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Old 07-06-2017, 09:47 PM   #1
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Anode Rod Question

We camp two times per month and I'm wondering about maintenance on the anode tube? Do I just leave it and forget about it or try and manage its demize.
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:53 PM   #2
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:57 PM   #3
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Your choice either way,change 1 time a year! Youroo!!
Just leave it in underwater for the season?
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Old 07-06-2017, 10:08 PM   #4
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Recognize that the water heater in your house also has a sacrificial anode rod. Have you EVER checked it?

The one in your rig is a lot smaller so it degrades faster. Most folks check its status at the end of a year when they winterize the water system. You should pull it out to fully drain the tank.

Since they are cheap, many people change them every year. There are a number of pictures available on the web to show when the rod has given its all. That could be 3-5+ years, depending on how aggressively the rod has been degraded. Unless the water you are using is exceptionally bad, the rod should last a full year.

If you don't replace the rod when it is dead, the water simply starts degrading the metal in the water heater until that starts leaking...
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Old 07-06-2017, 10:12 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by HangDiver View Post
We camp two times per month and I'm wondering about maintenance on the anode tube? Do I just leave it and forget about it or try and manage its demize.
For future reference,its correct name is anode ROD. The replacement interval depends upon several factors:

1. The condition of the city water you are using. The more chemicals in it,the more need to check it and possibly change it more frequently.

2. The more you use the water heater,along with the city water chemical content, will probably require changing it more frequently.

Don't "just leave it and forget about it ..." The Rod is there to keep your water heater from rusting internally. Make it part of your maintenance program to check its wear periodically. Somewhere in this forum is a chart showing the various stages of corrosion of anode rods and at what stage of wear it should e changed. Someone will probably post it here for your review.

I'm not sure how or if you "can manage its demise." Remember,the rod is there to sacrifice itself by combating the chemicals in city water that corrode your water heater.
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Old 07-07-2017, 08:29 AM   #6
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Old 07-07-2017, 08:38 AM   #7
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The contaminants in the water you use will determine how often you have to change/check it. For some users it may be twice a year while for others it could be every 2-3 years. I recommend checking every year and replacing it before it is worn out. They are inexpensive so buy two and you will have one when you pull it and find out is needs to be replaced.
Two down sides of not checking/replacing it.
1. The threads on the rod/plug will corrode and the longer it stays in the harder it is to remove.
2. As part of the sacrificial operation of the rod, crud falls off and drops to the bottom of the HW tank. This can then travel through the water lines and clog valves and faucet screens. Removing the rod and allowing the water ( and crud) to drain will help prevent this problem.
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Old 07-07-2017, 10:02 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. Given how often we're using the camper, I'll leave it in for the season.
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Old 07-07-2017, 10:12 AM   #9
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Thanks for the replies. Given how often we're using the camper, I'll leave it in for the season.
Your signature says you have a 2014 unit.
Have you ever checked it?

Check it at the end of this camping season (or sometime in the fall) and you'll know what to do!
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Old 07-07-2017, 10:25 AM   #10
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Replaced it when I bought the TT in February. Since we've had temps near 100 and with water in the system, yesterday I re-sanitized the FW tank, filled and dumped the tanks and it got me thinking about the HW tank.
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Old 07-07-2017, 10:37 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by HangDiver View Post
Replaced it when I bought the TT in February. Since we've had temps near 100 and with water in the system, yesterday I re-sanitized the FW tank, filled and dumped the tanks and it got me thinking about the HW tank.
What did it look like then?
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Old 07-07-2017, 10:43 AM   #12
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2. As part of the sacrificial operation of the rod, crud falls off and drops to the bottom of the HW tank. This can then travel through the water lines and clog valves and faucet screens. Removing the rod and allowing the water ( and crud) to drain will help prevent this problem.
I use mine about every other month for a few days at a time. In between runs, I drain and bypass my water heater. The two main reasons I started doing this are that I flush out the water heater before a trip so I don't have to worry as much about clogging things up as stated above and drying out the rod gives me a little more life out of it...about doubles it in my case.
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Old 07-07-2017, 10:46 AM   #13
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The rod is active whenever it is in contact with water. If you are storing the TT for a few weeks at a time, best idea is to drain it so that there is no water to react with rod.
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Old 07-07-2017, 10:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B47 View Post
For future reference,its correct name is anode ROD....
Title changed.
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Old 07-07-2017, 01:02 PM   #15
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What did it look like then?
The one I pulled out when I bought the camper was way more than half gone.
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Old 07-07-2017, 01:19 PM   #16
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The one I pulled out when I bought the camper was way more than half gone.
As mentioned, the water quality has a lot to do with how long the rod lasts.
Since you have no history with the rod and YOUR water, I'll suggest again that since you replaced it when you bought the TT, that you pull the rod at the end of the camping season (or this fall) and see what it looks like. You'll know what to do.

I replace mine once per year and do not drain the water heater between trips even though there are sometimes weeks between trips. I've been doing this for years with no problems. Costs me about $10 a year... eh... so what!
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