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Thread: Anode problems?

  1. #1
    Fred Herndon's Avatar
    Fred Herndon Guest

    Question Anode problems?

    This morning I did a 1 year checkup on a new house I inspected last June. When I drained the first floor bath sink there was a light coating of brown scum left in the sink. It washed out easily. I thought it was mud, but the homeowner said a neighbor told him (3rd hand info) that there was a problem with the sacrficial anodes in the water heaters but the builder would not do anything unless it was specifically called out. Strangely enough the water heater is in the attic, but this only shows up on sinks and toilets on the main floor. The water heater is a State model ES6 52 DORT, mfg. 2010. I read up on these and the anode is aluminum, not magnesium or stainless steel core as on the higher end State water heaters. So, the question is, have any of you heard of similar problems? Also, have problems with the aluminum anodes been documented anywhere? I have not been able to find anything so far.

    Thanks in advance!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Caledon, Ontario
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    Default Re: Anode problems?

    Is the water supplied from a well or municipal?


  3. #3
    Fred Herndon's Avatar
    Fred Herndon Guest

    Default Re: Anode problems?

    City water, but in an outlying area (Chatham County, for those in my areas of NC)


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Default Re: Anode problems?

    The man reason to use aluminum anode rods is for areas that have a high sulfur content in the water. The sulfur reacts with the magnesium anode rods which makes magnesium sulfide, which has a very strong rotten egg smell. So the aluminum rods do not react with the sulfur as bad so there is no odor. My mother's house we have to remove the magnesium anode rod and install the aluminum rod to keep the water heater's warranty valid.

    Never seen the water have a mud film due to the anode rods. And I can not see it affecting the water closets since they are normally hooked up to the cold water supply.


  5. #5
    Fred Herndon's Avatar
    Fred Herndon Guest

    Default Re: Anode problems?

    Good information on the aluminum anode rods. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Hasil View Post
    Never seen the water have a mud film due to the anode rods. And I can not see it affecting the water closets since they are normally hooked up to the cold water supply.
    Good point. The water in the toilet was slightly stained, but no muddy film. I suspected sediment in the water supply, but if so it should have showed up in the toilet and kitchen sink much more than the sink. ???


  6. #6
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    Nov 2010
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    Red Deer, Alberta
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    8

    Default Re: Anode problems?

    The brown scum sounds vaguely like rust (iron oxide) especially if it is reddish brown, although iron reducing bacteria will leave a blacker looking scum, but you have to have iron content in the water for that to be a problem, usually found in private wells.
    Is there a black iron nipple in the water supply anywhere?
    Odd to be only on certain fixtures...


  7. #7
    Ted Williams's Avatar
    Ted Williams Guest

    Default Re: Anode problems?

    Just from personal experience. We are near the end of a water system and about once a year we have to call the water co. to come out and open the hydrant out front to release iron build-up (usually immediately after my girlfriend fills her bath with brown water).

    Water pours out of the hydrant brown for about an 8 count then clears up.


  8. #8
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Anode problems?

    I think I would run some water out of the water heater drain and see what comes out.


  9. #9
    Fred Herndon's Avatar
    Fred Herndon Guest

    Thumbs up Re: Anode problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Williams View Post
    Just from personal experience. We are near the end of a water system and about once a year we have to call the water co. to come out and open the hydrant out front to release iron build-up (usually immediately after my girlfriend fills her bath with brown water).

    Water pours out of the hydrant brown for about an 8 count then clears up.
    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    I think I would run some water out of the water heater drain and see what comes out.
    Thanks guys. This is what I eventually decided, too. The house is at the end of the development, with an unfinished street a short distance away. I am suspecting that sediment is collecting in the water heater and shows up on the least used fixtures from time to time. Flushing the water heater periodically, and maybe adding a filtration system, is probably the best answer for the time being.


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