|WATER HEATER MODEL||MAGNESIUM||STD ALUMINUM||A420 ALUMINUM|
|Common Gas Fired|
|Common Gas Fired Through Wall||MAGNESIUM||STD ALUMINUM||420 ALUMINUM|
The anode is an exposed metal rod that is designed to corrode slowly over time. Sometimes referred to as the "sacrificial anode", it is made from magnesium, aluminum or a combination of zinc and aluminum. Water in the tank creates an electrolytic reaction that will cause the exposed steel in the tank to eventually fail. To slow this process, a more reactive aluminum or magnesium rod corrodes in its place. Once the sacrificial anode is corroded, the steel in the tank will begin to corrode, and the tank will fail.
To prevent the steel in the tank from failing, you should replace your sacrificial anode about once every three to five years, depending upon your hot water tank. Some tanks have longer warranty periods. Use the life of the warranty as a replacement guide for the anode. If you choose not to replace the sacrificial anode, the tank will keep working, but the steel will corrode and deteriorate. Tank replacement is inevitable.
Sacrificial anodes typically screw into the tank which makes them easier to replace. Note that sacrificial anode rods are long. You’ll need adequate clearance to remove them from the tank. If you don’t have around 4 feet of clearance above the water heater, the tank may need to be disconnected to do the replacement.
Most times a magnesium anode is suggested. Aluminum anodes, used when water conditions cause a sulphur or "egg smell" tend to corrode much more readily. If you have a severe sulphur odor an A420 aluminum/zinc alloy anode rod is suggested (see below). This means you’ll replace the anode more often because more sediment will accumulate in the bottom of the tank. Aluminum anodes may also increase in diameter or break apart in chunks after they’ve been installed, so getting an aluminum anode out intact can be somewhat of a challenge! Cast-off aluminum can also be a source of noise in the tank.
Bradford White water heaters usually have a nipple end for connections to the outlet line. On certain models there are hex head plug type anodes. If you cannot find the proper anode, use the "contact us" form, provide model and serial number and we'll give you the best alternatives.
Why an A420 Alloy Rod? This special aluminum alloyhelps reduce the formation of hydrogen sulfide.
Hydrogen sulfide gas produces and offensive "rotten egg" or "sulfur water" odor and taste in water. In some cases the odor may noticable only when the water is initially turned on or when hot water is running. The heated water forces the hydrogen sulfide gas into the air, which may cause the odor to be especially offensive in a shower. For more information click here.