Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-27-2012, 02:06 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Upstate, SC
Posts: 120
Question Is this much calcium normal for 7 months / 4 times of use?!?

So I was winterizing our new SP295 today and I took out the anode rod for the hot water tank. It was packed full of calcium! I mean packed, as in there was only the hole for the anode in the outlet. I spent a good 30 minutes flushing all sizes of stuff out. No idea how much actually came out but it was quite a bit! I am also curious about my actual anode rod. From the photos of a worn one, mine looks shot. It is only 7 months old and we used the TT 4 times for 16 days total. The rod is completely smooth and has no visible wear on it and it is completely uniform in size. I didnt know if it was this small when new or if it really was shot.

Either way, is that much buildup normal for that little bit of use? Camper was ordered new so it wasnt like it sat around the dealer or was pre-owned.

See pics for what I found. The photo of the outlet was after flushing a little bit.




__________________
'15 XLR 27HFS
'15 Nissan NVP 3500 SL
Campers - Me, DW, 3 - DS (7, 5, 3), 2 large dogs
CHD Dad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2012, 02:10 PM   #2
Mod free 5er
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Concord, NC
Posts: 24,705
You must have some really bad water to eat it up that fast.
Your anode is completely gone. If they go this fast, you better pick up 2 or 3 and inspect every time you use the water heater.
__________________
OldCoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2012, 02:20 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Upstate, SC
Posts: 120
So it really is shot? Our old Salem TT had a much thicker anode that was worn ONLY at the base where its threaded. This one is completely smooth from tip to threads.

We stay at State Campgrounds. Spent one week on the shore where the water is brackish and non-potable. Spent two long weekends here in SC and one over in GA. The beach campground is busy 365 days a year and we have stayed there a few times in the past with the in-laws or with our old camper. Last weekend was also a very popular park. The GA park is fairly popular and busy off and on most of the year. The other park here in SC is not very popular and normally open. We loved it (Kings Mountain) as did our kids.

If I had to guess would it be the water from the shore campground with the brackish water? We plan on going at least once a year for a week.
__________________
'15 XLR 27HFS
'15 Nissan NVP 3500 SL
Campers - Me, DW, 3 - DS (7, 5, 3), 2 large dogs
CHD Dad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2012, 02:30 PM   #4
Mod free 5er
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Concord, NC
Posts: 24,705
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHD Dad View Post
So it really is shot? ...
I hope you are joking in asking is it really shot? They should be about 5/8" in dia when new. There is nothing left of yours except the wire they bond the anode material to.
New one:
Camco 11563 RV Aluminum Anode Rod Fits Suburban Heaters : Amazon.com : Automotive
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	31e-a6HnJZL__SL500_.jpg
Views:	77
Size:	8.2 KB
ID:	21135  
__________________
OldCoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2012, 02:53 PM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
 
MtnGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 9,280
What Neil said !!!

I did not have any idea that an anode rod would be gone like that in just 1 year.

Some of what you are seeing is probably zinc from the anode rod, but most if does indeed look like calcium.....or magnesium if you have either of those in your home water. I hope you have a water softener in your house, if that is mainly the water you have used in your camper.

We normally just tell members to check the anode rod when they winterize, but in this case I think I would checking it ever couple of months.

Here is what mine looks like after 4 years:

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1368.jpg
Views:	97
Size:	43.8 KB
ID:	21137
__________________

Chap , DW Joy, and Fur Baby Sango
2017 F350 Lariat CCSB, SRW, 4x4, 6.7 PS
2017 Grand Design Reflection 337RLS
MtnGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2012, 05:52 PM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
 
MtnGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 9,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHD Dad View Post
Spent one week on the shore where the water is brackish and non-potable.
But you didn't use that in your camper water system, did you ??
__________________

