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I put an Anode in a steam boiler

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jhewings
jhewings Member Posts: 139
Two years ago.

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  • jhewings
    jhewings Member Posts: 139
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    Looks like I could have changed it last year
  • random12345
    random12345 Member Posts: 469
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    I'm not a pro, please explain to me like I'm 5 (ELI5), why would you do that? Does it really help slow corrosion?
  • jhewings
    jhewings Member Posts: 139
    edited October 2022
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    I did it because I saw an "installation tips" from a boiler manufacturer (US Boiler I think) which said "consider an anode". I am not sure what is the significance of the condition of the anode after 2 years. i guess I was worried because I had previously rerouted 2 out of 26 radiators with copper connected directly to black iron and the connections are now hard to reach.
  • 109A_5
    109A_5 Member Posts: 1,385
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    Hello @jhewings,

    Wow I don't think they get used up that fast in a hot water tank. I wonder if you maintain a good anode rod if it will extend the life of the boiler.

    I would think with a lack of fresh water it would last forever.
    National - U.S. Gas Boiler 45+ Years Old
    Steam 300 SQ. FT. - EDR 347
    One Pipe System
  • MikeAmann
    MikeAmann Member Posts: 998
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    Try a powered titanium anode. It does not get consumed and has a forever warranty.
    I will give you a link if you ask.
    SuperTechLarry Weingarten
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,702
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    MikeAmann said:

    Try a powered titanium anode. It does not get consumed and has a forever warranty.
    I will give you a link if you ask.


    I would love to use one on my water heater, but I wasn't able to find one compatible with Bradford White heaters where it's combined into the outlet.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • 109A_5
    109A_5 Member Posts: 1,385
    edited October 2022
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    Hello @ChrisJ,
    ChrisJ said:

    MikeAmann said:

    Try a powered titanium anode. It does not get consumed and has a forever warranty.
    I will give you a link if you ask.

    I would love to use one on my water heater, but I wasn't able to find one compatible with Bradford White heaters where it's combined into the outlet.
    https://www.waterheaterrescue.com/products/powered-anodes-for-sale.html

    There may be others out there. I have not tried one.
    National - U.S. Gas Boiler 45+ Years Old
    Steam 300 SQ. FT. - EDR 347
    One Pipe System
  • 109A_5
    109A_5 Member Posts: 1,385
    edited October 2022
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    I wonder if it provides any protection to prevent the boiler rotting out above the water line.

    Also I wonder since hot water tanks are typically glass lined minimizing the Cathode material area anode rods last for years. Boilers are not glass lined so there is an overwhelming amount of Cathode material exposed to the boiler water.
    National - U.S. Gas Boiler 45+ Years Old
    Steam 300 SQ. FT. - EDR 347
    One Pipe System
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,304
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    Hi @109A_5 , Anodes can only protect what they can electrically "see". Anything above the water line is invisible to an anode. Also, think of the anode as a long skinny light bulb. It protects best what it can light up directly. Nooks and crannies don't often get good protection. Also, you nailed it with the mention of relative area. Anodes work nicely when consumed slowly, as in a glass-lined tank, with little exposed steel. With all that cast iron, the anode has to be consumed quickly, producing hydrogen gas and some corrosion byproduct, which likely don't help things.

    Yours, Larry
    jhewings
  • 109A_5
    109A_5 Member Posts: 1,385
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    Hello @Larry Weingarten,

    The reason I wonder about above the water line is two things. First, that is a steam boiler high failure type situation. And second, although I do not know how that anode rod was mounted in that steam boiler it looks all depleted all the way up to the mounting. I assume it was inserted vertically like a hot water tank in which case part of the anode rod it would only be exposed to steam, yet it is all depleted. Maybe the steam washes the material down into the water over time. Maybe it was mounted horizontally. I wish @jhewings would post more about the situation (good or bad).
    National - U.S. Gas Boiler 45+ Years Old
    Steam 300 SQ. FT. - EDR 347
    One Pipe System
  • MikeAmann
    MikeAmann Member Posts: 998
    edited October 2022
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    @ChrisJ
    ChrisJ said:

    MikeAmann said:

    Try a powered titanium anode. It does not get consumed and has a forever warranty.
    I will give you a link if you ask.

    I would love to use one on my water heater, but I wasn't able to find one compatible with Bradford White heaters where it's combined into the outlet.
    Here you go. I am using 2 of these - one on my boiler, the other on my indirect HW heater.
    Check this out, instructions are there for connecting to Bradford White.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/142271777319?_trkparms=amclksrc=ITM&aid=1110006&algo=HOMESPLICE.SIM&ao=1&asc=20200818142401&meid=2e4a60c08484403396073f417b3ddb5a&pid=101124&rk=5&rkt=12&sd=175362282626&itm=142271777319&pmt=0&noa=1&pg=2563228&algv=DefaultOrganicWeb&brand=TEC&_trksid=p2563228.c101124.m2109
  • jhewings
    jhewings Member Posts: 139
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    The anode was mounted horizontally in the tapping opposite the return.