Another Wednesday In The Desert

Philip Maynard will know and perhaps JS, but does anyone else know what an anode rod is? My wonderful wife and I had no idea until we started experiencing an awful odor in the part of the house where the laundry room is. The smell was sulfur-ish in nature, like very rotten eggs.

An anode rod is, basically, a sacrificial shaft used mainly in water heaters. It helps protect the lining of the water heater and generally lengthens its life. In our house the laundry room shares a wall with our garage, which–not surprisingly–is where our water heater is.

When the anode rod inevitably gives up the ghost (that’s its job), which happens quite quickly here with the high mineral content of the water and the necessary water softening apparatus because of that content, the result is often a very foul smell. We are lucky to use a good plumbing company and they replaced the anode rod yesterday. So far, so good as we have no awful smell near the laundry room.

I had never known anyone who had a water softener in their house or who had to replace the anode rod in their water heater prior to moving to Arizona. I’ll take that as a small cost to live here.



Two photographs of the same view, basically. In the top pic, taken recently, it’s not easy to ascertain that the sky behind the distant mountains is actually dark indicative of rain. The mountains themselves are in sunlight.

The bottom photo was taken earlier this year (in February) and shows snow on the same mountains. As I have often written, this view is from the second-floor deck on the north side of our house.

Here is another recently taken photograph.



I have seen more of what I call “rain tendrils” here in 20 months than I had seen in all of my life prior to moving to Arizona. Yes, it’s hot here for four months, but the scenery and the weather the rest of the year are more than enough compensation. Actually, the heat doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. Maybe my old bones like warmth. Oh, you can also see that not all of the desert is brown.


As regular readers know, I am a fan of Everyday Driver. Todd Deeken and Paul Schmucker have been producing automotive content under that banner since 2007.

Their TV shows are broadcast on Motor Trend and all ten seasons are supposed to be available on Amazon Prime. However, I have been unable to watch any shows from the first two seasons for months. That’s another story…

The car shown below is one of their current favorites. No, I am not interested in buying one, but I do have an academic interest in it.


See the source image


This is a Hyundai Veloster N. It is certainly an idiosyncratic car with its three doors. Deeken and Schmucker both love the car and call it the best “hot hatch” currently available anywhere in the world. Of course, Europe has the obsession with hot hatches. The US automobile market is obsessed with CUVs, SUVs and pickup trucks, a situation the two hosts–especially Deeken–rail against with some frequency.

The N version of the Veloster was tuned and tested at the famous Nurburgring in Germany, which is what the “N” stands for. This spec is powered by a turbocharged 2-liter, inline 4-cylinder engine generating 275 HP/260 LB-FT of torque. The car weighs 3,100 pounds with the six-speed manual or 3,200 pounds with the eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. It is a front-wheel drive car.

Although the car is not large (104-inch wheelbase, 168 inches in length), Deeken and Schmucker swear that the car is quite roomy. Its rear leg room of 34 inches is more than adequate and it has 20 cubic feet of cargo volume with the rear seats up and 44 cubic feet with the rear seats down. Some CUVs and SUVs don’t have that much interior space. None of those vehicles, except for the exotic ones from Lamborghini and Maserati, can drive like the Veloster N, which has a base MSRP of $32,500. How much is an Urus?

In a world where my net worth is at least ten times more than it is and we have a house to match with lots of garage space, I would consider buying one of these. If my aunt had had balls, she would have been my uncle. (No disrespect intended to the memory of my aunt and uncle who were Holocaust survivors.)

Do any of you have any opinions about the Veloster N? Are any of you fans of hot hatches?








If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL ( Thanks.



8 thoughts on “Another Wednesday In The Desert

  1. I became quite familiar with anode rods in the first house I bought in Georgia. At first I thought an animal, perhaps a squirrel, had died in the wall. Since then, I usually replace it about every 4-5 years. They are not terribly expensive and usually take me about 40 minutes, start to finish. When it’s due again I replace the water heater as a preventative measure. Learned that the hard way after coming home one time to a flooded house, due to an older water heater springing a leak. Major PITA and several weeks of work to repair the floor and wall damage. 🙂

    If you wish to buy a new Veloster N, you should start hunting now;

    I had read about the upcoming demise on another site and followed up with some checking which led to the above article.


    1. Thanks, DDM. Not surprised you are familiar with anode rods.

      I really don’t have any intention of buying a Veloster N now and am not surprised the car is doomed. Fun cars are going away so enjoy them while they’re here. Of course, I could always buy a used one down the road.


  2. Anodes are used prevent corrosion between dis-similar metals and the corrosion is sometimes referred to as galvanic corrosion. In fluid systems such as home water systems, automotive cooling systems, ships at sea, etc., there will be an electric current flow from one metal to a second metal. with the fluid as the “conduit” for the current flow. Electroplating uses this principle to deposit a desirable metal onto a base metal. Gold plating on jewelry or chrome plating onto bumpers are examples. As you stated above an anode rod is used to prevent the corrosion of the water heater because of the dis-similar metals in home water systems. In your car if you have an aluminum radiator (most cars) and a cast iron engine block, you should have a radiator cap with an anode on it or an anode in some other accessible location to prevent corrosion. The coolant acts as the conducting fluid. The Navy used to attach aluminum anodes to the hulls of their ships to minimize the corrosion of the steel hulls in the sea water.

    For a better explanation, here is a link to Wikipedia:


    1. Thanks, Philip. Galvanic corrosion was a manifestation of one of the “less well thought out” design elements of the Triumph Stag. The engine had an aluminum head and a cast-iron block. Good luck getting the head off the engine after the car’s been on the road for a couple of years or more.


      1. Automotive history is replete with examples of engineers ignorant of galvanic corrosion and other design hurdles. Which is the perfect reason for engineers to study the history of engineering designs and not just cars.


  3. Anodes are one of those things you should know about but alas don’t. I believe ours went up when I lived in a house on well and septic. Ironically, I was just looking at getting ours replaced as we are at the five year mark of living here.
    My ne’er do well nephew had a Veloster-I don’t know if it was the N. He loved that car but could not afford it and ultimately hid it at my ex wife’s house. Are used ones hard to find? The Kia Stinger may be a similar car.


    1. Thanks, Doc. The Stinger has more in common with the Veloster besides being part of Hyundai-Kia. Apparently, it is also scheduled to be discontinued.

      In an episode of Everyday Driver, the two hosts did a driving comparison of the Kia Stinger and a BMW 4-series Gran Coupe. Even though Paul Schmucker is an admitted lover of German cars, especially Porsche and BMW, BOTH he and Todd Deeken preferred the Stinger. That car suffered from badge snobbery, but by all accounts is a fabulous car.


Comments are closed.