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anode question

I wanted to check this out a few years ago, but today was the day.  With the amount of crud on this thing, does it still work?  I scraped off what I could and put it back in, but is this normal?  And since it is still mostly still there, do I need to replace it, or what?  I suppose that most folks don't even look at anodes ever, but I did.  It's set to 140 degrees, tempered down to 120.

I appreciate any and all points of view.




  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,086
    Replace It

    The cost of an annode rod is very little compared to the cost of labor for replacing a warranty tank or a tank that needs to be replaced because it's protection (annode rod) is in question.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • MikeyB
    MikeyB Member Posts: 696
    Anode Rod

    Hey Larry, it looks like your anode rod is Passivated, meaning there looks like there is a good amount of calcium carbonate coating on the rod, which might prevent further corrosion of the sacrificial metal. The rod might look ok but it might not be protecting the tank, you can test the rod for passivation by bending the rod, if scale flakes off the bend, the rod has passivated. By the way this info is from a great book I have been reading called The Water Heater Workbook, check it out in the book store
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,142
    edited October 2010

    Hello:  I'll guess that you have an aluminum anode there.  The quantity of white goo on the rod is telling.  If you have a look at the top of the rod and find it flat, that's another clue that it's aluminum.  Magnesium is the other main anode metal and usually there is a welded bump in the middle of the hex head.  Also, aluminum is soft and bends easily.  Magnesium is springy.

    I don't much like aluminum in the water so would replace it with magnesium if needed.  I've never seen aluminum pills at the health food store  :~)

    Yours,  Larry
  • Larry (from OSHA)
    Larry (from OSHA) Member Posts: 716

    I've replaced the crusty aluminum anode with a nice new magnesium one and the next time I flush the tank, I don't expect to see the milky looking water that has usually been present.  The old anode was five years old and I hope to get a similar life out of the new one.

    Thanks for everyone's input and help.

This discussion has been closed.