Buying a powered anode rod can be quite an investment compared to their sacrificial counterparts. However, if you choose the right one, it can provide your water heater tank with optimal protection that lasts for years and will ultimately save you money in the long run.
You may notice that one of the first products that show up in a quick search is the Corro-Protec powered anode rod. This product is likely the best powered anode rod you can purchase today, and I’m here to tell you why.
Corro-Protec powered anodes protect the water tanks from corrosion and eliminate smell and prevent limescale buildup. They are compatible with most types of water heaters, come in different sizes, and work with all types of water. They are made with high-quality materials and come with a 20-year-long warranty.
About Corro-Protec Powered Anode Rods
Corro-Protec powered anode rods consist of titanium rod and a current rectifier. Thanks to the titanium and an additional protective coat, the rods don’t corrode over time.
As for the maintenance, the manufacturer promises that they don’t require special maintenance. Corro-Protec powered anode rods only require an electrical connection. They use about 10 kilowatt-hours per year, which amounts to a cost of about $1.36 for year-round use.
The Corro-Protec company is based in Canada and has been manufacturing powered anode rods for more than twelve years. They pride themselves on high-quality materials in their rods. Furthermore, a majority of the energy needed for manufacturing is clean and renewable.
How Corro-Protec Powered Anode Rods Work
Corro-Protec anode rods work on the same principle as other powered anode rods. As long as the current rectifier is plugged into a working outlet, the anode rod generates a small current.
This current generation prevents the metals of the tank from losing their energy (in the form of electrons). Preventing this loss of energy, in turn, halts the corrosion process, which protects the water tank and prolongs its lifespan.
Protection From Corrosion
Water heaters are subject to corrosion because of their metal tank and the fact that it contains both water and oxygen, which both cause corrosion, which is a weakening and wearing away of a material’s surface.
When the water heater tank loses electrons, the metal atoms develop a positive charge, which attracts negatively charged oxygen atoms. The resultant chemical reaction creates metal oxides. These tanks are typically made from steel, which is an iron-based alloy, so the metal oxide is iron oxide, more commonly known as rust.
Corro-Protec anode rods protect against corrosion by preventing the loss of electrons from the metal in the tank. The current also minimizes static contact between individual corrosive elements and the tank walls.
Why is this so important?
Corrosion can oxidize the metal of your water heater tank, leaving it in a weaker state. This can lead to hot water leaks and potential explosions of your water heater.
Limescale is created in your water heater tank when calcium and carbonate ions react to form the insoluble solid calcium carbonate. As a result, limescale can build up inside the water heater tank and negatively impact its efficiency.
Limescale can accumulate at the bottom of the tank and essentially insulates the tank, including insulating it from the heat source. This means that in order to maintain high enough water temperatures inside the tank, the water heater will require much more energy.
Decreased energy efficiency then leads to higher electricity bills.
Luckily, Corro-Protec anode rods can protect against limescale buildup and its negative impact. The energy generated by the powered anode rod destabilizes the calcium ions, preventing a reaction that leads to the creation of limescale in the first place.
If you notice a rotten egg smell emanating from your water heater, it is likely that the culprit is sulfate-reducing bacteria.
If there is sulfate in your water (a common issue with well water), then the electrons released by the degrading sacrificial anode rods are used by the bacteria to reduce sulfate into hydrogen sulfide gas. This is released into the water where it dissolves and causes an unpleasant smell.
Although the gas itself is not dangerous in low concentrations, the smell can indicate danger in your water heater tank.
As mentioned, this process required the degradation of metals. Since powered anode rods don’t deteriorate and they prevent the water tank itself from deteriorating, the Corro-Protec anode prevents the production of this smell.
Additionally, the electrical current can even kill the sulfate-reducing bacteria, eliminating another link in the chain and further reducing the chances of your water heater producing that dreadful eggy smell.
What Makes Corro-Protec the Best Powered Anodes?
Long Durability Backed by a Long Warranty
Corro-Protec powered anode rods are products that are meant to last for decades. Compared to magnesium or aluminum anode rods, Corro-Protec rods are the clear winner in terms of their lifespan and, thus, also the warranty the manufacturer can offer.
While magnesium rods often only last 3 to 5 years, the Corro-Protec rods should last at least 20 years, often longer than that.
Even if your powered anode rod does not last twenty years, they are protected by a 20-year warranty. This means if your powered anode rod fails within twenty years and the terms of the warranty are followed, you can get a refund or a new powered anode rod at no extra cost.
The impressive lifespan of these rods is due to their high-quality materials as well as the many tests the product must go through.
The company pledges that its materials are of top-notch quality, and it also details a variety of tests the products must go through before they are sold, including an x-ray test, pressure test, and more.
Works With All Types of Water Heaters
While some powered anode rods aren’t compatible with all different makes of water heaters, the Corro-Protec powered anode rods are compatible with many different types, makes, and sizes of water heaters.
These rods are designed to be universal and fit all different models of both gas and electric water heaters regardless of their brand.
However, if, for some reason, you are not sure whether or which Corro-Protec anode rod is compatible with your water heater, you can contact the company through their website.
Even Bradford White water heaters are compatible, despite the fact they require an anode rod that is built into a hot water outlet. The Corro-Protec website FAQ page aids in the installation of the rod for this type of heater.
They Come in Different Sizes
Not only are the Corro-Protec powered anode rods designed for residential homes, but they are a variety of sizes for domestic, industrial, and even RV purposes.
The water heater sizes that are compatible with these rods range from 10 to 120 gallons.
The normal size of the anode rod is the ideal size for both residential and commercial water heaters.
For a smaller water heater in your RV, though, Corro-Protec has created an RV-specific powered anode rod suited for a mobile home.
Corro-Protec has also created the Industrial & Municipal-sized powered anode rod for much larger water heaters with higher demands.
Adapts to Different Water Types
Water quality may differ depending on your location and whether your water comes from the city or a well.
Here, “water quality” refers to its hardness. Harder water, with higher mineral contents, is associated with excessive limescale buildup and requires a more powerful anti-limescale mechanism. On the other hand, artificially softened water is very corrosive and requires an anode rod capable of combatting this corrosiveness.
The Corro-Protec rods can handle water with a variety of compositions. They are designed to adapt to different water types by automatically adjusting the voltage of the rod according to the qualities of your water to provide adequate protection.
This also ensures that your powered anode rod is as energy-efficient as possible.
Easy to Install
On the Corro-Protec website, there is a specific page for replacing their powered anode rod. I recommend consulting the 14-step process detailed in the chart provided there.
Although 14 steps might seem like a lot, the installation is quite easy and doesn’t require tons of experience.
It is important to turn off the power source, turn off the water supply, and release the water pressure from the tank before doing anything else.
Only a few tools are needed, most of which you likely already have at home, but to make sure you have everything you need, you can just consult this list:
- Teflon tape
- I recommend VOTMELL Teflon Tape (amazon link) for its high ratings and the addition of four rolls per package.
- Universal pliers
- I recommend the KNIPEX Universal Grip Pliers (amazon link) for their precision as well as their comfortable design.
- Robertson screwdriver
- I recommend the TEKTON Square High-Torque Screwdrivers (amazon link) for their durable design and high ratings.
- Ratchet wrench
- I recommend the JAEGER 24pc Ratcheting Wrench Set (amazon link) for its metric and inch options as well as its quick-access wrench organizer.