electric anode rod

electric anode rod

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You need to periodically replace these rods, and have the option of getting the same type of rod or a different one, such as a powered anode rod.

What is a Powered Anode Rod?

Powered anode rods are non-sacrificial rods (meaning they don’t degrade like a normal anode rod) which use electrical pulses to deal with corrosive elements in your water. These pulses scatter the harmful electrons, preventing them from accumulating along the lining of your tank.

Overall, there are quite a few advantages to using powered anode rods. They don’t degrade, prevent smelly water (by killing anaerobic bacteria that leads to that rotten egg smell), and protect your hot water heater from corrosive elements in the water.

Probably the best powered anode rod today is made by Corro-Protec. Their powered anode rod comes in 3 different sizes to perfectly match up with the size of your water heater tank.

Other models, such as the more expensive CerAnode expandable rod, can be used to replace both your normal sacrificial anode rod and your hot water outlet rod.

Because of the long lifespan, you can use a powered anode rod to preserve a tank well past its warranty, without any signs of corrosion to the lining or anode itself. They tend to be quite a bit more expensive than sacrificial rods, so they may not be the best choice for every home.

However, if you are worried about a rotten egg smell accumulating in your hot water or would rather perform minimal maintenance on your heater, then this is the perfect solution.

Powered vs Sacrificial Anode Rod – Which is Better?

As mentioned, powered anode rods are well worth the cost, but may not be ideal in every situation. Additionally, you may not wish to replace a rod which is still good just to gain the benefits of a powered one. So how do you know which is best for your situation? This side-by-side comparison should help.

Anode Rod Comparison

  Powered Anode Rod Normal Sacrificial Anode Rod
Usage Scatters corrosive elements in tank Attracts corrosive elements in tank
Lifespan 6 years in most tanks Generally 4-5 years, but may be 2-10 years under certain circumstances
Antibacteria Effectiveness Excellent Moderate/Excellent for zinc rods
Power Requires an outlet, low consumption No power needed
How it Works Sends electrical pulses into water that have an ionization effect on particles Exposed metal attracts corrosive particles, which consume the rod over time
Cost High (usually $100 to $250) Very Low (aluminum); Low (zinc composites); Low/Medium (magnesium)
Benefits Removes sulfur smell, limits maintenance to flushing, greatly extends tank’s lifespan Sometimes controls sulfur smell, extends tank’s lifespan; Magnesium rods provide some health benefits to the water
Downsides High initial cost, requires electricity (minor operational cost) Degrades over time, requiring replacement every 4-5 years on average
Additional Notes Some models are adjustable and can fit multiple size tanks, as well as be used for both tank and hot water outlet Some models are flexible to fit into tighter spaces; different models are needed for the tank and the hot water outlet

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BY M. Kogan

Hello, I am Marcio. I am an architect and designer, alma mater is Mackenzie. Retired in theory, but an architect never retires completely. Along with architectural projects, I am a filmmaker and have completed some short documentaries. Filmmaking and design are my passions. In HomeQN I write about home decoration and foundations. The goal is to teach homeowners to DYI as much as possible, and when this is not possible, enable them through knowledge, to evaluate service quotations and choose the best service technicians.

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