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Mg or Al anodes?

Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,252
How do you know which is the best sacrificial material? Some tanks come with aluminum and some come with magnesium....

I'm looking at the benefits of either. I'd rather have magnesium in the water than aluminum. 
Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!


  • MikeL_2
    MikeL_2 Member Posts: 287
    Consider using a powered anode. They aren't sacrificial and can extend the life of the tank for decades.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,083
    edited August 2020
    Hi, I prefer magnesium. It has a higher driving current. So can protect better. Particularly in clean water. It is not a health risk, Ive measured 2ppm of aluminum in an undisturbed tank, while my state EPA says 1ppm is the limit. I always replace aluminum rods with magnesium, even in new tanks. And powered anodes are great. just $$

    Yours, Larry

  • ch4man
    ch4man Member Posts: 239
    first let me say that I'm terrible at water chemistry...
    but around here the water is so conductive (we are told) that AL rods just deplete in no time flat, leaving the bottom of the tank packed with aluminum hydroxide that causes all kinds of issues.
    magnesium rods prevent that but to many times result in smelly water conditions on well water systems....

    i hate water heaters..... :#
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 2,654
    you sound like a great candidate for a powered anode.
    Larry WeingartenSuperTech
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,252
    I just bought a Bradford White sw-120 indirect. It has "lifetime replacement warranty" and has 3 Al rods. I've had no smell issues with magnesium rods here in the past. I'm going to contact Bradford White and see what they will warranty. I bought this heater solely for the warranty. My 316L stainless HeatFlo didn't make it 7 years before the first leak. Kinda soured me. 
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,574
    One of the reasons I like my Boilermate indirect is because it will never require anode rod replacement.  I've seen a lot of them that have become very old. If the coil fails in mine I won't be too upset, it was a freebie I got from a job where the customer wanted a new combi boiler, despite the indirect being only a few years old 
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