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Old 09-27-2010, 04:06 AM   #1
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Water Heater Anode

This is for those that have one........This is a pic of my anode rod for my water heater, it is the original one from 2006. I posted the same pic a year ago and compared it to a brand new one in the package.
The reason it is out of the water heater is because I have semi retired my camper and gave up my seasonal site, but we are still in the campground enjoying the rest of the camping season.
Just thought I would pass this on so, it can be used as an inspection tool for comparison for others.
Although the cost for a new one is approx $10-$15 bucks mine is still good according to the service department at the dealer.
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Old 09-27-2010, 04:30 AM   #2
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Where does the cruddy white stuff go in our H/W system? Never seems to show up in my H/W outlets. When I take out the drain plug from the H/W tank it (white junk) sure flowes out! Youroo!!
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:04 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youroo View Post
Where does the cruddy white stuff go in our H/W system?
Luckily/apparently the white crud from the anode is heavier
than water so it stays in the bottom of the tank until you
flush it out during your fall winterization.

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Old 09-27-2010, 07:26 AM   #4
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Wade, your anode rod is in great shape to be 4 years old. You oughta get 10 years or so out of that puppy.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:12 AM   #5
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Wade, your anode rod is in great shape to be 4 years old. You oughta get 10 years or so out of that puppy.
Chap, I think the anode rod is in better shape then my camper at the moment
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:46 AM   #6
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So this is the rod inside the large plug on the hotwater heaters?
What is the purpose of the rod?
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:56 AM   #7
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I believe that there is some static electricity generated when the water is heated and the rod 'gives itself up' so that the tank itself doesn't get eaten through during the process. I think that this is a function of the material the tank is made of. Home water heaters have an anode rod as well. As was stated, it is only $10-$15 for a new one so, to be on the safe side, I change mine every year. IMHO, cheap insurance.
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:07 AM   #8
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It's as the name implies. It's a sacrificial anode. Depending on the makeup of the water it's going to corrode something and it's better for it to corrode the anode than the tank itself. Aluminum tanks (Atwood) doesn't require an anode rod.
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:41 AM   #9
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I checked mine & flushed the tank. I noticed most of the erosion was in the same area as Rockwood06's (but not as much).

I cleaned the rod w/ emery cloth & wire brushed the threads before reinstalling.
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:47 AM   #10
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This looks like the one I just pulled out of my 2011---same spots eroded. I have a question about using thread tape. Should you use it or not? Does it affect the flow of current to the anode, which cause the sacrificial part to decay? Thanks,
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:51 AM   #11
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There was pipe sealant on the threads of mine. I used it again rather than tape. They were always worried @ work about pieces of tape getting into valves, etc.

I don't think there is any current to worry about.

http://www.waterheaterrescue.com/pag...er-anodes.html
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:14 AM   #12
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I cleaned the rod w/ emery cloth & wire brushed the threads before reinstaalling.
I just rinse my anode rod with water, and do clean the threads with a wire brush before reinstalling it after I winterize.....I don't want to leave that hole open for some little critter to crawl in there.

You do need a current flow between the rod and the tank for it to function properly, but there should be plenty after the threads cut through the tape when reinstalling. I use thread tape without a problem, and the rod continues to work.

As far as stopping up the lines, don't get over enthusiastic with the tape, and it should be fine. I figure the worst that could happen would be a stopped up faucet aerator.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:30 AM   #13
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I remove the Anode to drain and flush the tank at least 4 times a year. I replace the Anode every year. It's only a few bucks.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:33 AM   #14
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Thanks. I always have a roll in my onboard tool box. Appreciate the feedback. Later,
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:38 AM   #15
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When metal and water meet there is usually a process called
electrolysis that happens.
Electrolysis can eat metal like rust. Boat motors and boat outdrive
units have extra replaceable pieces of zink on them.
The idea is the zink is a sacrificial metal and the electrolysis will eat the zink first.
Same thing in a water heater. Some WH tanks are "glass lined"
and don't have a zink anode. That simply means they are porcelain
coated inside. Others are galvanized and do have
a sacrificial anode. If you have an anode it will be attached
to the inside of the drain plug.

Unless the anode is 2/3 gone there is no good reason to replace it.
A new anode won't do any better job of protecting your tank than
a used one that is still in good shape.

Depending on the ph and salt content of your water and how much you use your
rig and the alignment of the planets an anode might be 2/3 gone
in one season or it might last several years.

You can check it when you drain your WH tank this fall.
If you're full timers who don't drain the tank I'd suggest checking
it every 6 months until you get a feel for how fast it's dissolving.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:39 AM   #16
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FYI, I use teflon tape every year I install the rod, but I clean the threads after the rod is removed so it is clean in the Spring. I leave the rod out during the Winter but I install a rubber plug during Winter stroage. The plug I use is the typy that is used in large test tubes or chemistry labs they are tapered.
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:15 AM   #17
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the rod will disappear based on the amt of menerals in the water. (if this link works) this should show the relative meneral content in north america.
Water Softeners Compared - Comparing the top brands and methods of water softening

i believe if u probe around that web site, it will tell u how to determine when the anode needs changing.

i don't see anything wrong with teflon tape in that service. i know where i worked, we didn't want to see it in one of our process units. it tends to melt around 400 deg and invariably someone would use it to install a thermowell in a hot line. when it melted, we would get leaks.
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:47 AM   #18
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when i stated "the rod will dissapear" is misleading. if i remember what i read right, the sacrificial metal is over another base metal rod. you should be able to see where some of the sacrificial metal has eaten away showing another metal on the anode rod.
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:49 PM   #19
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when i stated "the rod will dissapear" is misleading. if i remember what i read right, the sacrificial metal is over another base metal rod. you should be able to see where some of the sacrificial metal has eaten away showing another metal on the anode rod.
That is correct. When you start to see that metal base rod show up, then it is time to replace your anode rod.
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:42 PM   #20
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Rule of thumb, when it's 3/4 way through, replace it.

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