A water heater's sacrificial anode needs to be electrically bonded to the tank to function. This is accomplished via continuity through the threads by which it is secured.

Knowing this, am I 'missing out' on some protection the anode could give me if my house' plumbing is all pex?

I suppose I shouldn't worry about appliances as their electrical service ground connection and that of my water heater would provide continuity.

Would corrosion be less likely to occur in my metal faucets if they were also bonded to the anode?

If so, is the difference likely minuscule? Or might it be worth a couple feet of thin wire under the counter to go from the ground screw of a nearby outlet to the underside of an expensive faucet?


Metal water pipe isn't grounded to minimize corrosion, it's grounded to protect people in case something goes horribly wrong and the pipe gets energized. With PEX, the pipe is an insulator, so grounding is both effectively impossible and not beneficial.

If you were to ground any water pipe or fixtures, you would tie them to the house ground, not the water heater anode.

  • 1
    I agree the anode is to protect the waterheater itself. – Ed Beal Feb 2 '18 at 17:06
  • I didn't ask about grounding the water pipe, nor was I concerned about safety. I asked about bonding plumbing fixtures to the hot water anode and to what extent that would affect the fixtures longevity. This answer does not address the question. – Billy C. Feb 2 '18 at 18:02
  • @BillyC. The only reason to ground the water pipe is safety. The only reason for the anode is to protect the water heater. Neither will have anything to do with fixture longevity in any meaningful way. I am sorry if that was not adequately conveyed in my original answer. – poorplanning Feb 2 '18 at 18:04
  • To what extent would bonding a fixture (not a pipe) to the hot water tank anode affect corrosion on that fixture? – Billy C. Feb 4 '18 at 16:32
  • @BillyC. As previously stated, it wouldn't affect it. That's part of why nobody does that. To be explicit: bonding water fixtures to the water heater anode won't do anything to affect corrosion. – poorplanning Feb 4 '18 at 16:35

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