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Old 10-22-2013, 12:07 PM   #1
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Creeping Crud in my Water Heater

Hey guys. I winterized the ol Salem today. Pumped the pink stuff through the lines and went to drain the water heater. Didn't take much effort to break it loose. I pulled the cap out and this is what it looked like:



A closer look:



I looked at that and though WTF?! I just figured it was a major case of the mold/mildew. So, I touched it... it was hard as concrete. I smacked it on a nearby wheelbarrow and a few chips came off. I couldn't believe it! What in the world would set up like concrete in a water heater? Calcium maybe?
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:25 PM   #2
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That sir is your anode rod.

It is doing what its supposed to by the looks of it.

Flush out water heater and replace the anode rod and you'll be fine.

They need checked every year.


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Old 10-22-2013, 12:35 PM   #3
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Hmm learn something new every day lol. So whats an anode rod suppost to do? And do they need replaced every year or just when they get nasty?
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Camino Man View Post
Hmm learn something new every day lol. So whats an anode rod suppost to do? And do they need replaced every year or just when they get nasty?

I believe that at 50% gone you replace.
Someone with cool charts and pictures I'm sure will post more info

There cheap and your dealer should have plenty on hand .
They can be ordered online as well.

Quick answer is the anode keeps your tank from deteriorating or corroding.


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Old 10-22-2013, 12:42 PM   #5
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:48 PM   #6
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ooo fancy. So im looking at this all wrong? That crud is suppost to be on there?
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:50 PM   #7
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Yep. It's not crud- it's actually eating away at the anode rod. Either the inside walls of your water heater get eaten away, or this anode rod.

It's all by magical design.
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Old 10-22-2013, 01:01 PM   #8
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I replace mine every year when I winterize. Like said before, cheap and easy to do.
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Old 10-22-2013, 01:20 PM   #9
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So I shortened the life of it by whacking it lol. How long do they "typically" last?
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Old 10-22-2013, 01:28 PM   #10
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As others stated, the anode rod is meant to deteriorate so your water heater does not. It is known as galvanic exchange. Aluminum and magnesium as those metals readily give up their ions more the metal used in your water heater.

What year is the Salem ?? I usually don't recommend changing out the anode rod every year, but if the Salem is a new camper and that is just 1 year old, then you might want to think about replacing. You might be using really hard water with a high salt content. If your camper is a couple of years old, then it probably last another season.

This was my anode rod last fall on a 2008 camper: Forest River Forums - MtnGuy's Album: Water Heater Anode - Picture

Still plenty left after 4 years, so I don't plan on replacing until it gets down quite a bit more.
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