water tank questions

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by davesnothome, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. davesnothome

    davesnothome DIY Member

    Ontario, Canada
    While taking off the old 1/2" copper that used to connect to my water heater (rental unit) undoing the line on the top coming out of the tank the whole thing came undone the internal fitting as well. Attached to that was what looked to be an anode to remove particals from the hot water tank. It was caked with what looked like calcium to the point where I could hardly get it out of the tank. The rod looked to be about 3/16 in diameter and about 3ft long attached to the upper pipe fitting. Long story short...When taking it out a big chunk of the gunk that was attached to the rod fell off back into the tank...I continued to take out the anode and cleaned all that white calcium off the rod and re-installed the fitting and my new 3/4 supply and return. Question is, will the pieces that fell off get caught in my pipes later on or is there a way to remove them from the tank. I drained the tank....but nothing came out the bottom. Or will they re-attach themselves to the anode since I cleaned it off?
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    They will just sit on the bottom along with other stuff...was it a Bradford White heater...or an old Low*s heater
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    He would not if it was a heater from that store, unless he knew that they sold Whirlpool heaters. And the brand is immaterial anyway.
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    New England
    FWIW, the anode rod in a glass-lined steel tank is not a filter...it is a sacrificial anode. It literally gets eaten away in the water bath over time. It is there to help prevent the same action from happening to the tank...it is just that the metal in the anode is more susceptable to being used up so the steel doesn't become iron oxide (rust). If the anode is replenished periodically, the tank is likely to last longer, but few people do. The metal in the anode is more reactive than the iron, so it goes first. WHen it's gone, things then start attacking the tank lining. Normally, the things don't require cleaning, only replacing.
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