Passivation of anode?

The Tank Passivation of anode?

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    So apparently there is maintenance on water heaters! Ha ha. Thank you for such a great website. My friends are tired of me telling them about their WH. I’ve tried to see pictures of passivation anodes. I think mine is, so here is a picture. My house is a mobile home on a private well. Both new in January 2005. Water tested back in 2008 said “total hardness as CaCo3 in mg/l was 106” and “EC umhos/cm was 300”. Looks like my water is naturally soft? I do not have any type of water softener. I live in the San Joaquin valley in CA. Water heater is a Rheem Warrior 40 gal model #21IR40T on propane manufactured October 2004. My cold water inlet is on the side of the tank 9″ from the drain valve. Water heater looks like its in good shape with no visible rust. I just installed a 100 mesh filter on my well to fight a little black sand and to protect the my new landscaping. I finally got around to installing a “real” drain valve on my water heater. I thought the bottom of my WH was going to be full of sand and calcium. It had maybe 20 to 30 oz of stuff and that number may be a little high. The last time I drained the tank was about 4-5 years ago though the stock valve. The water color this time was a little brown. My anode total length is 44″ and shows only a little corrosion at the bottom after 9 years of service. I pulled out the anode and used my hand under a water spigot to rub off a light brown I think calcium mini “stalactites”. I had to scrap off calcium to get to the metal (I only did this in a few spots). I did all this and then took the pictures. I have a few more but can’t figure how to load more. There is no metal showing near the top, just calcium.

    So here are the questions:
    -I plan on living on the farm till I die and I’m 33, hopefully a long time. Would the powered anode be the best in the long run? How much electricity does it take to run because electricity price is high in CA? (might have to put one in for my brother and dad who have a water softener).
    -My anode is magnesium because of the weld bump. I don’t think I have a combo rod on the hot water port, or do I? Should I get both a combo rod and a regular anode rod? I believe the same way you do and would like to keep aluminum out of my drinking water.
    -Do you have a short dip tube for my cold water port to swirl the bottom of the tank? I flushed mine quite a few times with the new drain valve and still getting stuff coming out.
    -Why the two different thickness of anode rods .84″ and .90″? I do have to angle mine to the corner of the closet a little bit to get mine out.

    Attached files

    Randy Schuyler

    Yes, that’s passivation. I don’t usually recommend powered anodes unless a water softener is being used. I would suggest getting a .84-inch-diameter anode and checking it in six months to see if it, too, passivates. That could happen. If it did, then maybe the powered anode would make more sense. But if the new one works OK, it’s best to stay with sacrificial. The powered anode uses almost no electricity, but it’s expensive to buy, does need electricity to protect the water heater, and once in awhile, one breaks.

    Randy Schuyler

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