Convert Anode to Powered Anode

The Tank Convert Anode to Powered Anode

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  • #14589
    ryarmusch
    Participant

    I have just set up water softener system last year, now I find that my hot water tank anode will be consumed at a much more rapid rate and expected life is now 2 years.

    After replacing the anode last year I am looking at the Powered Anode System but in asking around no one has seen or heard of it and I am looking for more valid information about this product before spending $250.00 without 100% assurance I will not have to do this repair again.

    Rheem SP11309C R Tech Magnesium Anode Rod 0.7″X44″

    Water Heater Model # SG40T12A

    #14590
    Randy Schuyler
    Keymaster

    Well, I sell them. What do you want to know about them?

    That said, I can tell you that more than 400 people have bought them, mostly for odor, but nearly always for use in heaters with softeners. It nearly always solves the odor issue and nobody has reported back that their water heater rusted out.

    It’s been three or four years since I started selling them, so I think they do a pretty good job of protection. The liability if they didn’t was a big initial concern of mine.

    They have a seven-year warranty, but the factory says they should last 50 to 100 years. The electrode is titanium and there is an insulated weight on the bottom end of it.

    The power draw is very, very low. Someone recently put a Kill-O-Watt meter on one and it read zero.

    It has an LED on the hex nut that indicates if it’s working or not. A very few have quit working after a year or two, so it’s good to not completely ignore it. I replace those immediately and pay for shipping going out and for the return of the defective anode.

    Rather more have been dead on arrival thanks to UPS, but I wrap them better now, so that hasn’t happened in awhile.

    Randy Schuyler

    #15535
    MikeP
    Participant

    Sooo, pending any failure of the powered anode rod, basically when your tank finally fails (either from inside or outside failure (gas)) you can pull the rod and use it in the new tank – basically a lifetime anode rod?? Or are there risks of re-using it after being in service for a long time (embrittlement, etc of removing it and reinstalling it).

    #15538
    Randy Schuyler
    Keymaster

    The only issue I see is one of height. You have to stretch out the powered anode electrode to about the height of the heater. If the heater breaks and you buy a shorter heater, then the electrode is stretched too long and may lie on the tank bottom. The thing does have an insulated weight, but I wouldn’t call that optimal. It’s better if it hangs taut.

    Especially with electric heaters, there might be an issue with a slack electrode contacting a heating element.

    I confess I’m speculating a little here. The makers envisioned it being used in a certain way, and from what I’ve seen, they didn’t test for every possible variation — which would cover a lot of ground. People have wanted to use it far outside its intended parameters.

    So pardon my blathering: if you can put a used powered anode in a new tank of the same height, all should be well. In other applications, probably nobody knows for sure.

    Randy Schuyler

    #15557
    MikeP
    Participant

    So no one has experience with the heat causing something like embrittlement when the rod is removed, etc. My thought was that if indeed these are “life time” then when the heater finally fails, like in my case the combustion chamber corroding before the heater, the I just swap the anode. Otherwise, since I don’t have a problem with smelly water, rather than buy a “life time” powered anode, it would make more sense to just check and replace anodes every 5-7yrs (if they last that long).

    #15739
    ryarmusch
    Participant

    You have made a statement Nov 30th, 2010 04:55 pm post, They have a seven-year warranty, but the factory says they should last 50 to 100 years. So who is the manufacturer of this Powered Anode System?

    #15740
    Randy Schuyler
    Keymaster

    That is a closely guarded secret, as are the names of my other suppliers.

    As to Mike P., “if they last that long” is exactly it. More likely, you’ll get half that life or less in softened water. But beyond the economics of cost of powered vs. cost of sacrificial, there is the issue of the owner remembering to change the anode in time. If he doesn’t, it’s a water heater he’s replacing and not an anode.

    Randy Schuyler

    #15889
    rvfool
    Participant

    How does this affect the manufactor warrenty?

    #15896
    Randy Schuyler
    Keymaster

    I’ve never been able to get an answer from anyone in the industry on that. I’ve asked some people and they just don’t answer.

    My feeling is that they can’t say it voids the warranty, but they don’t want to encourage anyone to use them because they work too well. Interestingly, A.O. Smith now sells a high-end model with a powered anode, too.

    I answered your other post just previous to this one. There, you can see my solution to the warranty issue. A heater is not going to rust and break with a powered anode in it, but it might break due to factory defect. It is well to be ready for that possibility.

    Randy Schuyler

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