chronic anode degradation – water softener – powered anode?

The Tank chronic anode degradation – water softener – powered anode?

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  • #20148
    slinke
    Participant

    Thanks for the reply, Randy. Perhaps after four rust events and three water heaters in the last ~11 years, I am just hyper-sensitive about installing a brand new water heater that already has signs of rust, even though it is likely just on the surface. I will email you to get the instructions on testing the powered anode. Thanks!

    #20149
    slinke
    Participant

    Out of curiosity, I did my best (without a “snake camera”) to examine the inside of my leaking 5.5-year old tank. I shined a light into one port and pointed it in various directions while looking through another port. The entire length of the seam running vertically up the tank, where the tank cylinder was welded together, was rust colored although it did not look that bad. There was also a lot of what appeared to be rust sediment in the bottom. The rest of the tank surface and the surface of the exhaust pipe generally looked OK.

    However, there was one spot on the tank surface about 1/3 of the way down from the top that looked like a mineral formation you might see at Yellowstone. It was sort of orange-yellow in color and protruded out of the surface. I am wondering whether that was the leak point. Of course, I could probably only see about 25% of the surface through the little ports.

    #20151
    Larry Weingarten
    Participant

    Hello: Anodes use minerals in the water to plate areas than need protection. I’d guess the anode “saw” a defect in the glass lining there and plated it out, or sent more current there to prevent rusting. Normally tanks don’t fail on the sidewalls, but rather at welds and often at the bottom weld where the bottom head of the tank meets sidewalls. That area is difficult for the anode to protect.

    Yours, Larry

    #26729
    slinke
    Participant

    The water heater tank in which I installed the powered anode about 8-1/2 years ago now recently leaked. That was longer than the previous few water heaters, which only lasted about 3-5 years, but I was hoping for more time.

    I installed the powered anode into a new replacement water heater (Rheem). For the first few days, the green light was on, and it was reading 1.85V at the red test lead and 0.13mV at the yellow test lead. However, I noticed this morning that the green light did not appear to be on, and the reading was only 0.35V at the red test lead and -0.13mV (negative) at the yellow test lead.

    Does anybody have any idea what might be going on with these seemingly strange readings?

    For reference, my previous tank failures became evident when the water became rusty, but the tank never actually leaked. This latest tank failure was a major leak in which water was bubbling up around the periphery of the top end of the exhaust flue in the middle of the heater. I am not sure whether these different failures have any useful meaning.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 4 weeks ago by slinke.
    #26731
    Randy Schuyler
    Keymaster

    This post was answered directly by e-mail.

    Randy Schuyler

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