Anode – good or bad?

The Tank Anode – good or bad?

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  • #19756
    oppy
    Participant

    First of all, thanks for this great site – lots of great information here!

    I have a 20+ year old State 510e propane water heater and the temperature control isn’t working well – the water is just too hot, even with the adjustment at the lowest position. I had considered replacing the gas valve, but I figured I should make sure the heater itself is worth the investment.

    For starters, I should admit my maintenance program has been pretty much non-existant! But, thanks to this site, I’m going to change my ways. 🙂

    Yesterday, I installed a ball valve at the drain (fortunately I was able to get the plastic drain to work so I could empty the tank) and flushed out 20 years of sediment out of the tank.

    I also removed the anode, and it looks to be intact, so I’m not sure if I should replace it. The underside of the tank is pretty crusty (our basement gets wet in spring so not surprising), so I’m not sure if I should invest the $200 in a gas valve.

    What do you think?

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    #19757
    Larry Weingarten
    Participant

    Hello: That looks like an aluminum anode with very little wear…. not a good thing in a twenty year old heater. If you’re an optimist, (and the combustion chamber looks OK) get a magnesium anode and put it in. Your water must be pretty good and aluminum doesn’t work well in low conductivity water, magnesium works better. Fingers crossed! 😎

    Yours, Larry

    #19758
    oppy
    Participant

    Thanks for the quick reply! I was really surprised it was in pretty good shape also. That’s why I asked – thought maybe I was missing something.

    Anyway, here’s a pic of the combustion chamber. If you think it’s okay, I’ll go ahead and get a new anode. If not, I’ll start shopping for a new heater.

    Attached files

    #19761
    Larry Weingarten
    Participant

    Hello: I don’t see anything scary there. The base of the flue looks good. What I can’t see is the lower edge all around, where tank wall meets the bottom head. Look for serious rusting all around that lower edge. If good, replace the anode. If in worst case, the tank still fails shortly, put the “new” anode in your next heater. 😉

    Yours, Larry

    #19764
    oppy
    Participant

    Okay, thanks for the advice! I’ll order an anode and go from there.

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