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Old 01-03-2020, 11:53 AM   #1
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Water Heater Anode Rod

I have an Atwood water heater in my Crusader. It originally did not come with an anode rod. I retrofitted it with an anode rod available specifically for those units. From my conversations on these pages I understand that the Atwoods use an aluminum tank, and therefore don't need an anode rod. Here is a picture of the rod after only one year of use. Looks to be preventing metallurgic reaction within the tank. What's the deal, oh smarters than me?
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Old 01-03-2020, 07:42 PM   #2
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this is my understanding but double check it! my understanding is that the anode rod reacts more easily than the metal lining of the surburban water heaters. by doing this it prevents (or slows) the reaction on the metal lining. i believe the atwood heaters have a glass non-reactive lining and that is why they do not need an anode rod. but if you put an anode in either tank (suburban or atwood) it will react with the water and will be consumed. it really has nothing to do with the tank lining.
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:31 PM   #3
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Yep, just because an anode rod disintegrated doesn't necessarily mean that something else would have in its stead.

Toss that anode into a plastic 5 gallon bucket of water and watch it corrode. But, if you remove the anode, the plastic bucket will be just fine.
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Old 01-04-2020, 08:17 AM   #4
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The anode rod is not aluminum like the tank is.
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Old 01-04-2020, 09:06 AM   #5
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So what I'm hearing is, the anode is reacting with the water, not with the tank?
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Old 01-04-2020, 09:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comanchecreek View Post
So what I'm hearing is, the anode is reacting with the water, not with the tank?
Correct
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Old 01-04-2020, 09:20 AM   #7
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exactly! that is the purpose of the 'sacrificial anode rod'. it it there to sacrifice itself by allowing the water to easily react with it so that the water does not react with and dissolve the metal in the tank. this saves the tank.
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Old 01-04-2020, 11:15 AM   #8
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To the OP, Remove the Anode Rod you installed! Install the Plastic Plug that came with the Water Heater "Atwood" that you Removed! You have a ATWOOD,they require NO Anode Rod! Youroo!!
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Old 01-04-2020, 11:17 AM   #9
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There is no corrosion problem with the Atwood Alm tanks. Just the steel Suburbans. If Atwood needed a rod they would have put one in.
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Old 01-04-2020, 11:38 PM   #10
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anode rod

I operate on the KISS method. Keep It Simple Stupid. Why complicate things by installing something that is not required in the first place.
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:35 AM   #11
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I operate on the KISS method. Keep It Simple Stupid. Why complicate things by installing something that is not required in the first place.
I'm more of a "anything that can go wrong, will go wrong" guy. So my question to all of you, "don't need an anode" folks is if I throw the anode in a bucket by itself, it will corrode like this? My understanding is, there must be a metallurgic reaction going on to cause the anode to corrode.
As far as the "if it needed one, they would put one in" folks I ask, my concern would be planned obsolescence?
My last question would be, most say an aluminum tank does not need an anode, why do they put anodes on aluminum outboard engines. They go away at a severe rate without them. Same idea only the water is external to them, not internal like the water heater.
Thanks in advance for the responses.
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:49 AM   #12
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I do understand the "glass lining" part of this conversation. My concern would lay more with connection fittings that pass through the tank into the glass lined inner compartment. If all are aluminum then I suppose in this day and age of PEX pipes, there would be a minimal chance of corrosion.
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Old 01-05-2020, 10:01 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Comanchecreek View Post
I have an Atwood water heater in my Crusader. It originally did not come with an anode rod. I retrofitted it with an anode rod available specifically for those units. From my conversations on these pages I understand that the Atwoods use an aluminum tank, and therefore don't need an anode rod. Here is a picture of the rod after only one year of use. Looks to be preventing metallurgic reaction within the tank. What's the deal, oh smarters than me?
You do not need an anode rod in the attwoods . just because the rod looks like that does not mean it is helping the tank . wouldn't make a difference with or with out anode . but if it makes you feel good
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Old 01-05-2020, 10:41 AM   #14
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Many of us routinely check their camper water heater anodes but has anyone (other than me) checked the anode in their house water heater?

I did after we bought our current house two years ago and it was just a 4' long bare wire with no hint of sacrificial material remaining. Guys at the plumbing shop were amazed! Probably neither checked nor changed in the 10 years since the house was built.

Time for the annual drain and anode check this month.

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Old 01-05-2020, 10:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comanchecreek View Post
I do understand the "glass lining" part of this conversation. My concern would lay more with connection fittings that pass through the tank into the glass lined inner compartment. If all are aluminum then I suppose in this day and age of PEX pipes, there would be a minimal chance of corrosion.
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:56 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Comanchecreek View Post
I'm more of a "anything that can go wrong, will go wrong" guy. So my question to all of you, "don't need an anode" folks is if I throw the anode in a bucket by itself, it will corrode like this? My understanding is, there must be a metallurgic reaction going on to cause the anode to corrode.
As far as the "if it needed one, they would put one in" folks I ask, my concern would be planned obsolescence?
My last question would be, most say an aluminum tank does not need an anode, why do they put anodes on aluminum outboard engines. They go away at a severe rate without them. Same idea only the water is external to them, not internal like the water heater.
Thanks in advance for the responses.
Geez, just leave it in if it makes you feel better.
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Old 01-13-2020, 10:34 PM   #17
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I know this is late, but I have been using Atwood and Suburban h/w tanks for over 45 years. I lost two Atwood heaters before starting to use anodes in them. Haven't lost an Atwood tank since. Current tt has a Suburban tank and my fingers are crossed. Usually get 3 to 4 years out of a rod.
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Old 01-14-2020, 08:39 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by hollywood91 View Post
I know this is late, but I have been using Atwood and Suburban h/w tanks for over 45 years. I lost two Atwood heaters before starting to use anodes in them. Haven't lost an Atwood tank since. Current tt has a Suburban tank and my fingers are crossed. Usually get 3 to 4 years out of a rod.
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Can't imagine why you would lose the attwood tanks with out an anode . i've seen and personally had attwood tanks that were well over 30 yrs old and never an issue .
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Old 01-14-2020, 10:44 AM   #19
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Geez, just leave it in if it makes you feel better.
That's the plan. Thanks for the response.
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:59 PM   #20
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I have a question for the OP. Are you threading the anode rod where the plastic drain plug goes? Im not all that familiar with Atwood water heaters, but isnt the threaded hole where the plastic plug goes plastic also? Please clear this up for me. Jay
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