anode Rod - Modern water heater tanks are constructed of steel with a thin glass lining to protect the steel from corrosion. The glass lining will eventually crack, but there is another level of protection from corrosion inside of the tank: the water heater anode rod.

What is a Water Heater Anode Rod?

A water heater anode rod is a long metal (usually magnesium or aluminum) rod that attracts the corrosive elements from water in order to protect the steel tank. Anodes are often screwed into the top of the tank and go almost all the way to the bottom. It is sometimes called the sacrificial water heater anode rod because of the way it sacrifices itself in the tank to protect the steel.

Because the molecules of magnesium and aluminum give up their electrons quicker than steel, rust will only occur on the anode rod while it still has metal to sacrifice. By diverting the rust to only occur on the anode rod, it can extend the life of your water heater. The water heater anode rod’s lifespan depends on a few different factors, namely: quality of the water, the water temperature, amount of use the tank gets, and the overall quality and construction of the tank. If there is salt added to the water as in the case of softened water, anodes corrode at a faster pace.

Anode Rod Options

Adding an additional anode rod should be considered if your model allows for it. By taking up more surface for it to absorb corrosion you can increase the life of your water heater even longer. However, it may not be a good idea if you are having odor problems as it can make the problem worse.

If you are thinking about adding an additional anode rode to your tank, make certain that both are made of the same metal. If one is magnesium and the other aluminum, the magnesium will be consumed more rapidly and you won’t get the desired outcome.

Another option is a powered anode rod or impressed-current anode. These do not sacrifice themselves in order to protect the tank, they instead are plugged into an outlet and stops the tank corrosion by releasing a continuous but small amount of electric current in the water, which prevents the electrochemical reaction that usually causes metallic corrosion. The benefits of a powered water heater anode rod are that they last much longer than a regular anode rod, they usually can take care of smelly water, and are better for the tank if you have soft water in your home.

Anode Rod Types for Different Tanks

There are two anode rod configurations, hex-head, and combo or outlet anodes. Hex-head water heater anode is often found on its own port on the top of the tank. Depending on the model, the hex-head might be exposed or under a plastic cap halfway from the center to the edge. Combo rods have a steel nipple that is plastic lined and used in the hot water port. Frequently tanks with a longer-term warranty have one combo and one hex head, although some just have one combo rod with no option for a second rod.

Anode Rod | Conclusion

Most tank water heaters last approximately 10-12 years, and they are not cheap to replace. Anode rods last 3-5 years and are about 20-50 dollars. Powered anode rods are about 250 dollars. By periodically checking your anode rod and replacing it when necessary, you can prolong the life of your water heater significantly.

For more resources on troubleshooting gas heating systems see our gas heating systems troubleshooting guide.

Water Heater Anode Rod

Water Heater Anode Rod

Electric Water Heater Elements Diagnosis and Repair – No Heat

Electric Water Heater Elements Diagnosis - Water heater diagnosis and repairs - the fixElectric Water Heater Elements Diagnosis – It is truly very frustrating when you want to take a shower and there is a problem with the hot water heating system. You want to call a plumber for the fix but there are some easy fixes you can check yourself if you are a DIYer.

If you own an electric water heater element problem then this guide will help you solve your water heater problem. Diagnosis and repair of your electric water heater will require some basic mechanical and electrical competency so if you are not comfortable with the basics then the best thing you can do is to call a plumber to help you fix the water heater and get the hot water heater working properly.


Conversion of a Water Heater to Electronic Ignition | HVAC Technical

Conversion of a Water Heater to Electronic Ignition - Gas Ignition Systems

The Honeywell Y8610U Intermittent Pilot Retrofit Kit

Conversion of a Water Heater to Electronic Ignition - This article covers converting from standing pilot to electronic ignition. So you are tired of relighting the pilot light every so often or replacing the thermocouple on your standing pilot gas water heater. You want to replace the standing pilot gas valve with an electronic ignition gas system so you can never have to ever worry about lighting another pilot light again. How do you do this? You can refer to this article about changing a standing pilot gas boiler system to electron ignition for additional information.

How to Test a Thermocouple for a Water Heater

How to Test a Thermocouple for a Water Heater – Everyone who has owned a gas heater including furnaces or water heaters will know that from to time you have to light the pilot light unless you have the electronic ignition that automatically lights the pilot light.

Sometimes when you try to light the pilot it does not want to stay lit. You know you have a problem. Often times the problem turns out to be a bad thermocouple that needs to be replaced. But how do you know if the thermocouple is bad? Additionally, is it the thermocouple that is the problem, or is it something else?

Fluke 87-V Digital Multimeter

Honeywell CQ100A1013 24-Inch Replacement Thermocouple for Gas Furnaces, Boilers, and Water Heaters


How to Troubleshoot Standing Pilot Gas Water Heater | HVAC Heating

Troubleshoot Standing Pilot Gas Water Heater – I am wondering how many people have had issues with lighting their pilot light on their water heater. I am sure it is many as I have responded to calls that turned out to simply going through the proper procedure to light the light and as complex as finding a bad gas valve to get someone’s hot water heater working again. I know it’s frustrating going without hot water especially when you don’t plan on lighting the pilot light and waiting the time it takes for the water heater to heat the water. (more…)

All About Hot Water Heaters | HVAC and Plumbing

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless Water Heater

All About Hot Water Heaters - I have been transformed into a believer in tankless water heater systems. A few years back,  I moved to Ukraine for professional reasons. When I first arrived in Ukraine it took a while for me to adapt to the culture, language, services, and way they do things here. Power failures, water outages, and occasionally natural gas outages are quite frequent here although it is tolerable and a minor inconvenience. (more…)

Water Heater Types | HVAC and Plumbing

Hot Water Heater TypesWater Heater Types - Selecting a hot water heater can be confusing especially if you are not aware of the types of water heating systems available to you. When you go out to buy a new car you want all the information you can get about the car you are buying from how economical it is to how reliable it is to the type of engine it has under the hood. (more…)

Water Heater Selection Considerations | HVAC and Plumbing

Water Heater Selection ConsiderationsWater Heater Selection Considerations - Whether you are building a new house or getting ready to replace the old water heater in a home improvement project there are things to consider before making the decision which water heater to get to replace the old one or a new water heater for your new home. You want the best system for the money but you don’t want high utility bills to get the best system. (more…)