Should the anode rod be removed from a hot water tank?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by stanleyj, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. stanleyj

    stanleyj New Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    My neighbor says his water treatment person ( culligan) removed the anode from his tank. We are both on well water with a water treatment system that includes a clorine holding tank, sand filter, charcol filter and finally a water softerner. I know softened water kills the anode, but I never heard of just removing it.

    Anyone familiar with this practice?

  2. Mike Swearingen

    Mike Swearingen New Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Independent Real Estate Broker
    On Albemarle Sound In Northeastern NC
    An anode in a water heater is there for a purpose...just like a sacrificial zinc on a boat attract galvanic corrosion caused by electrolysis to corrode the sacrificial water heater anode instead of corroding the water heater tank.
    If the water heater anode is removed, it will greatly reduce the life of the heater. You can replace everything on a water heater except the tank. When the tank goes, you have to replace the whole water heater, not to mention the potential flooding damage if the tank bursts rather than just springing a small leak for a "warning".
    Some anodes react with certain types of well water and can cause a water odor. A different type of anode will resolve that issue. (I forget which, but a pro plumber should know.)
    I wouldn't remove my water heater anode, but that's your call.
    Good luck!
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  4. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Aug 31, 2004
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    Softened water actually has no effect on anode rods of any type. The three things needed to cause a hot water odor is SRB (sulfate reducing bacteria), some sulfate in the water and a (magnesium) rod. Remove any one of the three and walla! no odor.

    Heater tanks are glass lined and as long as that remains intact, there can not be any corrosion of the steel so no anode rod is needed but.... The problem is that all lining seems to be damaged eventually allowing bare steel in contact with water which rusts the steel. So the question is, put up with the odor, remove the rod or replace it with different material but that doesn't always solve the problem, kill the bacteria (which the chlorine should be doing but isn't....) or turn the temp up to 140f and make sure the bacteria is dead. Your/the neighbor's treatment equipment isn't working right or there would be no odor in the hot water due to no bacteria surviving the chlorination.

    Quality Water Associates
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