Powered Anode

The Tank Powered Anode

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  • #19336
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    Participant

    I have a A.O. Smith GCV 50 series 200 hot water heater along with the powered anode SKU27. I installed the tank around November 26, 2010 along with the powered anode about three weeks later. I’m starting to see the hot water (the cold water is perfectly clear) turn to a weak ice tea type of color which is exactly the same way the other two tanks got when they started to fail.

    I have a Kinetico Quadra-Flo quad tank conditioner which filters and softens the water. I’m convinced that the water is being over softened by the Kinetico unit and the amount of salt in the water is just to much for the powered anode to deal with. I have to add a forty pound bag of salt to the brine tank every sixty days give or take a week or two. I’ve talked to other users of water softeners, although not Kinetico owners, and they only add two maybe three forty pound bags during the course of an entire year. This might not be fair comparison, but I find this surprising nonetheless.

    I’m at my wits end with this as I can’t keep replacing hot water tanks every two or three years. The company that installed the Kinetico units’ only suggestion is to use aluminum anode rods. I’m trying to get them to do more but thus far they have been less than cooperative.

    The powered anode’s green indicator has always been on, so the unit is still functioning. Maybe I’m not fully understanding what the powered anode should do because I thought it would protect the tank longer than just about two years and two months. At this point I’m seriously considering going tank less.

    If more information is needed, please let me know.

    Any thoughts would be most appreciated.

    Thank you, Jim

    I’ve included a link to my first thread on this forum as a reference:
    http://www.thetankatwaterheaterrescue.com/forums/forum3/2893.html

    #19337
    Randy Schuyler
    Keymaster

    Jim,

    It should protect the heater no matter how much salt is being added. I am going to send you by e-mail a set of instructions on how to test the powered anode to make sure it is putting out the right amount of current.

    Could you send me an e-mail directly so I can have your e-address and know who you are? The forum isn’t terribly revealing of that kind of stuff.

    Randy Schuyler

    #19339
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    Participant

    Randy,

    Thank you for your response. I’m not sure what your email address is, so I sent you a private message.

    I completely agree, I think it should protect the tank as well. I’m not sure what to make of it. We’ll see what the test will show.

    EDIT: I found your email address and sent you a reply as well as a private message.

    Thank you, Jim

    #19346
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    Participant

    Hello Randy,

    Thank you for the instructions. I will perform the test and get back you with via the forum as soon as I can. I will not increase the output of the powered anode without further instructions, just simply perform the test.

    I have a two gallon hot water expansion tank directly next to my hot water tank connected into the cold water line because that’s where the expansion will take place as per the directions, and other sources, that came with the expansion tank. I have a pressure gauge hooked into the system as well and I can see the pressure rise a little bit in the gauge as the hot water tank heats the water so I know the expansion tank is doing its job. But for troubleshooting this issue I turned off the expansion tank and it made no change in the color of the hot water. I also bypassed the Kinetico water softening unit and ran just on the “normal” city water quality, or lack thereof, and it made no change in the color of the hot water.

    I also have a pressure reduction valve in the system to reduce the incoming street pressure from over 125 PSI down to 60 PSI. Without this pressure reduction valve the Kinetico unit will start to leak out of its seals due to very high incoming city pressure, which is greater than 125 PSI.

    Thank you, Jim

    #19349
    Randy Schuyler
    Keymaster

    Sounds like you’ve done the right things on pressure. Let me know what the output test shows.

    Randy Schuyler

    #19350
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    Participant

    Randy,

    I certainly will keep you, and the rest of the forum, up to date.

    Thank you, Jim.

    #19403
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    Participant

    I apologize for the test results delay; it has been a very busy week.

    Before I started the measurements I made sure the three metal connector loops were bare and free of any material that might have covered the metal during manufacturing. This ensured a good contact between the multi-meter probes and the metal loops.

    In step eight, where the stated testing procedure voltage should be between 2VDC and 4VDC, my reading was 1.82VDC.

    In step eleven, where the stated testing procedure voltage reading should be between 12mVDC and 14mVDC, my reading was 12.9mVDC.

    My reading in step eight is low, below the 2VDC threshold.

    My reading in step eleven is between the values but a little on the low side.

    Thank you, Jim.

    #19405
    Randy Schuyler
    Keymaster

    Hi Jim,

    I myself can’t interpret the results, so I’ve passed them on to the fellow who gave me the test instructions. I’ll let you know what he answers back.

    Randy Schuyler

    #19406
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    Participant

    Randy,

    I understand and appreciate the response; I’ll stand by.

    Thank you, Jim.

    #19416
    Randy Schuyler
    Keymaster

    Just wanted to say that I gave the details of the tech’s answer to Jim privately. If there should be a problem with this device, I don’t have any problem talking about it here, but I’m leery of giving details about how to adjust it here, lest someone should decide to experiment and cause themselves grief.

    We’ve already had a number of people who wanted to get creative with how and where the powered anode was used. I see again and again that people attempt to tackle water heater issues with common sense and their past experiences, and often it doesn’t work because there are too many technical things they don’t know and a lot of it is counter-intuitive.

    Anyway, I expect he will follow the tech’s advice and report back here with the result.

    Randy Schuyler

    #19418
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    Participant

    Hello Randy,

    I completely understand. I want to assure you that I made no attempts at adjusting the power anode; I just followed the instructions and did what it stated and nothing more.

    You should still have my private email address and we can use that should further instructions from the tech suggest making changes to the powered anode.

    I just like to share whatever information you think is necessary with the forums as I’ve had a very positive experience with forums of all kinds over the years and I like to return some helpful information whenever I can.

    Thank you, Jim.

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