Water Heater Rescue: Know-How, Troubleshooting, Anodes graphic

Tanklets > Powered Anode Issues

Q:What would happen if I added a powered anode to a tank with an extra aluminum or magnesium anode rod? Keeping the aluminum or magnesium rod in its port and adding the powered anode through a different port?

Also when the burner fires, the flame is blue but when the dripping sound starts the flame turns yellow. Is there something inside that could be dripping water or am could this be a leak in the tank. There is no water on the floor. Would anyone know if this is a common problem? I am thinking 5 years is a pretty short life but I could be wrong. Any thoughts would be appreciated....

A: For a long time, I believed that the sacrificial would interfere with the powered anode, and the engineers at a powered anode maker whose products I used to carry believed that too. However, I changed supplier a couple of years ago for various reasons, and my rep with them, Corro-Protec, says it won’t make any difference at all. By now, if there really were an issue, we’d have discovered it. So add away. -- Randy (6/15/22)

A1: Hi, I see pros and cons. The pro is that if the powered anode fails, the sacrificial rod will keep the tank protected. The con is that the driving current of the powered anode is greater than the sacrificial rod and the powered rod will spend current to protect the sacrificial rod and prevent the sacrificial rod from working. I’d still avoid using aluminum unless the water is for machine use only. -- Larry (6/15/22)