Magnesium Rod Bar for Solar Water Heater

An anode rod is an essential piece of equipment for any water heater that belongs to the technical field. A solar water heater consists of a storage water tank, support, a reflector panel ( tube or flat plate) installed on the roof or ground, and a vacuum tube. One end of the vacuum tube is inserted into the manifolds at an angle of 42 degrees, and the other is connected to the support structure, which is fixed properly at a fixed angle.

A water inlet and a water outlet are arranged on the storage water tank, and magnesium rods are arranged inside the water inlet and the water outlet. The magnesium rod helps to avoid forming a large amount of fine and close dirt at the heater and inner bag, further improving the efficiency of the heating surface. And further prevents damage to the heater by heating without water and corrosion when temperature scales due to compact size.

A vacuum tube is fixed at a perfect 42-degree angle to consume maximum heat and improve heating efficiency. Thus, the best absorbing state is achieved.

Traditional solar water heater, through long-time use, causes the heater firing rate to slow, even causing dry combustion. It is impaired and can also cause the water heater liner to deteriorate, requiring further improvement.

It Is mainly used in health and daily life and has a lot of benefits, and it mostly prefers domestic water, industrial and agricultural production, and wide applications.

What is the purpose of using magnesium rods in solar water heaters?

Magnesium rods are made of metal that softens water to prevent water from scaling. This is also known as magnesium anode. Even its other name is anode magnesium block. The purpose of using magnesium rods in a solar water heater is only to prevent corrosion and make the water soften because the hard water is harmful and the quality is not good for drinking, bathing, etc. That’s why it helps to improve the quality of water in the metal tank of solar water heaters and electric water heaters.

The magnesium rod is installed in the middle of the metal storage tank, whether it is a solar water heater tank or an electric one.  

In solar water heaters, the magnesium rods protect the in et barrel of the water heater. If the quality is not good, then it will need to be replaced annually, and if the water quality is good and softer and lightweight, the magnesium rod will not cause any impact for several years or even more than ten years. Make sure to choose the water heater according to the temperature and water quality. After deciding on the water heater system then, you should care about it in case the water should be limited and the temperature is not too high. This is because the scale formation is accelerated after the magnesium rod is exhausted.

Furthermore, ensure the formed scale is attached to the inner tank of the heater and the vacuum tube wall of the solar water heater, and the more it gathers.

If you use a solar heater system, the magnesium anode needs to be replaced every 2 to 3 years, but if the water quality is good, it will last up Upto ten years. Rather in the case of electric water heaters, the magnesium rods will be exhausted after less than half a year. The solar water heating system is recommended and guarantees that you must add or replace magnesium rods in 2-3 years according to the water quality, and it requires less maintenance.

What is a Water Heater Anode Rod, and what material is used?

The anode rod comes in three different materials: magnesium, aluminum alloy, and zinc. Anode rod used in water heaters exists in the electric or solar water heater system for a small period of time, then it will need to be replaced. It helps to protect the metal lining of the water heater tank and prevent explosion or corrosion over time.

What is an Anode Rod?

An anode rod is made of high-quality steel wire that is coatings with either zinc, aluminum, or magnesium. The magnesium rod is mostly used for solar water heating systems. It comes in different sizes in length and width but is usually about 4 feet long. It is installed on the top of the water heater storage tank and protects the water tank from the formation of rust, purities, and stains. This process is called electrolysis. The anode rod is designed to be submerged in water to attract rust and contaminants. So, if the water quality is hard, it works best and consumes pollutants in the water. It will prevent and stop the erosion of the inner steel walls of the water tank. In other words, this process is also known as the self-sacrificial process of the metal rod that enhances the water heater’s longevity and prevents it from rust, stain, or other damages.

Magnesium rods___will work best for domestic purposes, and the water quality is not very hard.

Aluminum rod__ is best suitable for those areas where the water is hard, and the pH level is high. The aluminum rod with its hexagonal head of the rod is visible on the top of the water.

Zinc rod__ will work appropriately for the home that is starting to smell like rotten eggs and is best for replacing water heaters that have already dissolved.

Why do we choose magnesium anode instead of aluminum?

Here are some points that will clear you why you prefer the magnesium rod for your solar water heater system.

  • Magnesium rod material has the ability to protect the metal storage tank and provide softening, pH level, and lighter water.
  • Magnesium generates around -1.6 volts, Aluminum generates 1.1 volts, and Zinc generates 1.05 volts. As a result, magnesium rods tend to work better in fast corrosion.
  • Aluminum has some toxic properties, including water, and if you use it for drinking, it may cause poor health and other diseases.

Basic Problems With Anode Rods

3 Types of Water Heater Anode Rod Issues

Some parts of the water heater that you should consider and become familiar with to ensure you can respond to problems quickly when they occur. The main Essential part is the water heater anode. The anode rod may last for 2-3 years, but it largely depends on your water quality and how much water travels through your water heater.

Which material is best, how it works, and how you can diagnose issues with the water heater. Keep reading!

Issue No1: Deterioration

Deterioration is the most common issue that every water heater faces. If the corrosion and deterioration problem occurs with your anode rod, it means that it’s doing its job. The corrosion problem started from the top to the bottom of the rod and continued to expose until the core. In this process, the rod will be exposed and needs to be changed within six months if it has hard water quality.

Issue No2: Extreme Soft Water

The phosphate and the rock salt are used to make the water softener. The soft water is good, but it is in demand in some cases because the extremely soft water might cause the water heater anode rod to corrode three times as fast as hard water and can damage the tank itself and the hex head of the tank. If the anode rod is exposed to half the original diameter, it should be replaced.  