Chap , DW Joy, and Fur Baby Sango
2017 F350 Lariat CCSB, SRW, 4x4, 6.7 PS
2017 Grand Design Reflection 337RLS
MtnGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2012, 05:52 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Upstate, SC
Posts: 120
No water from the home was used, we have excellent water either way. Only water was from campgrounds. Any ideas on what caused the anode to disappear in 7 months?!?
__________________
'15 XLR 27HFS
'15 Nissan NVP 3500 SL
Campers - Me, DW, 3 - DS (7, 5, 3), 2 large dogs
CHD Dad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2012, 06:00 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Upstate, SC
Posts: 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnguy View Post
But you didn't use that in your camper water system, did you ??
Yes, the entire campground uses it. It isnt recommended for drinking, you can get free filtered drinking water from the local Fire Dept but you can use it for washing dishes, showers, etc. Even the water in the three bath houses has a slightly salty taste. I am not talking straight from the ocean water, but they dont recommend drinking it.

Campground is Edisto Beach State Park in SC. For anyone that knows the campground it is one of the most popular campgrounds in SC. You need to book 12 months in advance for busy times and even then you are not guaranteed a spot.

Every camper we saw was hooked to water, from Pop-Ups to Class A's. This is after going there for a lot of years, it isnt like this is a new policy at the park.
__________________
'15 XLR 27HFS
'15 Nissan NVP 3500 SL
Campers - Me, DW, 3 - DS (7, 5, 3), 2 large dogs
CHD Dad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2012, 06:58 PM   #9
Phat Phrog Stunt Crew
 
awwall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Biloxi, Ms
Posts: 705
Have you thought about saving some of the residue and having it analyzed? Might be worth the few bucks to see what is causing this rapid deterioration of the Anode.
__________________
Wayne & Susan Biloxi,Ms
2012 GeorgeTown 351DS...2015 Ford Focus/Brake Buddy
FROG Member
awwall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2012, 08:07 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
onetonford's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: TEMP for now
Posts: 1,162
I would also think if you used the electric. heating element might be bad leaking electric power to anode causing it to dissolve more rapidly. I would check that also..
__________________

2001 Ford F-350 DRW 7.3
2011 25 RL Wildcat
former fiver 1976 Fourwinds had for 35 years
onetonford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2012, 08:30 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
VinceU's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 3,568
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHD Dad View Post
So I was winterizing our new SP295 today and I took out the anode rod for the hot water tank. It was packed full of calcium! I mean packed, as in there was only the hole for the anode in the outlet. I spent a good 30 minutes flushing all sizes of stuff out. No idea how much actually came out but it was quite a bit! I am also curious about my actual anode rod. From the photos of a worn one, mine looks shot. It is only 7 months old and we used the TT 4 times for 16 days total. The rod is completely smooth and has no visible wear on it and it is completely uniform in size. I didnt know if it was this small when new or if it really was shot.

Either way, is that much buildup normal for that little bit of use? Camper was ordered new so it wasnt like it sat around the dealer or was pre-owned.

See pics for what I found. The photo of the outlet was after flushing a little bit.




No that's not normal, looks and sounds as though the electric element is running too hot, maybe too large in Watage or the therostat is running way hot. I think most of the debris came from the water breaking down. Where did you get those big flakes in the middle photo?
VinceU is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2012, 08:35 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
VinceU's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 3,568
Another thought, you really should pull the electric element also and inspect it.
VinceU is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2012, 09:48 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Upstate, SC
Posts: 120
Big flakes came out the drain hole when I was flushing it out.

I am calling my dealer on Monday. This TT is 7 months old, I don't want to start pulling things apart. My dealer has been great with other issues that have come up. At least we are done camping until April when we go back to Edisto. I will bring up the heater element and possible electric leakage. The water is VERY hot coming out. I swear we could boil with it out of the tap. Our old Salem was also pretty hot so I don't know what is normal. Our home tankless system is set fairly low for the kiddos safety.
__________________
'15 XLR 27HFS
'15 Nissan NVP 3500 SL
Campers - Me, DW, 3 - DS (7, 5, 3), 2 large dogs
CHD Dad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 06:58 AM   #14
Moderator Emeritus
 
MtnGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 9,280
Here is what I think is happening:

By the OP posts, brackish water is being used in the fresh water system.

