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Old 11-11-2020, 11:39 AM   #21
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Wow what an education..... thank you all for your replies....
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Old 11-11-2020, 12:12 PM   #22
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Nothing wrong with the anode in the photo. This ain't a beauty contest. Years of life left.

-- Chuck
X2 There is more life in the anode rod in the picture. No need to change yet.
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Old 11-11-2020, 03:18 PM   #23
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I have noticed that magnesium rods cost a little more, which kind of makes me wonder, how do you know you're actually getting a magnesium rod when you buy one? I don't think they look any different. I bought a two pack on Amazon back in August for $6.99 which seemed pretty cheap, and now I'm wondering if it was a case of bait and switch...
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Old 11-11-2020, 03:34 PM   #24
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For sure!

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And even then that will vary from region to region, depending on the mineral content of the well water.
We have water in the trailer 9 months out of the year. We've had the trailer since 2008. The anode rod still looks new. Maybe minor surface roughness. The campground has its own private well.

Apparently the water is pretty benign. It has no obvious taste or smell.
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Old 11-11-2020, 03:39 PM   #25
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Depends on your water??
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Old 11-11-2020, 08:37 PM   #26
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Newbe here. Just winterized my 2017 Coachman Leprechaun 319MB and it did not have an anode, only a PVC drain plug. Anyone know why? It doesnt look like there's room to fit one in there.
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Old 11-11-2020, 08:44 PM   #27
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anode

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Newbe here. Just winterized my 2017 Coachman Leprechaun 319MB and it did not have an anode, only a PVC drain plug. Anyone know why? It doesnt look like there's room to fit one in there.
Dan will probably know, my belief, depending on the make, they all don't require one. I surmise it's because of the material used. Again Dan will know better than I.
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Old 11-11-2020, 08:54 PM   #28
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Old 11-11-2020, 08:59 PM   #29
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Newbe here. Just winterized my 2017 Coachman Leprechaun 319MB and it did not have an anode, only a PVC drain plug. Anyone know why? It doesnt look like there's room to fit one in there.
Atwood water heaters have an aluminum tank and do not require an anode rod. They simply have the nylon/PVC drain plug you mentioned.

Suburban tanks are steel (porcelain lined) and require an anode.
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Old 11-11-2020, 09:03 PM   #30
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anode

Thanks Picker
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Old 11-11-2020, 10:12 PM   #31
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Atwood water heaters have an aluminum tank and do not require an anode rod. They simply have the nylon/PVC drain plug you mentioned.

Suburban tanks are steel (porcelain lined) and require an anode.
Thanks for that info picker
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Old 11-12-2020, 08:47 AM   #32
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OK, Y'all, time for my "When is the last time you checked the anode in your water heater at home?" question. Previous owners of our house apparently never did. All that was left was a 4-foot length of coat hanger wire attached to the bolt at the top of the tank. Same 1-1/16 bolt and just as hard to remove.

Caused a "Hey, Guys, come see this" event at the local plumbing supply store when I took it in to get a proper replacement. Neither Lowes nor Home Depot carry these but the real plumbing shop is visible from Lowes parking lot.

Find the manual for your water heater. Not all the anodes are rods like your camper, some anodes are part of the water inlet or exit fitting.

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Old 11-12-2020, 08:58 AM   #33
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The plumber who installed our new water heater said not to bother. He said that the rod would easily last the expected lifetime of the heater. Since I put it in about two years ago and am moving into a new construction in about six months, meh.

For many home water heaters, the anode rod is inaccessible anyway.
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Old 11-12-2020, 09:45 AM   #34
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I never thought to check my home water heater anode until I got my first camper...

Ever think your plumber is in the business of repair and selling new water heaters? Yep, no need to check the anode. Call me for a new water heater when the bottom rusts out of this one. Takes 10 minutes to check and you already have the tools. *

It's possible to install a home water heater in places a 4' anode is hard to remove. There are replacements of the same length made in several sections joined by flexible joints so they can be snaked it. Only read about those that are part of the inlet or outlet.

* A friend called me a week or two ago as his air pump (furnace) was not putting out much heat during a little cold snap we had. First thing I suggested was to check the furnace filter. "What furnace filter?" He didn't know about the water heater anode either...

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Old 11-12-2020, 02:38 PM   #35
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The water heater that was replaced was 20 years old—at least. The anode rod had never been changed. It couldn’t have been without drilling a hole. Plumbers would make more money by selling anode rods every few years AND still selling a new heater in 20 years. The tank did not die from rusting out. The heater failed.

Plus, someone gets the labor costs for drilling the hole in the basement ceiling/kitchen floor to be able to get the danged thing out and replace it.

Nah.

Yeah, I wondered about replacing the residential anode rod after reading threads like this. And then I bought the new water heater and learned the realities of the first two paragraphs.
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Old 11-16-2020, 08:15 PM   #36
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I don't think the home type "on demand" water heaters have an anode rod .. do they?
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Old 11-16-2020, 08:25 PM   #37
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They do

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I don't think the home type "on demand" water heaters have an anode rod .. do they?
They do. Look at the top of the heater. Besides the inlet and outlet (and flue if gas-fired), you will see a flat hex fitting. It looks like the head of a big bolt. That's the end of the anode rod.

The one in the image has a grounding clip top. I don't think I've ever seen that before.
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Old 11-16-2020, 09:01 PM   #38
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The water heater that was replaced was 20 years old—at least. The anode rod had never been changed. It couldn’t have been without drilling a hole. Plumbers would make more money by selling anode rods every few years AND still selling a new heater in 20 years. The tank did not die from rusting out. The heater failed.

Plus, someone gets the labor costs for drilling the hole in the basement ceiling/kitchen floor to be able to get the danged thing out and replace it.

Nah.

Yeah, I wondered about replacing the residential anode rod after reading threads like this. And then I bought the new water heater and learned the realities of the first two paragraphs.
I replaced mine without drilling a hole in the ceiling.

Unscrewed old one snd lifted as far as i could. Put vise grip on it and cut off above vise grip with a sawzall. Lifted again, put second vise grip on wire which was exposed, cut again. Last lift and it was out. Replaced with a segmented rod. Had to cut some off the bottom to match my tank height but a sawzall and good metal cutting blade is a great tool to have.
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Old 11-16-2020, 09:04 PM   #39
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Just for grins and giggles, there is a third type of anode for another specific purpose other than tank electrolysis. ZINC or Aluminum/Zinc. This rod is used to combat the rotten egg smell some water sources are prone go create.
This is the one I was thinking of! I had to get one of these for my 30 gallon tank for my kitchen due to the well having high iron content. If high iron or manganese, or both are present, the aluminum or magnesium rods will foul and make it smell even worse.
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Old 11-16-2020, 09:10 PM   #40
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I don't think the home type "on demand" water heaters have an anode rod .. do they?
If referring to tankless water heater, no, they don't store water in any volume to require an anode. When water sits in a tank, that is when electrolysis occurs, and when an anode is required. The anode acts as a lightning rod for electrons so that it gets eaten instead of the more valuable copper or other metals in the tank. No such thing occurs in a tankless on demand heater. I have two of them along with an electric heater, no place for an anode on either tankless, but have replaced the rod in my electric 30 gallon.
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