Issue No2: Collection of Calcium Carbonate

Calcium carbonate is white particles that appear in some water if the water is hard and the pH level is high. The white minerals keep the rod from corroding. The whole anode rod is corroded to keep the water tank safe and rust-free, so you should simply wipe off the calcium carbonate with a towel.

Why is an anode rod called a sacrifice rod?

Whether you use a solar water heater or electric water heater, if you have a heater attached to storage tanks, you should be aware of the anode rod component, which is a basic and essential part of the heating system.

You may know that steel material is sturdy, durable, and useful. That defense helps your water heater last longer. This rod is fixed into the tank, typically a long metal rod made of either aluminum, magnesium, or zinc. They are referred to as sacrificial anode rods. These Sacrificial anodes are more active than oxidized and corrosion much faster than the less active metals (cathodes).

It attracts particles of iron, limestone, or other minerals in the water via an electrochemical technique and rusts in place of the tank. In other terms, it “sacrifices” itself to expand the water heater’s life.

How do you check the condition of the sacrificial anode?

All the water heater storage tanks have different installation methods according to design, so here are commonly discussed how to check the anode rod in a water storage tank. Some models may have different parts and functions.

  • Mostly, The anode rod died at the top of the tank. But some new models have come with bottom anode rod replacement. So, firstly make sure to switch off the heater and then drain the water heater to check its condition.
  • Depending on the model, you can drain it partially or empty the water heater.
  • You should know how to drain the water from the tank. And should be aware the water may be extremely hot, keep away from hot water. Then, follow these steps:
  • If you did not recognize the rod consult the manufacturer’s manual to locate the anode rod. It is mostly on the top and hidden under a plastic cap. You may have to remove insulating material to reach it.
  • Wearing gloves before removing it may be hot. Remove the corroded anode rod with a one 1/16-inch socket wrench. You should expect some resistance at first before the worn-out anode gets freed.
  • Keep it down, clean the system with cloth and install a new and.
  • Tightly close and restart your system by completing the draining process.

8 Signs That Indicates You Should Replace Your Magnesium Bar Rod

Some basic signs you should know. It extends the lifespan of your storage water heater. To replace the rod costs a lot less than an entire water heater.

  1. If you have soft water quality, then it should be replaced frequently. We suggest replacing it within 12 months.
  2. Acidic water can accelerate anode rod corrosion.
  3. If you have been using a water heater Upto two years and do not maintain it, you should call the plumber and check the entire system, especially the anode rode that time to replace.
  4. If faucets appear to clog and slimy gel more frequently.
  5. Your hot water starts emitting a “rotten egg” odor.
  6. Water is colder or not as hot as usual.
  7.  If you notice rusty-looking water.
  8. One obvious sign of a problem with your water heater is a leak or obvious cracks/corrosion. Finally, if you follow these tips, your water heater can last well over 20 years without any risk of leaks and resulting water damage. Unfortunately, if you ignore it, you may need to replace the entire water heater after only five years of use.

Water Heater Anode Rod Aluminum vs. Magnesium

Here are some differences between aluminum and magnesium rods that you must know before purchasing a replacement anode rod. While most people prefer magnesium, it is important to understand how it differs from aluminum. This compression table will help you decide what type of replacement anode rod will work best for the solar water heater in your home.

The Zinc anode rods contain ten parts aluminum to one part zinc while magnification that’s why it’s extremely similar to the aluminum and we only compare aluminum Vs. Magnesium anode rods. Zinc anode rods work well against the rotten egg smell coming from your water heater.

Both perform the same functions in the water heater tank, which is the same to prevent corrosion, but they also have distinct pros and cons that you should know before buying a replacement rod.

Compression Table

Factors Aluminium RodMagnesium Rod
Initial CostAluminium anode rod is an appropriate choice when you want to stick to a strict budget. It falls with the lower ends of the spectrum and costs less, approx $15-$30.Magnesium rods provide a better value. That’s why the price is higher than aluminum and zinc anode. It is approximately $20-$40.
Effectiveness Aluminum rods are less effective when the water supply is high. It may not have the high-level corrosive properties to keep up with the needs of your water heater.It protects against corrosion better, extending the life of your hot water tank. This makes magnesium anode rods more effective in the long run.
Longevity of RodMost anode rods require replacement after 3 to 5 years. Aluminum anode rods last longer than magnesium.Magnesium rod is less durable because it works faster against corrosion, and if the water supply is high, the magnesium rod will deteriorate soon.
Longevity of Tank:This does not have high corrosion properties, making it less effective and leading to faster corrosion and deterioration of the tank.It plays a vital role in protecting your tank and enhancing its durability.   
Water Quality, The allumimin with sediment deposits can affect the quality of the water that comes from it, which leads to health problems. Excessive sediment can also make your hot water cloudy at the tap.If you drink the water, You want safe water to come from your water heater. The anode rod significantly affects the water quality. Magnesium rods can reduce chlorine levels in the water but sometimes produce rotten eggs smell that is the indicated need to be replaced,  making it healthier to consume.   
Things You need to consider Before Buying Magnesium Bar Rod
  • Magnesium is best for domestic use and a good choice in areas with high alkalinity water as they lower chlorine levels in the water because it provides soft water. But aluminum anode rods better withstand the hard water if the water is extremely hard. Magnesium anode rods make an especially. See this post to locate the best anode rods by water type.
  • Mostly, an anode rod is attached to the water tank on the top, but some new technology heaters need to replace them at the hot water outlet on the bottom of the tank. So choose those rods that perfectly fit your unit.
  • Anode Rods come in different sizes. Choose an anode rod according to your water storage tank.
  • Some products will include other accessories, including Teflon tape and a hex socket tool.
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