The Tank › Electrolysis Powered Anode
- January 5, 2014 at 4:17 pm #20440
We had a new water heater installed back in February. After months of bad smell, we bought a powered anode from Water Heater Rescue (reason: softened water). Since then, water is leaving blue stain in sink (electrolysis causing copper pipe erosion?). The two things different with the new water heater are the powered anode we added and a bonding wire between the pipes required by new code in our state (NJ). Any possibility that the anode and/or bonding wire are causing current where it shouldn’t be?January 7, 2014 at 1:44 pm #20442Randy SchuylerKeymaster
I doubt if either thing is causing the stain, although I’d like to hear from my friend Larry Weingarten on this. A couple thousand people have bought powered anodes from me and nobody else has ever reported this issue. I do not think a powered anode can even do this.
It IS likely something to do with the copper plumbing. I would be more inclined to suspect a reaction between the softener and copper. Salt-based softeners are very corrosive.
It is common for people to make cause and effect deductions, but especially with water heaters, those are not always right.
Randy SchuylerJanuary 7, 2014 at 5:32 pm #20445
Thank you for the reply, Randy. I was wondering about the powered anode and/or bonding wire because they were the two things different–other than the new water heater itself. And, they both had something to do with electric current. The water softener has been the same for many years.
I’ll keep trying to figure it out.
Bill SteeleJanuary 7, 2014 at 6:32 pm #20446Randy SchuylerKeymaster
Larry may have something to offer, but I’m guessing it will be similar. We both know that it’s important to have a little hardness in the water, at least at the beginning, to coat the inside of copper pipes, or the salty water can corrode them. There have been issues of “blue water” around that, sometimes in new construction.
Anodes function by line of sight, meaning that their electricity doesn’t go up pipes and into nooks. We know this because we’ve seen rusting steel nipples on water heaters with good anodes, so the anode clearly didn’t protect the inside of the nipples.
Randy SchuylerJanuary 8, 2014 at 8:59 pm #20451Larry WeingartenParticipant
Hello: Does your water supplier provide a “water quality report”? It would be good to know the water’s pH. Even slightly acidic water is trouble for copper pipe. I might want to test water that’s downstream of any treatment as well. Good to have a baseline of water condition. 😉 I agree with Randy, that current flowing throught he lines is probably not a problem. One thing you didn’t say is if the piping is bonded to the ground in your main electrical panel. If not, there could be some trouble.
Yours, LarryJanuary 9, 2014 at 8:41 am #20452
I have a koi pond, so I have my own water testing kit. The water going to the bathroom sink is highly alkaline.
I’ll have to check on the bonding to the electrical panel, but the only things that had changed when the blue stain started were the new water heater with a bonding wire (old water heater didn’t have one) and the powered anode I added.
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