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Old 08-02-2021, 01:16 PM   #1
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Replacing water heater anode

There are many new owners of travel trailers and learning the ins & outs of maintaining the unit is typically an adventure. While I am not a new RV unit owner, I am still learning what is necessary to keep the unit on the road & viable.

Well I learned a new (to me) need my 2018 Wildwood trailer; an inspection of the water heater anode at least annually. I did not believe I needed to do this since my water heater only runs on propane. but I was very wrong.

The picture, I have posted is the old and the new anode, the original anode was first used when the trailer was new Jan 21, 2019. I finally inspected it AND replaced the original recently (July 28, 2021) or some 30 months after bring the trailer home. When I flushed the tank out it was full of "sand" or pieces of the old anode (not good).

I'm posting this to remind all that the water heater anode must be inspected, at least every travel season.

Hope this helps someone who is still learning RV maintenance. Funny as this may seem I did remember to lube the trailers wheel bearing but not replace the anode !
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Old 08-02-2021, 01:34 PM   #2
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You should be dumping hot water tank AT LEAST when you put it away for season. The longer tank is full, the sooner you will need to replace anode. Mine is into 3rd season and only 75% consumed, I dump tanks in between trips if unused a month or more.
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Old 08-02-2021, 01:53 PM   #3
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WOW every time we winterized our tank when we go down to about 2/3 gone my spare when in the next spring. Looks like you wanted to get use out of every inch LOL
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Old 08-02-2021, 02:36 PM   #4
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That erosion of the anode has nothing to do with being run or propane. The erosion is caused by a reaction with the water in the tank. It is designed so the water will attack the anode rather than attacking the steel tank itself.

Several people just replace it each year. They are cheap. Others drain the water from the tank when not in use. No water means no erosion reaction. But glad you caught it, hopefully before the tank itself started to erode.
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Old 08-02-2021, 02:44 PM   #5
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This is also mentioned in the FAQs section.

https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...aqs-36254.html
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Old 08-03-2021, 07:54 PM   #6
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Huh?

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Originally Posted by NJKris View Post
You should be dumping hot water tank AT LEAST when you put it away for season. The longer tank is full, the sooner you will need to replace anode. Mine is into 3rd season and only 75% consumed, I dump tanks in between trips if unused a month or more.
Kris, he's in Florida. Their season is 365 days/year.
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Old 08-03-2021, 08:00 PM   #7
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Perhaps! But it sounds like even HE has a travel season.
Quote:
I'm posting this to remind all that the water heater anode must be inspected, at least every travel season.
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Old 08-03-2021, 08:30 PM   #8
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For $10 if I unscrew it I replace it. Usually only happens at end of season when I flush tank. I like fresh new threads and for $10, I get them.
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Old 08-04-2021, 12:20 AM   #9
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How many of you have EVER checked or replaced the anode in your home water heater?
You do know it is exactly the same only larger.
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Old 08-04-2021, 01:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Florida.Traveler View Post
There are many new owners of travel trailers and learning the ins & outs of maintaining the unit is typically an adventure. While I am not a new RV unit owner, I am still learning what is necessary to keep the unit on the road & viable.

Well I learned a new (to me) need my 2018 Wildwood trailer; an inspection of the water heater anode at least annually. I did not believe I needed to do this since my water heater only runs on propane. but I was very wrong.

The picture, I have posted is the old and the new anode, the original anode was first used when the trailer was new Jan 21, 2019. I finally inspected it AND replaced the original recently (July 28, 2021) or some 30 months after bring the trailer home. When I flushed the tank out it was full of "sand" or pieces of the old anode (not good).

I'm posting this to remind all that the water heater anode must be inspected, at least every travel season.

Hope this helps someone who is still learning RV maintenance. Funny as this may seem I did remember to lube the trailers wheel bearing but not replace the anode !
Thank you for your post. My tt is almost the same age. I checked mine yesterday and is 95+% gone. I’ll be checking mine annual now.
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Old 08-04-2021, 05:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by MtBiker View Post
How many of you have EVER checked or replaced the anode in your home water heater?
You do know it is exactly the same only larger.
I believe the majority of home water heaters are glass lined and have no need for an anode rod. Maybe really old ones do.
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Old 08-04-2021, 05:18 PM   #12
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My home A.O. Smith is glass lined and still requires an anode. I should really check it, probably gone!
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Old 08-04-2021, 05:23 PM   #13
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Hmm...

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I believe the majority of home water heaters are glass lined and have no need for an anode rod. Maybe really old ones do.
Not sure about that. I've replaced several, three electrics over the years at my current residence, and a gas one for my son, about a mile away and on the same water system. if you look carefully, there's a recessed hex head right between the hot and cold taps, almost impossible to reach without that special socket. That's the anode rod. Let me see if I can find an image...

Found one.

My heater is under a stairway. It's impossible to pull the rod out or put one in. The solution is to replace the rod with a hinged one (they do make them), but I should have done that before I installed it.
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Old 08-04-2021, 08:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob213 View Post
I believe the majority of home water heaters are glass lined and have no need for an anode rod. Maybe really old ones do.
Suburban R/V water heaters are porcelain lined and use an anode. Porcelain lined tanks are commonly referred to as glass lined.
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Old 08-04-2021, 08:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry-NC View Post
Not sure about that. I've replaced several, three electrics over the years at my current residence, and a gas one for my son, about a mile away and on the same water system. if you look carefully, there's a recessed hex head right between the hot and cold taps, almost impossible to reach without that special socket. That's the anode rod. Let me see if I can find an image...

Found one.

My heater is under a stairway. It's impossible to pull the rod out or put one in. The solution is to replace the rod with a hinged one (they do make them), but I should have done that before I installed it.
You are correct and I stand corrected. Mine is like yours..not enough overhead clearance to remove or replace.

I guess I could unscrew the old and cut it as I remove it and replace with the hinged type.
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Old 08-04-2021, 09:11 PM   #16
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You are correct and I stand corrected. Mine is like yours..not enough overhead clearance to remove or replace.

I guess I could unscrew the old and cut it as I remove it and replace with the hinged type.
i have a similar access problem

pull it up and cut it and just let it drop back into the tank? easier than making multiple cuts.

install a new hinged anode.
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