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Old 01-08-2019, 06:42 PM   #1
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Suburban 10 Gallon Water Heater Issue

I have a new Cedar Creak 5th wheel with a 10 Gal Suburban Water Heater. I have owned one other trailer and 3 boats that had Dometic 6 Gal Water Heaters.I was told by an old hand many years ago to always drain the water tank when it won't be used for a awhile. The 4 prior Dometic ones never had any kind of silt or crap that came out when I drained them. When I opened the drain valve on the Suburban the first and subsequent times I was shocked at the amount of crap that came out! The anode is still ok. Is this thing eating itself alive or is this normal?
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:40 PM   #2
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Not unusual. The amount of crud will depend on the quality of the water. The suburban WH uses an anode to control corrosion of the steel tank, The sacrificial property of the anode causes much of the crud. As long as the anode is in good shape, your tank should be fine.
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:42 PM   #3
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Maybe from well water at Camp grounds you go to or get water. I double filter mine and use the best filters I can find and still on occasion find that when I drain. Some places are so bad, I had to change my in line filter to get better water pressure.
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Old 01-09-2019, 11:20 AM   #4
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Thanks for the input. I have always used one of the blue Camco filters. I guess that may not be good enough for my area. Most of the water that goes into my RV is from my home.
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybob View Post
Not unusual. The suburban WH uses an anode to control corrosion of the steel tank, The sacrificial property of the anode causes much of the crud. As long as the anode is in good shape, your tank should be fine.
Most water heater tanks I have seen for RVing - uses aluminum - not steel. I haven't seen a single steel tank. (Doesn't mean that they don't exist...just that they are very rare.)
Now - aluminum does corrode ....leaves a whitish powder. AND - I had a very old RV where the WH tank (aluminum) - did corrode through - and I replaced the tank.
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:24 PM   #6
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Most water heater tanks I have seen for RVing - uses aluminum - not steel. I haven't seen a single steel tank. (Doesn't mean that they don't exist...just that they are very rare.)
Now - aluminum does corrode ....leaves a whitish powder. AND - I had a very old RV where the WH tank (aluminum) - did corrode through - and I replaced the tank.
From Suburban website: Heated water attacks all metals - and that's why Suburban uses a porcelain-lined, steel tanks with an anode rod to "absorb" the electrolytic action - just like your water heater at home. To understand the purpose and function of the Anode Rod
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vineyardmh View Post
Most water heater tanks I have seen for RVing - uses aluminum - not steel. I haven't seen a single steel tank. (Doesn't mean that they don't exist...just that they are very rare.)
Now - aluminum does corrode ....leaves a whitish powder. AND - I had a very old RV where the WH tank (aluminum) - did corrode through - and I replaced the tank.
I'd have to think differently.

Walking around at R/V shows and campgrounds, along with the many R/Vs we've owned, The Suburban with a porcelain lined steel tank seems to be the majority and far from a rarity, especially in Forest River products. Atwood and tankless style second and third.
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Old 01-09-2019, 04:03 PM   #8
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I buy my replacement Suburban anode on Amazon and replace it every year as part of my end of season winterizing. I usually just order a new one at the same time as I order the Camco water filter dual pack I plan to use for the next season.

Amazon Link for Suburban 10 gal HW Heater Anode Rode $16.13

Amazon Link for 2-pack Camco Water Filters $22.93
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Old 01-09-2019, 04:12 PM   #9
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I'm guessing that he was talking about the wetted material and the rarity of an actual steel metal tank. Porcelain lined steel is basically a porcelain tank, relative to the electrochemistry going on inside -- the water is not contacted by steel.
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Old 01-09-2019, 04:59 PM   #10
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The “RV Geeks” have a YouTube video on cleaning / flushing out the hot water tank using white vinegar. My DX3-37RB is 4.5 years old and starting last year, I’ll give my 10 gallon hot water tank an annual clean out with white vinegar. You’ll want to do it at a campground with full hook ups.
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