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Flexible Anode rod

I am in search of a flexible anode for a water heater that has very little head space. I need a zinc/aluminum alloy. The currently installed magnesium rod is allowing bacteria to grow and the result is stinky water.

Anyone know where to find one?

Comments

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,786
    Plenty available, we called them segmented anodes, looked like a string of sausages. Our local wholesaler kept a stock of them, probably due to all the crawl space tank installations :)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,786
    Know also that whole at the top of anode serves as the siphon break and usually eliminates the need for a vacuum breaker, if the old rod had one, best to use the same style.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,217
    @hot rod I found the ones like you showed in your screen shot. I just didn't find them in the zinc/aluminum alloy.

  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,721
    did you try adding a pint to a quart of peroxide?
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,217
    > @kcopp said:
    > did you try adding a pint to a quart of peroxide?

    No I didn't. Not sure if that should be put in a potable water system? I need a permanent solution. I turned the tank up to 140, but that wasn't enough.

    I did just now find a flexible zinc/aluminum allow rod. I think that might do the trick.

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,786
    water heater rescue.com has both type in flexible style

    Electronic anodes also are an option
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 6,564
    @hot rod
    What do you know about electronic anodes. I have a client that has (12) 600-900 gallon tanks that rarely have there anodes changed. Who makes them?
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,786
    Zman said:

    @hot rod
    What do you know about electronic anodes. I have a client that has (12) 600-900 gallon tanks that rarely have there anodes changed. Who makes them?

    Some of the Buderus indirects came with powered anodes. I've never put one in as a retrofit. Larry W would have some opinion on these I'll bet.

    More info here.

    http://www.waterheaterrescue.com/OrderPages/odor2-sales-page.html
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • GBart
    GBart Member Posts: 753
    Raise the temperature to 140F which kills bacteria and install a tempering valve. Anode rods do not kill bacteria per se'. All domestic hot water heaters should be run to 140F minimum period.
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,217
    > @GBart said:
    > Raise the temperature to 140F which kills bacteria and install a tempering valve. Anode rods do not kill bacteria per se'. All domestic hot water heaters should be run to 140F minimum period.

    Zinc is a natural anti-fungal element and can help control (not completely eliminate), the growth of iron bacteria which can cause that rotten egg smell. Zinc oxide and zinc compounds are indigestible to micro-organisms such as bacteria.
    140 degree water is not enough to stop this type of bacteria on its own.

  • GBart
    GBart Member Posts: 753
    edited August 2018
    The anode rod is for corrosion protection. PERIOD

    The rotten egg smell is from electrolysis and needs three ingredients, electrons, sulfur and bacteria to create hydrogen sulfide which gives the smell.

    If you can eliminate any of the three you will kill or negate the smell, changing the anode rod may not solve it.

    There has to be sulfur in the well water so that may not be possible to remove or feasible.

    Sulfate reducing bacteria thrive at 120 and die at 140. Raise the temp, install a S/S tank, install a tempering valve.
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,217
    That was the first thing I did. Moved the temp up to 140 and installed a tempering valve. That didn't solve the problem.
    Further research suggested the bacteria can feed off of magnesium, found in the anode rod. Hence the change to zinc/aluminum.

  • GBart
    GBart Member Posts: 753
    They must have a lot of sulfur in the water, BUT, that can also mean the smell won't go away, especially if there is any hint of it in the cold water. The attached file has a lot of info that may be helpful, going to a non magnesium rod may help, you can cut them, just replace more often but I don't think you're going to find a flexible one.

    Perhaps, run the tank up to 160 that will kill all bacteria, then flush it to coll it down, run it without an anode if need be and see if they get no odor.

    How old is the tank?
    Harvey Ramer
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,786
    more info here, as well as the flexible anode rods in various materials. It also has the siphon break built in.

    http://www.waterheaterrescue.com/Troubleshooting/stinky-water-in-hot-water-heaters.html

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Harvey RamerGBart
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,217
    The tank is only a few weeks old. Prior to this they had an indirect coil in and oil boiler. They rotten egg smell didn't surface till I installed the electric water heater.

    GBart
  • GBart
    GBart Member Posts: 753
    edited August 2018
    WOW, they do have a lot of sulfur in their water, no doubt.

    They make flexible rods like this.

    They seem to all be magnesium or aluminum, neither will help you, sorry. Hopefully they understand this is not your fault, the issue was always there.

    Can you drain the tank and slide it out to replace the anode?

    https://www.supplyhouse.com/Water-Heater-Smart-1027400-42-Blue-Lightning-Aluminum-Zinc-Anode-Rod-Hex-Plug-Flexible-4-sections?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIzd2h2oGG3QIVwYuzCh0fMgc6EAQYAiABEgLKqvD_BwE
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,147
    edited August 2018
    Hello, The powered anodes WaterHeaterRescue sells work nicely for odor, even when a zinc-aluminum rod doesn't. The sulfate reducing bacteria like hydrogen gas, which sacrificial anodes make and powered ones don't seem to.

    I would make sure there is no odor in the cold water. Try boiling some in a tea pot and smell the steam. If no odor, you're good
    STEVEusaPA
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