Your anode rod should show signs of use, and look slightly “chewed up”; however, if you can see 6 inches of the steel core wire underneath, replace the rod. If the rod consists solely of steel core wire, as a result of corrosion, you should definitely replace it, although the tank’s life might soon be over.Click to see full answer. Herein, how often should an anode rod be replaced?In most cases, you will need to change your water heater anode rod approximately once every 6 years so long as it operates under normal working conditions. However, depending on the composition of your water, you may need to change the anode rod more frequently.Also Know, how tight should anode rod be? Once you get the anode rod inside, tighten it by hand until you cannot anymore. Then, use the socket wrench to tighten it a bit more, about 1/2 turn, 180 degrees. Do not tighten so hard that the water heater begins to move or twist. Hereof, how long should an anode rod last? five years How much does it cost to replace anode rod?If a tank lasts ten years and costs $800 to install, that’s $80 per year. Most tanks come with one anode, which, in most waters will last four years before needing replacement. Say you do charge $100 to replace the rod.