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Rheem Anode Rod Price List

Rheem Anode Pricing

280mm – for Caravan HWS “Suburban” – $25

525mm – for 50L tanks – $42

810mm – for 80 – 90L tanks – $52

1210mm – *most popular* for 125L to 290L – $62

1510mm – 160L to 325L – $74

1686mm – 400L – $82

 

Note, prices include postage Australia wide.  Click here to order.  Thanks

How To Replace The Anode Rod In Your Hot Water Heater

Quick guide on how to replace the anode rod in your hot water heater..

If you’re not much of a handyman you can of course ask a plumber to help out. However they will charge $100 for labour (give or take) – it really is a simple job on most brands of hot water systems and once you know what you’re doing it takes 5 minutes.

Here are the steps you need;

  1. Turn off the power/gas and water
  2. Drain some of the hot water using the drain valve on the side of your hot water system
  3. Take off the top covers using your Philips head screw driver to get to the top of the tank.
  4. Cut away some of the insulating foam if need be to get access to the top of the tank.
  5. Then use a 27mm socket (for majority of units) and a “breaker bar” – which just means a really long wrench to give you some leverage. Or you can put some piping or similar over your standard wrench to make it easier.
  6. Unscrew the old anode and discard
  7. Put some Teflon tape around the new anode thread and screw in securely.
  8. Replace covers and turn on power/water/gas

If you have an queries feel free to contact me.  And if you are chasing a straight magnesium anode you can get them here or flexible anode rod (if you have limited overhead space) here.

 

Sacrificial Anode Bunnings

Can you get a sacrificial anode at Bunnings??

This question gets asked quite a lot and unfortunately the short answer is no they don’t sell them..

However they can be found at many plumbing supply stores even on ebay. In addition there are a number of online sellers around Australia that will post them out.

You just need to find out what size hot water system you have and what brand.  From there its fairly straight forward to figure out which one you need.

The most common length is 1210mm that will fit a 120L to 165L (depending on model) and can be found here.

Hopefully this helps and if you have any queries feel free to contact me.

Cheers

Dom

Magnesium Anode – Everything you need to know…

Most people have never heard of a magnesium anode! This is despite the fact they have been a key to water heater longevity for decades…

Magnesium Anode – What is it?

The single most important factor in whether a water heater lives or dies is the condition of its magnesium anode. For more than 60 years, it has been used as a key part of the rust protection of a tank, although few people know it’s there.

 

This is a rod made of magnesium (or aluminium) that’s formed around a steel core wire and is screwed into the top of the tank. A six-year-warranty residential tank will have one, while a 12-year-warranty tank will have two, or an extra-large primary anode. Commercial tanks have from one to five.

 

Special aluminium/zinc sacrificial anodes or powered (impressed-current) anodes can be used to resolve odor problems caused by bacteria in some water. But if you have a holiday home where the water heater sits idle for long periods of time, using them may not be a solution.

 

When the tank is filled with water, an electrochemical process begins whereby sacrificial anodes are consumed to protect a small amount of exposed steel. Powered anodes replace that process with electricity and are not consumed.

 

When two metals are physically connected in water, one will corrode away to protect the other. Sometimes that’s bad, but often it’s good. Although few people have heard of this, the principle is used all over the place — anywhere that someone wants to protect metal exposed to water.

 

In marine applications, anodes are known as “zincs” and are usually made of that metal.

 

All metals fall somewhere on the galvanic scale of reactivity. When two are placed together in water, the “nobler” — or less reactive — one will remain intact while the more reactive one corrodes.

 

When steel and copper are together, steel will be the one that corrodes. Indeed, steel is more likely to rust in the presence of copper than it would have been by itself. That’s why dielectric separation is necessary on items like copper flex lines when they’re connected to steel nipples.

 

Magnesium and aluminium are less noble than steel, which is why they’re used for anode rods.  For a more in depth explanation check out wikipedia

(why we don’t like aluminium anodes)

Remember, the magnesium anode is screwed into the tank. That means it can be unscrewed and replaced.

A sacrificial anode’s life depends on the quality of the water, the amount of use the tank gets, the water temperature, and the quality of the tank — meaning how well it was constructed.

When salt is added to the water (as in softened water), anodes corrode more quickly. Water softeners help reduce sediment, but anodes can corrode in as little as six months if the water is over-softened. Do not soften to zero. Leave 50-120 ppm of hardness. This may require some plumbing to add unsoftened water to softened water.

People occasionally ask us if Teflon tape applied to the threads of the magnesium anode blocks the electrolytical reaction. Tanks we’ve serviced usually have corroded anodes. We’ve tested with a multimeter and found continuity between the anode and the tank, despite the tape (meaning a connection is still made).

If you’re thinking about adding an anode to a new tank, (that already has 1) make sure both rods are of the same metal. Otherwise, the magnesium rod will be consumed more rapidly in the presence of an aluminium one and you won’t get as long a life.

