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Old 10-25-2011, 10:45 PM   #31
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its in most water heaters in the bottom portion of the tank .
keeps the tank from corroding .
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:58 PM   #32
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i usually think of cathodic protection like electro plating. the impurities in the water make it conductive. the greater the mineral content, the more conductive. to keep the metal from the wh from being used, they put a sacrificial metal rod in there.
i haven't seen one on a gas only wh. that makes me believe the electric current passing thru the wh element plays a major part in the need for protection.

i would speculate that they don't put a drain on the heater to make u pull the rod and inspect. that may not have been their intent but it sounds good.
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:17 AM   #33
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If my anode looks like the photo I supplied is there a special rod that hold the anode together since mine is almost gone near the treaded plug. I was afraid that the rest of the anode would separate and fall inside the water heater?
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:34 AM   #34
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If my anode looks like the photo I supplied is there a special rod that hold the anode together since mine is almost gone near the treaded plug. I was afraid that the rest of the anode would separate and fall inside the water heater?
The wire rod itself should not deterioration....just the zinc or aluminum surrounding the rod.


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Hard water will actually extend the life of the anode. Soft water will shorten the life of the anode.
Huh ?? I have always heard and read that hard water is the culprit of galvanic exchange.

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Why is the anode rod/plug so hard to unscrew? On every camper/RV I've owned, it was tough as heck to unscrew them. I'm always afraid I'll break something because I have to torque it so hard before it starts to budge. I have one now that I have yet to get out.
Mine was hard to remove the 1st time.....the workers at the factory made sure that puppy didn't leak. I too was afraid of breaking something or messing up the threads. I used a 1 1/16th inch socket, and a small breaker bar with a lot of elbow grease. Since then, I have used thread tape, and I don't overly tighten the plug. If it leaks a little, I will give an extra little twist. When I pull the plug, there is no problem now.
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:35 AM   #35
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i haven't seen one on a gas only wh. that makes me believe the electric current passing thru the wh element plays a major part in the need for protection.
Nope, my last TT was gas only and it had a anode. That one lasted 6 years before I replaced it, it probably could have went longer.
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:51 AM   #36
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Ok dumb ? Coming! What's an anode?, where do I find it? And why do I need to know about this anode thing?
Vols, the anode rod is on the back side of the water heater drain plug on many water heaters. Some Atwoods do not use an anode.

An anode is a sacrificial rod that gives up its metal so other metals in your water heater will not corrode. Anode rods are usually made of aluminum or zinc, which more readily give up its molecules than other metals such as steel. Without the anode rod in place, your water heater would start to corrode due to the conductivity of water, especially water containing impurities.

For night time reading to put you to sleep, you can check this out: Galvanic corrosion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:52 AM   #37
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i wouldn't concerned with the flaking, it is doing its job. mine took 8 yrs to get down to abt 80%.
i wouldn't be concerned abt the pieces that wind up in the bottom, they are easily removed.
the metal isn't likely to make it into the hot water piping.
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Old 10-26-2011, 04:48 PM   #38
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I am including a picture of my anode condition. The trailer is a minilite 2011. Most of the anode is not too bad but near the plug is is quite gone. I am not draining my water heater between the camping sessions. I just drain it at the end for winterizing.
Umm, my understanding is that it needs to be replaced when it is 3/4 through to the steel core, not 3/4 gone from tip to tail. I'd be replacing that. $15 for an anode rod vs $$$$$ for a new water heater.
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:02 PM   #39
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Arn, many campers replace the anode rod every year......not a problem.

The anode rod does not become any less effective as it wears down. Only when all of the anode is gone is there a problem.

Me, I would rather replace mine when necessary (maybe every 10 year ??), and put the $150 saved in my beer fund.
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:13 PM   #40
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Me, I would rather replace mine when necessary (maybe every 10 year ??), and put the $150 saved in my beer fund.
Interesting option. I like the way you think...
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