Anode rod replacement surprise

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by Smith333, May 3, 2021.

  1. Smith333

    Smith333 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I recently replaced the anode rod in my 6-year old water heater. The old one was mostly intact, but it was covered in scale. I found this to be surprising because I've had a functioning water softener the entire time. I do periodic titration tests to make sure the softener is working, and have never had a test that showed any hardness in the water. Can there be another source of scale?
     

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    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    Out of curiosity, if you haven't thrown it away yet, takes some of the scale, place it in a glass bowl, and cover it with some vinegar then leave it for a day or two to see if it dissolves.
     
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  4. fitter30

    fitter30 Well-Known Member

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  5. Smith333

    Smith333 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I stuck the end of the old rod in a jar of vinegar and by the next morning all of the scale had fallen off, some had dissolved I assume. Since the rod is nearly intact under the scale, I have to assume that the water softener malfunctioned for a period of time right after I installed the water heater in 2016. I'll check the new rod in a few months to see what happens.
     
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    Water is sometimes called the universal solvent. Now, it can take eons, but many things will (eventually) dissolve in water. If the water softener was not installed when the house was built...there will be some minerals deposited in the pipes, and over time, softened water will dissolve them, and the environment of the WH can cause them to redeposit.
     
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