Brackish water has a high salt content. Not quite the high salt content of seawater, but the results are as bad.....salt water makes metal rust through a process called galvanic exchange. The anode rod is a sacrificial metal that dissolves so that the metal in the hot water heater does not rust.

What you are seeing is probably sodium chloride (NaCL, ie table salt) and some other elements and minerals, with a little zinc thrown in from the anode rod.

The best thing the OP can do is to not introduce brackish water into the fresh water system. If it were me, I would flush the system, sanitize, flush again, sanitize again, and fill the fresh water tank with just that......fresh water before I leave home.....or with trusted water somewhere. Check the electric heating element for damage. Install a new anode rod. If the water heater is not already ruined, and the pipes and faucet screens aren't already clogged, count your lucky stars and chalk it up to a harsh learning experience. The anode rod did what it was supposed to do as long as it lasted.....hopefully it lasted long enough that no permanent damage was done to the water heater.
__________________

Chap , DW Joy, and Fur Baby Sango
2017 F350 Lariat CCSB, SRW, 4x4, 6.7 PS
2017 Grand Design Reflection 337RLS
MtnGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 06:58 AM   #15
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 22,790
High acid content water is causing your problem. To eat your anode to the wire in 7 months is a big clue.

I have never seen an anode rod destroyed in 7 months.
__________________
Lou, Laura, & Freya the wonder dog
2008 GMC Sierra 3000HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2019 Flagstaff 8529FLS - Pullrite 3300
HAM CALLSIGN - KC3FFW
Herk7769 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 09:02 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Taranwanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: NEPA
Posts: 1,470
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnguy View Post
The best thing the OP can do is to not introduce brackish water into the fresh water system.
X2! I would not let anything other than potable water anywhere near my TT's FW system. In addition to the high salt content (with the sodium and calcium,) who knows what else could be making its way through your plumbing? Bacteria, organisms, etc...if its not drinkable, it's not coming in! Flush it, drain it, bleach it, flush it again, replace the anode, and do that "lucky stars" thing.
__________________
2015 XLR Hyperlite 30HFS5 (mods being performed regularly)
2009 Salem LA 292fkds (gone)
Nights- ('12)23 ('13)23 ('14)15 ('15)31 ('16)27 ('17) 20 (‘18)21 (‘19)23
2019 Honda CRV (camping support vehicle)
2014 Harley Davidson FLHX (XLR cargo)
2011 Ram 2500 CC 4X4 CTD, B&W Companion (toy hauler hauler)
Taranwanderer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 05:00 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Upstate, SC
Posts: 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnguy View Post
Here is what I think is happening:

By the OP posts, brackish water is being used in the fresh water system.

Brackish water has a high salt content. Not quite the high salt content of seawater, but the results are as bad.....salt water makes metal rust through a process called galvanic exchange. The anode rod is a sacrificial metal that dissolves so that the metal in the hot water heater does not rust.

What you are seeing is probably sodium chloride (NaCL, ie table salt) and some other elements and minerals, with a little zinc thrown in from the anode rod.

The best thing the OP can do is to not introduce brackish water into the fresh water system. If it were me, I would flush the system, sanitize, flush again, sanitize again, and fill the fresh water tank with just that......fresh water before I leave home.....or with trusted water somewhere. Check the electric heating element for damage. Install a new anode rod. If the water heater is not already ruined, and the pipes and faucet screens aren't already clogged, count your lucky stars and chalk it up to a harsh learning experience. The anode rod did what it was supposed to do as long as it lasted.....hopefully it lasted long enough that no permanent damage was done to the water heater.
While I am not dismissing this idea at all, since most of it makes perfect sense, I have to think it is something else... I also want to reiterate that it is not like this is brackish from a coastal swamp. There is a definite salt taste to the water and the rangers dont recommend drinking it. It is island wide, even the vacation homes have the same issue - is the nature of the location. I completely agree that a high salt content is not ideal for any system. But - these are the reasons I see this is most likely something different.

