The Tank › dielectric failure in softened water system
- October 21, 2005 at 3:01 am #4070springcresParticipant
About 2 1/2 years ago, our then 1-year-old gas hot water tank failed at the dielectric connection on the cold water side. It rusted thru and shot off the tank one morning — fortunately I was home to turn off the valve and mop up the mess. Fast forward to now, and the current 2 1/2-year-old hot water tank looks like it’s going to suffer the same fate — rusted dielectric connection on the cold water side. An electrician tried to tell us to disconnect all electrical grounds to any cold water pipes in the house and that this is where our electrolysis problem was originating. We suspect our water softener. We use potassium chloride in it. Could this be causing these rapid dielectric failures? We can’t afford to buy a new hot water tank annually or biannually and would like to solve the problem this time around. Thanks!October 21, 2005 at 12:03 pm #4071Larry WeingartenParticipant
Hello: It sounds lke you have copper plumbing. If it is a solid copper pipe all the way to the meter than the piping is grounded there. (if not, drive a grounding rod by where the water line enters the building) It is good practice to run a heavy wire (#6 in our area) from the cold water line to the main electrical box ground too. I’d add a #6 copper wire as a jumper between hot and cold just above the heater also. If it is stray currents you’re dealing with, this will allow them to bypass the heater.
Instead of using conventional dielectrics, try lined steel nipples from the heater, then copper flex connectors. Most flexes have a dielectric built into the end. The advantage is it exposes no steel to the water, which conventional dielectrics are guilty of. 🙁 Hope that helps.
Yours, LarryOctober 21, 2005 at 2:16 pm #4072springcresParticipant
Thanks for the info. This is most vexing! I’ll pass this along to my hubby.
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