Magnesium anode for a water heater: principle of operation, purpose, installation

Magnesium anode for a water heater: principle of operation, purpose, installation
Magnesium anode for a water heater: principle of operation, purpose, installation

The boiler is constantly in contact with water. And the biggest danger to a water heater is rust and corrosion. If in the old days people dipped a silver coin into the water so that the water retained its properties longer and did not deteriorate, then a special anode is used for modern boilers.

What is a magnesium anode for a water heater for? The photo gives a clear answer. This is a special rod that is installed inside the body of the device. It prevents rust and prolongs the life of the water heater.

Destroyed anode

Unlike silver, which destroys bacteria in water, a special magnesium anode for a water heater takes s alt from the water, thereby preventing corrosion in the internal tank of the device. The fight against rust is always relevant: despite the fact that water heater tanksare made of stainless steel, corrosion continues to take its toll.

Stainless steel, seemingly eternal, is affected by at least two factors that completely dispel the myth of its extraordinary durability.

Electric water heater or boiler

Stainless food steel, from which the tanks of most water heaters are made, can only withstand hard and s alty water for a short time. If steel of proper quality were used in the manufacture of these devices, then the price of water heaters would increase many times over, making them inaccessible to many buyers.

The tank of any boiler in which water is heated is not solid, it is most often welded from two parts. After welding, the crystal lattice of steel molecules changes due to high temperatures, and it is in the places of welds that such a valuable property of this material as the ability to resist rust is lost.

Despite the fact that the inside of the tank is covered with a paintwork, over time it also collapses, which is facilitated by the expansion of the walls of the tank when the water in it is heated. As a result, microcracks appear, which, when the boiler is drained, rust even faster, coming into contact with oxygen.

Anode replacement

Thus, the service life of the water heater is affected not only by poor quality water, but also by the use of metals with different potentials by manufacturers.

Magnesium anode operation principle

If you do not install an anode for the water heater, then thisthe device will turn into a galvanic pair, described by scientists in the 18th century. Instead of the anode, the boiler body will start to work and, accordingly, it will begin to collapse, since the rest of the elements used in it have a greater electrochemical potential. Installing an anode with a lower potential in the case protects the case from destruction.

When buying a boiler, the anode is usually not paid attention to, besides, it is hidden under the body of the device. It is a not very smooth grayish rod. Over time, during operation, the anode will begin to look like corroded, and the walls of the case will remain intact. This is the only task of the magnesium anode installed in the water heater.

Magnesium anode

Magnesium is used to coat anodes for water heaters because of its low price and low electrochemical potential. S alts, which, thanks to the anode, are released from the water, in fact, do not disappear anywhere, but settle on its surface.

Thus, the anode is just a metal pin, on which a layer of magnesium alloy from 10 to 15 millimeters is applied.

Signs of malfunction

When operating the water heater, it is useful to periodically listen to the sounds it makes. If a hiss appeared when the water was heated, most likely, a coating appeared on the heating elements, and it is desirable to clean the device from scale and mineral s alts.

Water heater repair

Even with the high purity of the water used, s alts are always present in it, only in varying degrees of concentration. Even the anode with excessive content ins alt water will not be able to completely cope with them. Therefore, when using water with a high s alt content, it is recommended to use various filters and water softeners.

Despite the apparent simplicity of the water heater and the presence of a magnesium anode in its body, only in practice can one understand when it is time to look inside the boiler and clean it. If the destruction of the magnesium anode for the water heater is detected, which requires a visual inspection, then the state of the pin can be used to estimate how much time it has left to work effectively. It is better to replace it with a new one immediately, without waiting until it is completely destroyed, and the boiler is left without protection.

Do-it-yourself anode replacement requires no special tools and can be done by anyone. The only thing that should not be neglected is the observance of safety regulations.

As a rule, cleaning the water heater is required after a year of operation, but for preventive purposes, it can be done earlier.

Removing plaque from the heating elements or from the bottom of the tank, as well as checking and changing, if necessary, the anode for the water heater, you can significantly extend the life of the device.

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