Powered anode rod and calcium deposits.

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Clyde Logan

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80 gallon AO Smith residential electric water heater and well water. The water heater is 9 years old. Starting with year 2 I have replaced the anode rod religiously every year and flushed the tank. Each year the removed aluminum rod is completely encrusted with heavy calcium deposits that even wire brushes will not remove. I have changed heating elements a few times and each time the failed elements also have heavy calcium deposit buildup. The water has no sulfur smell.

I bought a powered anode rod (Corro-Protec) but am reluctant to install it since I cannot find information about how it and calcium will interact. I would like to know what happens to the calcium in the water tank that now is deposited on the standard anode rod. Anyone know, or have other pertinennt information or advice to share? Thank you.
 

Clyde Logan

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Thank you. I have watched and read the advertising stuff. I was looking for a scientific explanation. Something more than Corro-Protec’s explanation that it “destabilizes the calcium molecule.”

I am just assuming right now that if calcium compounds in incoming water are not deposited on the standard anode rod that they pass through the water heater and reach the house plumbing and are deposited at least partially inside pipes, connectors, valves and such.

I’m trying to determine whether it is better to keep the tank’s sacrificial anode rod to remove calcium and protect the house hot water plumping from deposits versus allowing calcium to pass through the tank into the hot water house plumbing with a powered anode rod.
 

Jeff H Young

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We still get calcium ( i assume) build up and sediment in bottom of tanks here on city water . I got 5 years out of original rod but it was pretty eaten up not just a build up So I gues mine did its job by disintegrating and yours dosent it just builds up ?
 

Jeff H Young

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I wouldnt know if a powered anode is always worth it all i know is I never had one or installed one. But Im almost 100 percent working on city water
 

Sarg

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Suggestion = Next time you service your unit pull the lower element and remove the sediment with a wet vac. Attach a length of automotive heater hose. I do mine every six months checking the anode condition through the element holes ... I replace both elements every time.
 

Reach4

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Idea: if you can measure the current going into the anode (I would guess a few milliamps), you can look for a long-term drop. The current would go down because you are attracting ions to the shell of the WH, and those may insulate some. The anode attracts electrons. So I don't see that tending to lime up.

I will comment that you don't need high torque to put an anode in. But you need high torque to get the one from the factory out.
 

Clyde Logan

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Thanks for the responses, Considering it some more, I am just going to go with regularly replacing the aluminum anode rod, and maybe scheduling it to do every 6 month instead of every year. And as suggested, start to suction out the tank base and replace the elements regularly as well. For me it is a quick and easy job since the tank is in my garage with no obstructions around it, and nothing to be harmed if it does start to leak.
 

Jeff H Young

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dang every 6 monthes replace elements and anode wow I only changed one in my life it did look bad though it was 5 years old.
Anyway with these fancy electric rods how often do you toss those? should you still expect build up
 

Sarg

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dang every 6 monthes replace elements and anode wow I only changed one in my life it did look bad though it was 5 years old.
Anyway with these fancy electric rods how often do you toss those? should you still expect build up
Just to repond ..... I apparantly have very "reactive" well water and usually the sediment is up to the bottom element within six months. Flushing the pressure tank .... replacing the elements .... and cleaning out the heater tank with magnesium anode replacement when required is not expensive and gives piece of mind. Hot water is essential and having issues in February is no fun.
 

Reach4

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1. Normally aluminum anode rods are used to reduce generation of H2S. Magnesium rods protect the WH better.

2. I agree that changing an anode every six months seems like way overkill.

3. My powered anode is no longer sold. If I were buying a new one, I would be thinking about one of the A O Smith units with the longer electrode. One of the items I looked into a while back is https://www.supplyhouse.com/AO-Smith-100305721-Product-Preservers-Powered-Anode-Rod-System

I suspect that http://productpreservers.com/ is related to AO Smith, but I am not sure.

Here are some more links that I have not tested lately:
Powered Anode, Shielded,.118 Diameter X 31.5
SKU: 100111286 AO Smith CURRENT LIKE!

https://www.hotwater.com/lit/spec/com_accessories/apcpp18003.pdf (19+ inch)
https://www.hotwater.com/lit/brochures/apcpp18002.pdf brochure overall
#100324744 is supposedly for bigger

https://www.gsistore.com/products/lochinvar-a-o-smith-100305721 shows power supply and more.

4.http://waterheatertimer.org/Replace-anode-rod.html has some useful anode info.

5. I wrote a post on powered anodes a while back. https://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?threads/powered-anodes.102546/
 

Sarg

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"2. I agree that changing an anode every six months seems like way overkill."

magnesium anode replacement when required
 
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RichPKui

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80 gallon AO Smith residential electric water heater and well water. The water heater is 9 years old. Starting with year 2 I have replaced the anode rod religiously every year and flushed the tank. Each year the removed aluminum rod is completely encrusted with heavy calcium deposits that even wire brushes will not remove. I have changed heating elements a few times and each time the failed elements also have heavy calcium deposit buildup. The water has no sulfur smell.

I bought a powered anode rod (Corro-Protec) but am reluctant to install it since I cannot find information about how it and calcium will interact. I would like to know what happens to the calcium in the water tank that now is deposited on the standard anode rod. Anyone know, or have other pertinent information or advice to share? Thank you.
Sounds like your public water supplier either sources or processes you water in an "Unusual" manner. My water heater is 3 years old and my heaters only last 5-6 years, IF drained and double flushed every year. I put in a power anode and now have 4 dripping leaks; even the two untouched shut-off valves. the new teflon tape didn't help. Super torqued the leaker and stopped one. Denver water isn't processed much, just filer out the big chunks and dump in the chlorine. Doesn't shorten users life span too much .....
I think the power anode is the root cause of these leaks. Got to get 2 rolls of tape and disassemble AGAIN.
 
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dpw-ct

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80 gallon AO Smith residential electric water heater and well water. The water heater is 9 years old. Starting with year 2 I have replaced the anode rod religiously every year and flushed the tank. Each year the removed aluminum rod is completely encrusted with heavy calcium deposits that even wire brushes will not remove. I have changed heating elements a few times and each time the failed elements also have heavy calcium deposit buildup. The water has no sulfur smell.

I bought a powered anode rod (Corro-Protec) but am reluctant to install it since I cannot find information about how it and calcium will interact. I would like to know what happens to the calcium in the water tank that now is deposited on the standard anode rod. Anyone know, or have other pertinennt information or advice to share? Thank you.
I’m curious how this worked for you. I also have an 80 gallon ao smith (LTE-80D) on well water got it in Oct 21. I just got home from being away for four months and for the first time I had a strong rotten egg smell, and then the hot water started coming out of tub brown with tons of sediment usually I have some sediment, but I’ve never seen anything like this. .

I flush the tank a couple of times. The sediment seems to be gone or perhaps on the the bottom of the tank and the smell is down but not gone. Was wondering if you have any recommendations I have never changed the anode. I don’t have much clearance above the tank so might need to use a segmented replacement or try the powered. Any suggestions ?

How did you see sediment in tank and clean it out?

Thanks
 

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dpw-ct

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If I leave for a couple of months, is it best to turn the electric water heater off but leave it full of water? Or is something else recommended.
 
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