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Re: Water Heater Anode

Subject: Re: Water Heater Anode
From: Richard Beels <>
Date: Tue, 07 Sep 1999 21:51:42 -0400
Could be gone.   I'm sure you know about the galvanic corrosion that 
happens when dissimilar metals come together, e.g. copper and galvanized 
plumbing connected without a di-electric connector.   The same thing 
happens in you water heater, except it happens more quickly because the 
heat hastens the reaction.  The anode attracts the metals more readily than 
the interior of the water heater.  You should drain the heater weekly until 
the water comes out clear; you don't need to drain it completely, just a 
few gallons or so.  After a few gallons come out, it will have drawn out 
all the "gunkies"...  Most basements have a floor drain so you don't have 
to worry about a big mess and how to get it out the back door...   ;-)

I would find the manual for the heater, if the PO left it for you or if you 
still have it and see if it mentions how to check the anode.  If it 
doesn't, you could call the tech support for the heater company.  If you 
can't find the manual, the best thing to do is goto Home Depot and find the 
manual there (if they still sell them) or, at least, snag the 800 number 
from a current manual (same brand).  Local appliance repair companies are 
the next line of contact.

At 07:54 PM 9/7/1999 ,  Mike Frerichs was inspired to say:

>I was wondering if anyone could explain to me what the anode is for on
>my water heater.  I've also heard it referred to as a "sacrificial
>anode" which leads me to believe it might be something that needs to be
>replaced once in a while.  My water heater is about five years old and
>there's quite a bit of what appears to be some type of corrosion around
>the anode on the top of the unit.  I just bought the house a year ago
>and there was no documentation for the water heater, so I'm hoping
>someone here can tell me what a good homeowner should know.


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