How do you tell a magnesium anode from an aluminium one?

Simply that the same length magnesium anode is lighter than the equivalent aluminium anode.

Aluminium is usually the factory installed type in most water heaters, but in the past, high-end models have come with magnesium. Today, some of those also offer powered anodes.

If you decide to remove and check your anode, here are some of the states you may find it in and what they mean;

  1. If there is rough, seemingly chewed-up metal all up and down the rod, that’s normal. It’s doing what it’s supposed to do.
  2. If you can see fifteen cm of the steel core wire, replace the rod.
  3. If all you have IS the steel core wire — or less — then extending the life of the tank by replacing the anode becomes more questionable.

You might still get several more years out of the next magnesium anode. Or the tank might fail shortly after. It all depends on factors that exist where none of us can see them.

The main kind of magnesium anode configuration is called a hex-head anode and you can see them on the product page. They are found in their own port on top of the tank. With some brands, the hex head is exposed. On many, it may be under a plastic cap about halfway in toward the center from the edge. If there are caps on the edge, they were used to insert the foam insulation. On some older tanks, it may be hidden under the sheet-metal top.

 

Aluminium vs magnesium anode rod

This video and article look at the pros and cons of an “aluminium vs magnesium anode rod”

Water heaters typically come with magnesium or aluminium anodes. We prefer magnesium.

We dislike aluminium for 8 reasons. Those are:

First off, aluminium, being lower on the Galvanic Scale than magnesium, produces less driving current between anode and cathode (in this case, the tank is the cathode). We think that means it doesn’t do as good a job of protecting the tank, especially in softer waters.

Second, it produces about a thousand times its original volume in corrosion byproduct, most of which falls into the bottom of the tank as a sort of jelly, and adds to sediment buildup there.

Third, that gunk also occasionally floats out the hot-water port, appearing as a cottage cheese-like substance clogging tap aerators and water filters.

Fourth, the rod actually expands as it corrodes so that it is hard, or maybe impossible to remove one a few months after installation because its diameter is bigger than when it was installed.

Fifth, along with that, it has a tendency to split off from the core wire.  So that chunks fall into the bottom of the water heater, where they stop being anode and start being junk. That also means that if you try to take one out at that point, it may split away from the core wire and snag the underside of the top of the tank, like a fish hook.

Sixth, the build-up of sediment on the bottom of gas heaters encourages noisy operation.  Some people can hear their water heaters loud and clear at night, which is not helpful for those wishing to sleep.

Seventh, There is a little booklet “The Danger of Food Contamination by Aluminium” by Dr. R.M. Le Hunte Cooper. It details the nasty things aluminium does to the body. The liver, brain, kidneys and spleen seem to be the main repositories. With nervous tissues holding the most by weight. It was written in 1932. Modern plumbing allows some water that came from the heater to be used as cold water / drinking water. This doesn’t matter if magnesium is used in the heater.

Eighth. If you find yourself ground zero in a disaster, and the water main is broken, about the last thing you want is to be drinking heavily-aluminium-laden water from the bottom of your water heater. The source of last resort. It could make you sick in dreadful ways: trash your stomach and intestines, create instant arthritis in your joints. Not good!

What are the exceptions to the rule?

The only time aluminium anode rods may make sense is in very hard water areas. In these areas a magnesium anode may be used up so fast that its simply not practical. In this case it would be wise to use a good quality water filter to make sure you don’t ingest any aluminium.

Who wins the great aluminium vs magnesium anode rod debate?

So in conclusion, when it comes to the debate of an aluminium vs magnesium anode rod, in most cases, a magnesium anode rod is the best choice for your hot water system.

How A Sacrificial Anode Can Save You $1000

How A Sacrificial Anode Can Save You $1000

A Sacrificial anode in a hot water system is a part that most people don’t know about.  But it plays a key role in maintaining the tank and stopping rust..

Basically whenever most of us have a shower or use hot water in the home, it comes from the tank of a storage hot water system. The system can be gas, electric or solar.  When the water is heated up, it is stored in the insulated tank ready to be used when you need it.

The problem is that the hot water storage tank is made of steel. And the only thing that stops the steel from rusting is the sacrificial anode.

Typically the anode rod that comes inside your hot water system only lasts for around 5 to 7 years (the warranty period!).  This is true of all the major brands like Rheem, Vulcan, Dux etc.  After that time the tank will rust out and literally spring a leak.

An average 160L tank when brand new is around $750 and installation another $250 with the total at $1000.  If you want to check what yours might cost have a look at the Bunnings page for a price on your system here.

And this can be totally avoided by replacing the sacrificial anode!!  Checkout our quick guide for a run down on how to do this here.

For further info you can get in touch either by email sales@brazen.net.au or phone 0406380283.  Or to order an anode online just follow the product links.

For those in Perth I’m just in Greenwood and I stock anodes for most brands that you would come across including solarhart anodes.