Reasons-
1) there are 100 sites on the beach, I dont remember seeing anyone NOT hooked up to the water system. Not just using the water for a spray hose or to fill a bucket, but I mean actually plumbed into their TT, 5'er, Class A, etc... I know some probably had filters of some sort, but not all of them.

2) My relatives have been camping there for over a decade using the water.

3) Their best friends have also been there for over a decade using the water.

4) We have been there in the past using their water.

1 - 4) Nobody that I know of has ever had an issue with their hot water system, plumbing, or anything else water related. My anodes in the past just had regular wear. My relatives and their friends looked normal from when I contacted them over the weekend. Since a lot of campers there are regulars who come annually (or even more, my relatives go two times a year most years) and there are some pretty nice rigs there I have to think they wouldnt All be doing something that would cause massive damage to their systems.

I saw that the water temp could be an issue. Our current system (we had the identical heater in our Salem) gets the water hot enough that when we hook up our hose with a metal sprayer attached, the metal gets hot enough you need to use a towel to hold it. It is also hot enough that when we fill our wash buckets you cant leave your hand in the water for more than several seconds. I think that is way too hot, but as I stated before I dont know how hot these run. Our Salem was pretty hot as well but I swear this one is hotter. We normally run it on electric and propane both, but only when needed. We have it off otherwise.

I am still calling the dealer in the morning to go over this and email him my photos. I would still like to hear ideas if there are more out there. I will update what I hear back from the dealer.
__________________
'15 XLR 27HFS
'15 Nissan NVP 3500 SL
Campers - Me, DW, 3 - DS (7, 5, 3), 2 large dogs
CHD Dad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 06:21 PM   #18
Oklahoma Proud
 
MillerTime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: central OK
Posts: 2,784
Here is my rod. Brought my 2013 5er home july 24th, and pulled the annode out this past Friday and was surprized to see it ate up this bad. We only camped at lakes around here in Oklahoma for 16 nights, but we didnt drain the h2o heater till winterization.

Click image for larger version

Name:	ForumRunner_20121028_182042.jpg
Views:	72
Size:	40.9 KB
ID:	21171
MillerTime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 07:12 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
VinceU's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 3,568
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHD Dad View Post
I am still calling the dealer in the morning to go over this and email him my photos. I would still like to hear ideas if there are more out there. I will update what I hear back from the dealer.
Must agree with you, 99% of the water system is plastic piping and valves. Worst can happen is you consume sacrificial anode rods and maybe later on will cause the steel tank to pit and deteriorate. New they are epoxy coated. Thats the need for the anode, it protects the steel if and when the epoxy begins to fail. The thermostats for Suburban are available in 120, 130 and 140F for both the gas and electric sides. Having lost one already (1 year) they are very flimsy. The next temp protection is the trip 180 and the relief valve 195 I believe. IE its a specific not general cause.
VinceU is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 09:48 PM   #20
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 22,790
Here is some information on anode rods.

If you are posting for vindication of your opinion that something is wrong with your water heater, I think you will find very few here who will agree with you.

The water you are introducing to your system is ruining your plumbing to include your water heater in my opinion. What is happening to your heater is also happening inside your valves and flush valve in your toilet.

Best of luck but I would buy a small water softener unit to pre-treat your water prior to bringing it into your camper (similar to On The Go - Portable Water Softener)
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Water Heater element.jpg
Views:	63
Size:	42.8 KB
ID:	21177  
Attached Images
  
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Suburban Water Heater Repair and Operation.pdf (3.60 MB, 12 views)
__________________
Lou, Laura, & Freya the wonder dog
2008 GMC Sierra 3000HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2019 Flagstaff 8529FLS - Pullrite 3300
HAM CALLSIGN - KC3FFW
Herk7769 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:50 AM.