Plumbing in the Home/My hot water taps spit.


MrHeater wrote at 2010-05-03 03:12:48
"The rod is there to pick up stray minerals in the water". THIS is an example of someone who doesn't know what they're talking about.  The anode's function is to keep the process of electrolisys from eating away at the hot water tank.  The metal from the anode is "eaten" away instead, which is why it is sometimes referred to as a "sacirificial" anode.  If you have air in your hot water line only, what's happening is the water, usually well water, is reacting with the anode and creating hydrogen in the hot water heater.  A plumber will remove the anode to try and rectify that situation. If air was being introduced into the system by water leaking out of the standpipse, you would have trapped air escaping from the cold water tap as well as hot.  If it's only occuring in the hot water tank, it's a hydrogen build-up.  If you want to find out for sure, hold a lighter next to the faucet as it bubbles and spurts. The kids will think it's hilarious.  But do be prepared to turn the tap off in a hasty manner.  

Jim the plumber wrote at 2013-02-02 07:28:17
I was getting air in my hot water system. I ended up replacing a Moen tub and shower cartridge. That stopped the air from getting in. The cold water would cross to the hot in the valve and when the hot pressure  would drop it would suck air through the stem.  

Ron wrote at 2015-04-21 15:35:53
Ok, I had the same problem and had our local well guy come our for as service call.  Verified pitless adapter and well piping were in good working order.

He said our problem is most likely dissolved methane gas coming out of solution due to the reaction with the anode rod.  His solution was similar to the original poster's plumbers:

1) Remove anode rod from water heater.

2) Install a breather valve in the hot water heater outlet line, vented to the outside - he recommended using a Hoffman 77 valve available at the local supply house or on-line.

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Sharon McCarthy


I can help with most questions about residential plumbing repairs. I am familiar with septic systems, and can answer some questions about water wells. I have no experience with commercial plumbing or codes.


I have been a sole-proprietor service plumber in two small towns north of Phoenix Arizona for 26 years.

I wrote a monthly column for the United Steelworkers of America local 1033 [Chicago] newsletter from 1978 to 1982. I wrote an article for "The Theosophist" in 1977 and have had dozens of letters to the editor in many newspapers, including a recent "My Turn" article in the Arizona Republic.

High school and three years of college. My step-father, having worked 40 years in the plumbing trade in Chicago, trained me for two years. The rest has been hands-on experience.

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