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 Posted: Thu Apr 12th, 2007 05:52 pm
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dduperron
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Dear Rescue:

First, great site.  Very informative.

Second, sorry for blasting off an e-mail to you with a question before noticing that is 'verboten'.  Please ignore the e-mail, although you probably already have ;)

I have a State Select model PR650POVET propane-fired, power-vented 50gal capacity heater installed in 2000 when my house was new.  I have a well, with the well water neutralized with a neutralizer system, then run through a softener.  The tank currently has a flat top hex head anode rod, not sure if it also has a combo rod.

Questions - can you tell me for certain if the anode rod is aluminum/zinc or magnesium, and if a combo rod is factory standard.  I will be checking the anode, but want to have a replacement on hand before doing so.  Naturally I want to get the right type so as not to conflict with the combo rod (if present).  I know that in 'most cases' flat top means aluminum, but I'd like to be sure before accidentally rotting out the combo anode (if one exists).

I have never had problems with smelly water, but to be safe my plan is to replace the rod with one of the same material (magnesium or aluminium/zinc) just in case.  There is a fair amount of white crusty sediment that comes out when I drain a few gallons out the drain tap, which I try to do monthly.  Based on some other posts it sounds as if that may be from an aluminium anode.

Provided an inspection of the anode shows it isn't completely gone, I'll replace that and fully pimp up the heater with your curved dip tube and ball valve.  I just need recommendations on what type/quantity of anode to use.

Thanks in advance,

Dan D

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 Posted: Thu Apr 12th, 2007 07:25 pm
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eleent
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Hello:  Longer warrantied tanks often have the second anode.  The only way to be certain is to have a look under the hot outlet.  The manufacturer would not put two different anode materials in the same tank and you almost certainly do have an aluminum anode with that flat top.  I would always put a magnesium anode in unless odor is a problem.  Aluminum is not a good thing to ingest.

So, the answer isn't without some plumbing attached, but heads you in the right direction ;)

Yours,  Larry

ps.  A question.  By neutralized, do you mean you are treating for low PH (acidic water)?

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 Posted: Thu Apr 12th, 2007 08:20 pm
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dduperron
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Thanks for the advice and quick reply.  I'll look up the warranty paperwork on the tank and see if it's a 'long' (12 years), if in doubt I'll just disconnect and check with the screwdriver method, or call State and see if they'll talk to a non-professional about it.  I'm not the biggest  fan of plumbing, but I've done quite a bit of it and have the tools and enough know-how to stay out of trouble.

Yes, by neutralized I mean treating naturally acidic water with a granular calcium tank type neutralizer.  My well water is quite acidic and moderately hard, but since the neutralizer uses Ca it hardens up the water but good, so the softener is really necessary.  Both the softener and neutralizer are large Kinetico systems.  Cost a pretty penny but work far better than the Culligan stuff I had originally, which was total crap.

Reading some other posts has me a little worried about snapping the head off the old anode.  It was mentioned in one that if that happens "it isn't so bad", because the remains can be drilled out or something.  I can't think of any way to remove the anode after snapping off the head that won't be a huge pain in the rear.  Can you share your secret?  I just want to be prepared for the worst!

Thanks again for sharing your expertise, you are very generous.

-Dan

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 Posted: Fri Apr 13th, 2007 01:40 am
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elenano
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I answered directly because it was a gray area -- regarding parts. But anyway, drilling out an anode after the head has snapped off IS a pain in the neck. You have to drill straight down with a  7/8-inch hole saw because if you angle at all, you'll chew up the threads. They you have to clean out the threads with a pipe tap and wire brush.

Randy Schuyler

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