What Is The Function Of The Magnesium Anode Rod Within A Hot Water Heater Tank?


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Mehreen Misbah Profile
Mehreen Misbah answered
One of the greatest problems of hot water heater tanks is the issue of corrosion that results from the interaction of the steel (which is the basic manufacturing material of the hot water heater tanks) and the moisture, dampness and oxygen. In order to prevent the corrosion process, some hot water heater manufacturers configure a magnesium anode rod in the insides of each tank.

This rod plays the role of a miniature lightning rod. An attraction builds up between the electrical current that is present in the water and the magnesium anode rod. However the magnesium corrodes more swiftly and more easily than the other parts. If the water conditions contribute towards producing a high level of electrical conductivity, this anode rod can be corroded in a shorter period of time. Once the magnesium corrodes and disappears, the electricity then starts to corrode the other parts of the tank. It is possible to replace anode rods.
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Teresa Chiodo
Teresa Chiodo commented
I have a 3 year old US Craftmaster Water Heater in a mobile home I just purchased. It sat for 2 years. When we tried to drain it, found the water would only flow out when the water was left on. It came out black at first, and is still grey and very smelly. We think the drain may be clogged due to corrosion. Can anyone change the magnesium rod, and would aluminum be better? Can we open and safely clean the inside out? Help, I'm clueless...
Teresa Chiodo Profile
Teresa Chiodo answered
Is it possible for anyone to replace these rods? We just purchased a used home with a US Craftmaster Water heater that sat unused for 2 years. It was purchased in 2004. We've tried to drain and clean it out, but it will only drain when the water flow is left on. Water came out black at first and now is grey. Smells REALLY BAD, although with flushing, it's getting somewhat better. Was suggested my magnesium anode rod might me bad and I might want to replace it with an aluminium rod. I have well water, but plan on installing a filter system to the water coming into the house.

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