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Old 07-10-2012, 09:49 AM   #11
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I'm with herk drain and flush when winterizing the unit for storage
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:16 PM   #12
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Removing the anode rod is the only way to 1) drain the tank completely 2) inspect anode rod condition (@ least annually) and 3) eliminate about 100 lbs of weight while towing (2012-13 Creeks w/ super kitchen slide has heater installed above & fwd of left fwd wheel.

When in short period storage, consider the corrosive effect of the chlorine in water on the aluminum tank and drain the water by removing the anode rod (Suburban requires a 1 1/16" socket for removal)

Travel safe & enjoy the journey
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:24 AM   #13
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Removing the anode rod is the only way to 1) drain the tank completely 2) inspect anode rod condition (@ least annually) and 3) eliminate about 100 lbs of weight while towing (2012-13 Creeks w/ super kitchen slide has heater installed above & fwd of left fwd wheel.

When in short period storage, consider the corrosive effect of the chlorine in water on the aluminum tank and drain the water by removing the anode rod (Suburban requires a 1 1/16" socket for removal)

Travel safe & enjoy the journey
Thank you for posting Mike. On the surface your logic sounds good. Just a couple of "adds" though. Unless you have a 12 gallon water tank, the water in most water heaters (6 gallon predominates) the water (at 8.3 pounds per gallon) weighs about 50 pounds.

Additionally, the most common RV water heater boilers (Suburban) are glass lined iron. That is why the sacrificial anode is made of an aluminum/magnesium alloy so IT will "rust" and not the tank's innards.

Atwood now makes models that are glass lined aluminum, but they do not have anodes (that is how you can tell if it is an aluminum boiler tank).
http://www.atwoodmobile.com/images/W...tage-Sheet.pdf

RV Tech Library - Water Heaters

It you HAVE a removable anode, removing it actually will destroy your tank over time because it will not be there to "suck" the ions that cause "rust", normally present in all water to some degree, away from the iron and onto itself.

If you like to travel with it empty, rather than removing the anode which will rot out your water heater very quickly (3-5 years) when it will need to be replaced (after a heck of a flood), install one of these (get the model for your heater):

Anode Rod with Drain for Atwood Water Heaters - 4 1/2" - Camco RV 11533 - Water Heaters - Camping World

It is a slightly more expensive than a standard anode and will be replaced more often (due to less anode material) but will keep you from destroying your boiler over time:

Amazon.com: Camco 11553 RV Magnesium Anode Rod Fits Atwood Heaters: Automotive

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:43 AM   #14
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...It you HAVE a removable anode, removing it actually will destroy your tank over time because it will not be there to "suck" the ions that cause "rust", normally present in all water to some degree, away from the iron and onto itself. If you like to travel with it empty, rather than removing the anode which will rot out your water heater very quickly (3-5 years)...
Don't understand this, if there is no water in the tank, how can it rot out more quickly?
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:52 AM   #15
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Don't understand this, if there is no water in the tank, how can it rot out more quickly?
With water in the tank, the only oxygen (needed to bind with the iron to form Ferric (Iron III) Oxide) is dissolved in the water. If you remove the water, the iron is exposed to the air which has much more water vapor and O2 in it than plain water and no way (electrical path) for the ions to find their way to the anode.

Example: take a piece of flat iron; cut it in two; clean both pieces with acetone to remove all protective oils and put one in a water bath and leave one hanging from a string. See which one rusts first.

My bet is the one hanging will have surface rust before you even get out of the workshop.
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:24 AM   #16
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With water in the tank, the only oxygen (needed to bind with the iron to form Ferric (Iron III) Oxide) is dissolved in the water. If you remove the water, the iron is exposed to the air which has much more water vapor and O2 in it than plain water and no way (electrical path) for the ions to find their way to the anode.

Example: take a piece of flat iron; cut it in two; clean both pieces with acetone to remove all protective oils and put one in a water bath and leave one hanging from a string. See which one rusts first.

My bet is the one hanging will have surface rust before you even get out of the workshop.
Agree 100% on the bare steel, but the inside of the tank is porcelain coated and not bare.
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:38 AM   #17
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Agree 100% on the bare steel, but the inside of the tank is porcelain coated and not bare.
Feel free to:
Use the anode rod;or not.
Leave it in when winterized; or not.
Leave it full of water; or not.

I have never seen porcelain coated iron rust. Oh, wait ...
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:47 AM   #18
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It seems logical to drain the water after breaking camp especially if you are not going to be the unit for a while....I was in the habbit of removing the rod as well until the last trip we had. I had installed 1/4 turn ball valves on the low point drains and fresh water drains and open them after dumping the tanks. I left them open until we got home....pulled the anode rod and the tank had drained out. I am going to do this from now on....
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:52 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
Feel free to:
Use the anode rod;or not.
Leave it in when winterized; or not.
Leave it full of water; or not.

I have never seen porcelain coated iron rust. Oh, wait ...
Would never leave it out with water in the tank.

I have seen a lot of porcelain coated steel pots last for several decades even without anode rods.

Don't think I've ever seen porcelain coated iron.

That's what makes this a great forum. We can all have different opinions and still help each other. I LIKE it!
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:00 AM   #20
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Don't think I've ever seen porcelain coated iron.

That's what makes this a great forum. We can all have different opinions and still help each other. I LIKE it!
I was referring to those porcelain coated gas grill tops. Any crack in the coating makes those things unusable in short order as they then rust from inside and "burst though" the coating from underneath.

When intact, a porcelain coating will allow antique utensils to last many lifetimes, yet any cracks in the coating will reduce one to dust in a few years.

Also in the boiler, the area around the fittings are not coated. Stick your finger in the anode fitting (put some Vaseline on it first - Jeez) and feel behind it. You can feel where the coating starts.

As to your last comment I am also in 100% agreement!

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