The Tank › Water Heater + Soft Water = Trouble?
- April 14, 2015 at 9:32 pm #21877
We bought a new house in 2006 w/75 gal AO Smith water heater. We installed a Kinetico soft water system soon after moving in. I don’t remember how long after, but we started having problems with plumbing fixtures, washing machine, etc. Your website helped me realize it was the anode rod causing all our problems, and it took me a while to convince my plumber to check the anode rod. When he finally did we discovered it was in pretty bad shape. Since then we’ve replaced the anode rod several times, and we even replaced the water heater in 2009. We kept replacing the anode rods, but we are still having a lot of problems (we also flushed the water heater). We have had to replace shower heads, faucets and we continue to clean out screens on faucets and the washing machine. The problem is that no matter how frequently we replace the anode rod and flush the water heater we are still getting a lot of sediment going through the plumbing system. We have showers that can’t be used and my washing machine has flooded my laundry room a couple of times. At this point Iâ€™m considering replacing the anode rod with your powered anode. My question is: 1.Will this solve my problem? 2. Are there any drawbacks to having a powered anode? 3. I will also replace my water heater- what do I need to take into consideration when buying a new water heater if we’re going to replace the anode rod 4. you have two types of powered anodes–I want to make sure I buy the correct one 5. Will having the powered anode stop the sediment going through our plumbing?
Thank you so much.April 15, 2015 at 1:29 pm #21878
The powered anode may be one part of the fix, but I suspect there is another piece to this. Do you have a recirculation line?
Randy SchuylerApril 15, 2015 at 3:15 pm #21879
Yes we do. I realized at some point that when it’s plugged in the problem was 10 times worse so I unplugged it I always have to double check after the plumber makes a service call because his assistant will forget and re-plug in the recirculating pump :(. Right now it’s unplugged. Thank you for your help.April 15, 2015 at 3:35 pm #21880
It’s not unusual for sediment to be drawn backward off the bottom of the heater through a recirc during times of heavy use. Usually there is a check valve on the return line just before the water heater to prevent that. My mentor Larry Weingarten has always recommended using a spring check instead of a swing check because the latter can stick open, but he’s the only one I’ve ever seen do it.
Because of the rapid consumption of anodes with the softener, I’d suggest getting a powered anode, but somebody will have to replace that check valve to solve the sediment issue. I have a page in my Commercial Heaters section on proper recirc setup, and you can find pictures of spring and swing check valves in the Lingo section of Troubleshooting.
Randy SchuylerApril 15, 2015 at 5:51 pm #21881
Thanks Randy. I will take a look at those pages. I went through your products page this morning on your website and purchased a 30-minute technical assistance fee as well as the water heater maintenance book. I’m hoping to talk to one of you about which power anode I need to purchase. I’m also thinking I need to replace my water heater since it’s already six years old and we’ve had the sediment issues with it. I have a 75 gal AO Smith. I would appreciate some direction on which is the best water heater to work with the powered anode. Thanks again.April 15, 2015 at 11:20 pm #21884
If you’re thinking about replacing the heater, I’m going to stick you with more reading!
Most heaters out there will accept a powered anode. I suggest you read Choosing a Water Heater and the Best Water Heater in the Basics section. In particular, make sure the heater has good insulation. I’ll answer more questions, but a central focus of my site is for people to empower themselves by understanding water heater issues that are important to them.
Randy SchuylerApril 16, 2015 at 11:35 pm #21889
Ok. I’ll start reading. Thank you.November 6, 2015 at 6:14 am #22407ventmanParticipant
thinking about installing a powered anode rod. new water heater(electric),well water, w/softener. my house is plumbed in copper will this matter??? my last water heater lasted 15 years, only replaced it because it was 15 years old, no leaks or problems. the smell has become worse with the new one.November 6, 2015 at 12:53 pm #22408
What brand of water heater? Probably you don’t need to fiddle with the plumbing, but there ARE one or two configurations where you would. How new is new? The reason I say that is because all the designs changed in April and many new electrics will require a longer nipple than I usually send with powered anodes. I have a few of those, but need to know when to include them.
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