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Old 07-18-2011, 03:41 PM   #1
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Hot water plug????...is this normal?

Hey Guys...Just got home today from a camping trip....and noticed my Hot water plug was leeking....so when I got home...I took it out and saw this???....is this normal?.....is this just build up?....do I need to knock it off and put some dope on it and screw it back in?
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:46 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Athens-M50 View Post
Hey Guys...Just got home today from a camping trip....and noticed my Hot water plug was leeking....so when I got home...I took it out and saw this???....is this normal?.....is this just build up?....do I need to knock it off and put some dope on it and screw it back in?
Do not knock that stuff off !!! That is your anode rod. It is normal looking. It is meant to deteriorate through a galvanic exchange process.

If that is the orginal rod in your 2002, then you are doing good. You probably have a couple of more years left on that rod. Wash it off with clear water, put some teflon tape on the threads, and reinstall the rod. It is a good idea to pull the rod out once a year to inspect it.

This is mine after just 2 years of use:

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Old 07-18-2011, 03:49 PM   #3
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Thanks....so how do you know when it is time to replace?....
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:54 PM   #4
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Replace it !

Looks like the anode (zinc) rod is just about had it. It should be replaced.
Looks like about 60% of it is gone. If it were mine, I would replace it. If you continue to use it in the shape it is, your tank will start to break down next.

How old is the anode? If you camp regular during the season or do not drain your hot water tank during the winter, it will speed up the deterioration of the anode.
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:58 PM   #5
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You can replace it now, if you want to. The replacement rods are about $10 or so at your local RV store. Inexpensive insurance insurance to protect your water heater.

I am planning on letting mine get down to about 25% before I replace that puppy. Having less of the anode does not decrease it's effectiveness. But not having any anode on the rod is not a good thing, so you don't want it to be completely bare.

Some members here replace their rod every year. I am cheap.....if it is still working, that is $10 I will save that year.
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:59 PM   #6
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If you continue to use it in the shape it is, your tank will start to break down next.
Not too sure about that, Sid.
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Old 07-18-2011, 04:07 PM   #7
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got it out might as well change it up.
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Old 07-18-2011, 04:07 PM   #8
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Just bought the camper....so I don't know how old it is....may pick one up....not sure.
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:03 PM   #9
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noobie here, drained my hot water tank the other day and I only have a plug with no attached inner rod. do some tanks not use this device? thanks
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:18 PM   #10
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noobie here, drained my hot water tank the other day and I only have a plug with no attached inner rod. do some tanks not use this device? thanks
Yes. I don't think the Atwoods use an anode rod.

Bout time to get out the instruction manual to be sure, though.
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:24 PM   #11
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noobie here, drained my hot water tank the other day and I only have a plug with no attached inner rod. do some tanks not use this device? thanks
Prime Time trailers have the Atwood water heaters, so no anode rod. Just a plastic plug.
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:51 PM   #12
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I change mine each year as recommended by water heater the manufacturer - cheap insurance.
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:56 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by grhodes50

Prime Time trailers have the Atwood water heaters, so no anode rod. Just a plastic plug.
thanks, this forum helps alot
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:23 PM   #14
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New rod $ new water heater $$$. Your choice. The anode rod is used so that the anode rod will break down and not the tank of the water heater. Mine was about 50% gone when I replaced this year. Many people spend thousands of dollars to purchase a new TT the nickel and dime afterwards trying to save a few cents each year. Even if you replaced the rod every year at $10 you could be saving the cost of a new water heater a few years down the road.
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:35 PM   #15
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I have NO problem spending money on my camper.

However, I am in the less than 50% camp.
Spend money... Don't waste it.

As to the OP's anode, I would replace it as well. It looks ready. What you do not want is the anode to be so honeycombed as to start breaking off pieces. Those pieces will eventually clog all your faucets and we will wind up posting about water pressure in the plumbing forum.
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:20 PM   #16
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It already looks like some chunks have fallen off the anode. I change mine long before it looks like that one. Why take the chance for a lousy ten bucks?
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:46 AM   #17
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The anode in the photo is still good.
As someone said, as long as there is material on the rod it's working.

I'll spend the $10 on a few cold ones
and replace mine when it looks quite a bit smaller than that one.

MY concern is the threads in the anode hole rusting badly over the
winter while it's winterized with the anode plug removed..... how do
you combat that
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:48 AM   #18
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Thats what mine looked like when I pulled it for the first time. Its going to depend on the minerals in ur water as to how long it last.
When u replace, there is a difference in the plug size between atwood and surbain.
I believe the anode is only in the heaters with an electric element.
U have a little more life left in that one but u have it out, id go ahesd and change it out.
Mine was pulled for the first time this past fall.
being as far south, I didnt drain the waterheater. Will propably make an annual event now...it got colder than normal here this past winter. Didnt know that when I drained it.
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