Black, slimy anode rod

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by poe, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. poe

    poe New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Ohio
    Yuck, I can't believe I was showering with water that this rod was soaking in. Occasionally, when I would turn on the hot water in the bathtub, it would be black for a few seconds and then run clear or have black specks in it, that's what lead me to remove the anode rod. I have softened water, and a private well. The previous owner wrote on the tank "replaced with aluminum anode rod, 1999." Is this Manganese? For now, I just left the anode out, what do you guys suggest I do?

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  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,068
    Location:
    IL
    I don't know if it is manganese. I wish I knew of a simple test to tell.

    I would suspect it is a sulfur form. Usually if you have much manganese you also have iron to a greater extent. I had sulfur smell from the water -- maybe only the hot water.

    Congratulations on getting your anode out. Impact wrench I presume. You do not need to use nearly as much torque when you plug in the new anode-- I think I did it hand tight followed by about 1/2 turn with a wrench. It has been a while. I did watch for leaks initially. Use teflon tape. While a good electrical connection must exist, the threads will cut through points on the teflon very effectively.

    I had black stuff from pipes and when I cleaned the water heater. My toilet tanks were red inside. I shocked the well.I washed out the old water heater in several steps, and I put in a powered anode. There was already a softener in place, but I did treat the softer with a dose of iron out to get it cleaned. I put in a sulfur and iron filter, and that solved all smells and colors. All is good now.
  3. poe

    poe New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Ohio
    Thanks for the response Reach4. I used a cheater bar attached to my breaker bar and had a friend hold the tank. I soaked it in some PB Blaster for the last month. For now I just capped the tank. I did have a sulfur smell, just from the hot water. I bought the house back in 2006 and the hot water was only used occasionally because I didn't really move in until last year. There was never any smell or black soot before I actually moved in and I did use the hot water for showers and laundry about twice a month as I was living elsewhere. The tank is old and can't have much life left in it anyway, I'm thinking about just leaving the rod out, still looking for advice/opinions.
  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,068
    Location:
    IL
    My advice would be to get your water tested for iron and sulfate and manganese and maybe more. http://www.watercheck.com/products.html is a good source. They go by more than one name.

    I went with e-watertest.com which tested for a zillion things but not sulfate. Also they were slow delivering results. Altenatively, you can go to Hach and get their 5-B test for hardness, and their iron test strips. Those tell you most of what you need to know IMO, but they also offer http://www.hach.com/pathoscreen-pp-20ml-pk-100/product?id=7640249612&callback=qs

    I bought Seachem multitest iron test, which I really like. It was inexpensive. If you do not have rust staining in your toilet tanks, then you probably don't need an iron test. A softener can deal with some amount of iron on its own. I sent you a PM.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014
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