Water Heater Rescue: Know-How, Solutions, Parts

Flexible Combo
Aluminum/Zinc Anode Rod

Overview and closeup of flexible combo aluminum/zinc anode rod


  • a flexible combo aluminum/zinc anode rod (about 14 inches of overhead clearance needed). This anode is .75-inch-diameter by 48 inches long with a 4-inch pipe nipple.
  • pipe-thread seal tape
  • service sticker
  • instructions

This replaces the combo anode that came with your tank that sits in the hot port, integral with the pipe nipple there. Fits all brands of all sizes of glass-lined steel residential heaters with 3/4-inch ports. This is for use with Bradford Whites, and some A.O. Smiths and States. Fits all brands. Full length is 48 inches, but can be cut, or segments broken off, to fit shorter water heaters. Heaters of 75 gallons and more often have larger plumbing and this anode may not work in them.


  • The anode will keep your tank from rusting and breaking, while reducing or eliminating odor problems because of anaerobic bacteria found in some water that react with regular magnesium or aluminum anodes to produce hydrogen sulfide gas and a rotten-egg odor.
  • The tape will enable you to remove the anode in future to check it.
  • The sticker will help you remember when you installed it.



Pipe wrench.

A Warning

If you buy one of these, please don't pull on the links. So far, we haven't seen any pull apart, but it's possible. If you do, you can't return it.


Merchandise in original condition can usually be returned within 120 days for a full refund of the purchase price, not including shipping. E-mail to mailbag@smellywater.com for instructions and authorization.


The products offered here are designed to make water heaters last longer, or solve specific problems. Installation is potentially do-it-yourself, but if you have the least doubt about your abilities, we suggest that you obtain expert help.

Remember also that if you have difficulties with installation, odds are that a professional or handyman will know a way to do it.

We ship by UPS Ground to the Lower 48 states, and by Priority Mail to Alaska, Hawaii and Canada.


Are you ordering the right anode? This anode must replace the one that came with the tank or the smell won't go away. Make sure you have a combo rod in your tank and not a hex-head anode. Also tell us the brand of your heater.

If you are using a water softener, consider a powered anode. The aluminum/zinc anode might not stop the smell. We don't want you to waste your money.

If you have read our resources and still have trouble figuring out what you need, you can buy a consultation for $40 and we'll scope out your situation and make recommendations.

SKU4, $54
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