Anode Rod Inspection
May I inspect the Anode Rod on a gas water heater myself? I just had a SEARS Kenmore water heater(MODEL NO 153.331572, 50 Gallon) installed and I want to do preventive maintenance. The Owner's Manual(p.26) says 'Inspection should be conducted by calling the Sears Service Center for an authorized contractor'. If I may do it my self, what is the procedure? Also, on a related matter, does connecting the cold water inlet and hot water outlet pipes on a water heater with a copper wire increase the life of the water heater?