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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How often do you replace your anode rod in your camper water heater? When I pulled mine for winter storage, it was pretty wore out, but still had a little life left in it. I went ahead and bought another one, but the dealer guy told me mine still had some life in it, so I am keeping the new one on hold till next year. Do you let them wear down to nothing, or replace them sooner than that?
 

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I inspect during fall winterizing and replace it during spring sanitation. I too have see rods that had a some life left in it, but I figured that it might not last another year. Since its not something that I check frequently I just replace it - better being safe than sorry. Also I worry about cross threading when I'm replacing the rod so the fewer times I pull it out the better.

Ruide
 

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The anode rod in our camper is at least 2 years old, and is about 1/2 wore down. I did the same thing, went and bought a new one and had the old one with me, and they said, you can still use that one if you like. So I will use it this year, but have a new one that I will replace after this year. It was only $10, so better safe than sorry, at least replace it after 2 years I would say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sounds good, I agree, better safe than sorry. I sure would hate for it to get cross threaded in there, that would not be good at all. Do you do anything else to your threads, they tend to get that rusty coloration, at least mine does. That is one thing that makes me nervous about cross threading when I remove it and put it back in.
 

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Is it like a spare tire that you need to keep on hand? I would probably be more inclined to put the new one in. Instead of waiting until the water heater gives out on you. Because if it was getting old, I'd replace it. Like a car battery, I don't prefer the old ones.
 

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Grace, well it is not like a spare tire. It is more like the oil in your car which you need to replace after a certain amount of time.

The sacrificial anode is designed to corrode and thus prevent the lining of water heater from corroding. Hence if you were to keep it in too long, it would no longer do its job - resulting in damage the heater lining.

I just read where the rule of thumb is to replace it after 25% of the rod has corroded.

Ruide
 

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Really? 25%? Mine was more than 25% when I replaced it, more like half and the dealership said it still had some life left. But I wont take that chance of letting it go to the last bit of lining. Its not an expensive part to replace one a year or two years.

Grace, well it is not like a spare tire. It is more like the oil in your car which you need to replace after a certain amount of time.

The sacrificial anode is designed to corrode and thus prevent the lining of water heater from corroding. Hence if you were to keep it in too long, it would no longer do its job - resulting in damage the heater lining.

I just read where the rule of thumb is to replace it after 25% of the rod has corroded.

Ruide
 

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OK I have to ask this knowing full well that I SHOULD already know this answer... What the hell is a anode and where do I check mine?

I know its in the water heater assembly, I'm not totally retared eh...

I have had Camper Trailers for well over 15 years and have NEVER heard of this before, am I just lucky :scratchhead:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
The anode rod should be inspected on a regular basis, so I use the annual task of winterizing to check it. This is also how I drain my water heater tank when I winterize it.

The anode rod is is in the tank to keep metal parts in the tank from corroding. Basically, the anode rod will corrode in place of the other metals (in a nutshell) When the rod is near depleted, it needs to be replaced.

Check the attached pics. When you put it back in, I usually wrap it with teflon tape as well.

How long have you had your camper? I would definitely check it, it may very well need replacing!!

anoderod2.jpg

anoderod.jpg
 

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Well you might not have one. The Suburban water heaters require them because the tank is steel. Atwood water heaters have alumunum clad steel tank and does not require an anode, but it will have a nylon plug that you remove to drain the tank.

Here are some pictures of my tank with the anode.

Ruide

BTW, how do you drain your tank in the winter?
 

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Those are great pictures of the water heater pipes. You did a wonderful job of showing what to do with them. My Dad was a mechanic and could fix anything. He kept everything in our home running smoothly. Thanks again for all the information and pictures.
 

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Thanks allot for the pics mailfire99 very much appreciated, I do NOT believe that my camper has one but you can bet your bottom dollar its the first thing I will be checking in the spring!!!!

heruide - I have a drain plug on mine and if memory serves me correctly I dio NOT remember seeing ANYTHING close to what is pictured above...
 

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Hmmm, the plug on our water heater is made from some white plastic material...and there is NOTHING like these rods attached. Sooo I'm digging out the manual to confirm WHAT brand this puppy is. Sure appreciate the pictures. We do flush out the system periodically, and also hit on the teflon tape. :thumbup1:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
bludog, as heruide mentioned above, depending on the type of water heater you have you may not have an anode rod in yours.

You may not require one, and instead just have the drain plug. Always a good idea to use that teflon tape too.

Hmmm, the plug on our water heater is made from some white plastic material...and there is NOTHING like these rods attached. Sooo I'm digging out the manual to confirm WHAT brand this puppy is. Sure appreciate the pictures. We do flush out the system periodically, and also hit on the teflon tape. :thumbup1:
 

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my 5th wheel that I leave on my up north property does not have one.
I was told by someone that if you use well water a anode will make the water smell like sulphur.
 

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Yes, this can happen. If there is sulpur, bacteria, magnesium anode rod etc.. in the tank, that smell may occur.

If it is hot water only causing the smell, you can try replacing the magnesium anode rod with a zinc anode rod. This zinc rod gives off less electrons and still protects against corrosion.

You could remove the anode rod altogether however this will probably shorten the life of the hot water heater. It will also void the water heater warranty, if you have one.
 
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