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Old 12-01-2020, 09:13 PM   #1
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Water Heater Anode Rod deteriorating

Hi all,

I have a 2021 forest river fsx Salem 179dbx bought in March this year. I went to winterize it today and when taking the water heater anode plug out of the hot water tank to drain it and it looked degraded - like it had calcium build up - I took a photo and posted below. Anyone heard of it before or what might cause it other than maybe just hard water ? Can I just replace it with a new one or is there potentially an underlying issue to sort out as well?

Thanks in advance for any help !
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:17 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum from New Jersey, Depending on the water quality those rods are designed to give up,You can just replace it next season. Some drain the water heater between trips.
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:18 PM   #3
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Thank you!
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:20 PM   #4
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That's what it's intended to do. Looks to me like you have a few more years of use in the that one.
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:20 PM   #5
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Apply some teflon tape to the threads on the new rod.
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:51 PM   #6
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Apply some teflon tape to the threads on the new rod.
But donít even install a new anode while this one is still good.
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:01 PM   #7
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They are supposed to degrade.
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:17 PM   #8
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They are supposed to degrade.
This^
We're on our 5th season with ours and it still has life left in it
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:21 PM   #9
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Thanks all - super helpful. Am new to rv’s ... so much to learn !
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Old 12-02-2020, 12:07 AM   #10
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a suggestion. Using the above attached image I'd replace when the rod reaches 75%. The smaller in diameter the anode rod is the faster it will be consumed. That last little bit can go quick and when it's down to just the center rod electrolysis/corrosion will start in on the inside of your tank.
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Old 12-02-2020, 12:20 AM   #11
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Thanks all - super helpful. Am new to rvís ... so much to learn !

That's what we are here for, to share experiences and wisdom.


This thread may help and is aimed at new RV owners.


https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...ts-157524.html


Included in that link above is a reference to our Five(5) different Suburban video guides, one of which explains the anode rod function and replacement.


Here is a direct link to just that video:


Water Heater Series 01: Video 01 - Suburban Anode Rod
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Old 12-02-2020, 12:35 AM   #12
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Thanks all - super helpful. Am new to rvís ... so much to learn !
Though on-demand water heaters don't have anode rods, it's the same with your water heater in your home has an anode rod which needs to be inspected.
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Old 12-02-2020, 02:57 PM   #13
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The picture you posted looks absolutely normal. It's doing it's job. You've still got plenty of life left on it.
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Old 12-02-2020, 03:38 PM   #14
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a suggestion. Using the above attached image I'd replace when the rod reaches 75%. The smaller in diameter the anode rod is the faster it will be consumed. That last little bit can go quick and when it's down to just the center rod electrolysis/corrosion will start in on the inside of your tank.
X2. I noticed in the OP's pic that deterioration is more pronounced near the threads, almost down to the "wire". It is certainly doing it's job. What you don't want to happen is the rod breaking off and falling into the tank. You'll play hell trying to get it out if that happens.
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Old 12-02-2020, 03:44 PM   #15
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X2. I noticed in the OP's pic that deterioration is more pronounced near the threads, almost down to the "wire". It is certainly doing it's job. What you don't want to happen is the rod breaking off and falling into the tank. You'll play hell trying to get it out if that happens.
Have you ever had that to happen? Mine always wears more at the threads, some times to the point l have been concerned with it, l change mine probably sooner than l shoud, especially when it wears at the threads.
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Old 12-02-2020, 04:19 PM   #16
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You'll play hell trying to get it out if that happens.
On a side note. I bought a pair of 18" tweezers. I can't count the times they've saved my butt.
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Old 12-02-2020, 04:31 PM   #17
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No worries

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X2. I noticed in the OP's pic that deterioration is more pronounced near the threads, almost down to the "wire". It is certainly doing it's job. What you don't want to happen is the rod breaking off and falling into the tank. You'll play hell trying to get it out if that happens.
No worries about that. The sacrificial part is aluminum or magnesium. The wire down the center is steel and decomposes very slowly, if at all.

A few shards of aluminum or magnesium in the bottom of the heater are not harmful. If it's a concern, just insert the hose nozzle into the anode opening and flush them out while the water heater is bypassed.
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Old 12-02-2020, 04:54 PM   #18
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The anode is sacrificial and intended to be replaced. They are inexpensive and readily available on Amazon. My dealer stocks them as well. Kind of a pain to install, however, only because it has a tapered thread with a short lead and the cantilevered weight of the anode rod makes it a little difficult to get started without cross threading. I pull mine every winter to drain the tank when winterizing and I always carry a spare.
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Old 12-02-2020, 04:57 PM   #19
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Also, if you pull yours to drain at winterizing it's a good idea to rinse out the tank after it drains because those corrosion deposits fall off an lay in the bottom of the tank.
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Old 12-02-2020, 04:59 PM   #20
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Also, if you pull yours to drain at winterizing it's a good idea to rinse out the tank after it drains because those corrosion deposits fall off an lay in the bottom of the tank.
... as stated on post #17.
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