Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Bad reaction w anode?!?!

kcopp
kcopp Member Posts: 3,990
edited April 2018 in Domestic Hot Water
I installed this 40 gallon Brad-White indirect in mid Feb..... it replaced a 50 gallon SS Contender. The coil on the SSC 50 developed a pin hole in the coil and was blowing off the boiler PRV. After a week the customer complained of a bubble of air from each faucet when 1st turned on... every time. I flushed out the tank and did get some milky residue. Talked w/ B/W and they (very kindly) sent me out 3 new different metal anode rods to replace the standard Aluminum ones.. Problem is I can’t get the original anodes out....UGH! Totally seized in 2 months.
I had this hanging over my head so I pulled out the B/W and installed a 40 gallon Superstor Pro.... all stainless. Hopefully that works. When draining out the tank this is what I got. Crazy stuff. Anyone seen this before?

Comments

  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited April 2018
    What's your water pressure and does the milky liquid turn clear after few minutes?

    I get water that looks like milk when I drain condensate out of my 100 gallon air compressor tank ( 150 psi). Minute or 2 or 3 or so later it's clear. Mine must have such small bubbles that you can't see them individually , only as a heavy cloud ( milk). Suspect as pressure is released water releases it's dissolved air just like soda does it's CO2.
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,792
    The anode rods would have come out. The trick is to only drain off a little bit of water, just enough to get the pressure out of the tank. Then use a breaker bar with a long cheater extension for maximum leverage.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,990
    I did a 4' pipe on a 1/2" socket wrench.
    2 of us on the pipe.
    Didn't drain the tank completely until I pulled it out.
    I sprayed vinegar on each plug....as directed to do so by B/W.
    Tried ALL 3.... nada.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,990
    Water pressure is not high. 40 psi tops.
    There was a ton of white spooge in the bottom of the tank. After only 2 months! Gallons.... There was something electrochemically going on there.
    Zman
  • bob eck
    bob eck Member Posts: 929
    Was this job on well water? Did you have the water tested? How many years did the old SS indirect water heater last?
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,990
    I asked the homeowner to test the water. They have a softener. Yes well h2o.
    the SSC50 indirect was about 9 yrs old.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 11,998
    I hope you didn't have to eat the BW. At the very least BW should inspect and come up with a diagnosis
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,935
    The softener may be killing you. What's the chloride level in the softened water?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Zmandelta TCanucker
  • delta T
    delta T Member Posts: 870
    Stuff is weird, kind of gelatinous and slimy yes?

    I have seen the same stuff (though not as much!) on well fed systems before. I cannot speak to what it actually is, but every time it showed up we had another company who we knew well that exclusively worked on water filtration and softening systems come take a look and fix the softening system. Problem went away.

    maybe @hot rod could weigh in?
  • bob eck
    bob eck Member Posts: 929
    I emailed photo of yours to Water Soft where we purchase our water treatment equipment from. I will let you know what they say.
    What city are you located in?
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,792
    @kcopp it sounds like you tried everything possible to get the anode out! Perhaps whatever is causing the milky water is also causing the anode to be unable to budge? I'm definitely interested in what is the cause of this and what the solution will be
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,177
    I've seen that milky white sludge before too, on city water I believe. IIRC it looses volume when it dries.

    Darn, now I'm thinking about draining my water heater again. :/

  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,792
    @ratio that was my thought as well! And it's been a couple years since I changed my anode...
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,177
    I just put in a new one, & took the opportunity to put in a larger Mg rod at the same time. Hasn't been a year yet, so I'm probably good, but I want this one to last so I'm going to try and do the maintenance. I've got to change the cartridge in the tempering valve at Dad's house, I'm going to install a Mg rod there too, but I bet that one needs the crap drained out of the bottom too.

    Sometimes I think the old timers had it right with just a pot of water on the stove. About as close to zero maintenance as you can get.

    kcopp
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited April 2018
    Only guessing at how anode rod is installed. But I've had very good luck removing badly rusted car wheel cylinder bleeder bolts with freeze spray. Of course tank wants to be room temp when you do this, and no water near the joint to transfer heat into it.

    I take a can of "canned air" turn it upside down so liquid comes out and slowly dribble it on the bolt for a while till it frosts up. Then QUICKLY put vice grips on it and turn. It has to be quick as bolt warms up and re-expands QUICKLY.

    On cars I use heat on the "nut" portion , but here I suspect that would fracture off any ceramic coating on inside of tank that prevents rusting.
    kcopp
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,546

    Hello, I've had pretty good luck with getting anodes out. I use a torque multiplier that can do 600 foot pounds. (see photo) Tricks I've found to work are to use that breaker bar with a cheater, put good pressure on it and also use a mallet to "tap" on the cheater. It turns you into a human impact wrench. I also use a six point socket and grind the end flat so it grabs the anode better. Also, working the anode tighter and then looser doesn't hurt. I think I've had two of around 4000 not come out for me.

    Yours, Larry
    SuperTechDan Foley
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,838
    kcopp said:

    I did a 4' pipe on a 1/2" socket wrench.
    2 of us on the pipe.
    Didn't drain the tank completely until I pulled it out.
    I sprayed vinegar on each plug....as directed to do so by B/W.
    Tried ALL 3.... nada.

    When something is stuck good it's stuck bad.Unless the freeze (or heat) trick works too much force will break something. When I'm desperate I tap gently with hand powered impact driver. Then I tap gently to turn. You were wise to give up.

  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,990
    These B/W indirects have 3 Aluminum anodes. So if I got 1 out I still had 2 others I needed to get out....Cant mix anode rods either from what I understand.
    The old SS Contender had 1 Magnesium Anode and that lasted a good while. I figured I was set w/ 3 anodes.

    I has lost 3 plus hours on call backs and was not having much luck.... I threw in the towel and got the stainless unit. The customer was getting annoyed.

    .... The B/W rep talked w/ tech support they think its Aluminum Hydroxide caused by harmless bacteria reacting w/ the anode rods..
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 11,998
    @delta T , good info. Thanks
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,362
    As Larry said, try tightening it up first, and then take it out. Most of the time this works, although I don't know why.
    Not sure what the milky stuff is.
    Rick
    Larry Weingarten