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Old 02-27-2010, 09:16 PM   #16
BJ
 
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Sign of deteriorating water heater anode?


Many water heaters are in a location that does not make this feasible, but if yours is not you should do this as standard maintenance to your water heater that will greatly increase its life span.

Change the plastic hose bib out of the tank with a real one that can hold up to use.

I did this about 4 times a year and our water quality is good enough that you really do not need to use a water softener.

Hook a garden hose up to the hose bib on the tank and naturally run it into a toilet or other location. Turn the hose bib on the bottom of your water tank fully open and let it run for a few minutes. Every time I do this I get at least a half gallon of white crude that has built up in the bottom of the tank.

Even with our water quality he told me that it is not uncommon for them to at first think that the bottom anode has burned out. Then when they attempt to unscrew the anode from the tank they find out that the lime has built up inside the tank to the point the Anode has basically become locked in and it's new water heater time.

How dangerous is a water heater? The MythBusters removed all of the safety devices from a water heater and placed it in a simulated 2 story house. When the water heater blew it went completely through the roof and up at least another 30 feet past that. THey must design the tanks so that if the do blow the botom of the tank will give first becasue it looked like a rocket as the steam blew out the botom and shot the water heater straight up.

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Old 02-28-2010, 07:06 AM   #17
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Sign of deteriorating water heater anode?


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Originally Posted by arcticbouncer View Post
Most of the time the anode rod is not needed it is there because it is a sacareficial element that will not always be consumed. Is your water agressive or acidic Ph, low Alk, -charged? MIght just be a extra part/ not needed .
In a house with copper plumbing the (steel) hot water tank is at risk for electrolytic corrosion. It takes a little knowledge of physical chemistry to understand that when two different metal items are electrically connected (bonded) and then immersed in not perfectly pure water, the more active metal has a tendency to dissolve. The steel tank is more active than the copper pipes. The magnesium anode is more active than the steel tank.

The only alternative protection for the tank, should the glass or porcelain lining be imperfect or breached, is dense lime deposits that adhere to the inside surface, which is common in some parts of the world. This kind of protection is not had if the lime cracks up from expansion and contraction at the bottom of the tank as the burner flame plays on the tank down there.

A plastic garden hose screw on cap (they come with daisy chainable lawn sprinklers) will cover any leak in the water heater drain valve saving the need to replace the lattter with something more robust.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 02-28-2010 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 02-28-2010, 12:33 PM   #18
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Sign of deteriorating water heater anode?


Does it happen as soon as you turn the water on or does it take a while (5-10 seconds )to happen?
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Old 02-28-2010, 12:52 PM   #19
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Sign of deteriorating water heater anode?


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Originally Posted by plumberinlaw View Post
Does it happen as soon as you turn the water on or does it take a while (5-10 seconds )to happen?
Electrolytic corrosion goes on continuously as long as the system is filled with water. Fortunately it takes years before metal wears thin somewhere and a leak develops.

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