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Old 04-01-2017, 08:21 PM   #1
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Water heater anode

I have a 2016 Mini lite 2509S. Bought in March 2016. I only used the trailer three times last year. I have surgery last July and no more camping. I normally drain everything and check things after a couple of outing but got laid up.

The trailer sat full of water and loaded from July to October when I winterized I drained the heater but did not notice any thing unusual. I left the anode out all winter.

I took it to the dealer this past week for a warranty check dealer filled her up to check the plumbing and water heater and pulled the anode.

My anode was rusted almost welded in. All that was left of the rod was the nut and small center solid wire. I have never seen such a bad anode and rust. I never thought leaving a heater tank full for 4 months unattended would do that to an anode

Got a new anode and plan to do some rust treatment, wire brushing, and tank cleaning the next warm day. Lesson Learned!
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:30 PM   #2
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I am confused, because you said when you dewinterized you pulled the anode, did not notice anything unusual and left the anode out all winter. Then you say it went to dealer and dealer pulled the anode rod, but it was already out, and if it was out all winter, then when did it get welded in there.
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:54 PM   #3
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I am missing something. You said
when I winterized I drained the heater but did not notice any thing unusual. I left the anode out all winter.

I took it to the dealer this past week for a warranty check dealer filled her up to check the plumbing and water heater and pulled the anode.

I can not figure out how this can happen. Do you trust this dealer. I could be his stock disaster anode he shows everyone who brings their unit in for service to justify an anode service. It is rare for an anode to be consumed down to the wire core in one season even if left filled.

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Old 04-02-2017, 03:48 AM   #4
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My Mistake

I drained everything when I winterized left anode out of tank.

I brought the trailer home to de-winterize last week. Plugged it to 15 amp circuit. I cleaned up outside of the trailer filled with water and checked water pump, water heater, heater, AC, and stove. General clean-up and check out. The water got hot as well.

I have not had any type of RV for over 15 years so I am re-learning thing for sure. I did notice the anode was just a thin wire and the rust but I did not remember what it should look like.

I did find a great thread on here from a guy who did the same thing. Has info on correcting the problem with pictures, too.

Lesson learned I will drain water heater after every outing, for sure.
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Old 04-02-2017, 07:34 AM   #5
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I am confused, because you said when you dewinterized you pulled the anode, did not notice anything unusual and left the anode out all winter. Then you say it went to dealer and dealer pulled the anode rod, but it was already out, and if it was out all winter, then when did it get welded in there.
X2......
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Old 04-02-2017, 07:45 AM   #6
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Texan79423,

I realize you've indicated you believe you have your situation figured out but for your own sake and those following along here, please give more information as to what really happened. What you initially described makes no sense and your subsequent post really doesn't clear thing up.

From what you have indicated, it seems your dealer is pulling the wool over your eyes by substituting an old worn out anode rod with the one you said was laying out all winter.

Please tell us that isn't so and somehow this is just a communication issue in this thread. We just want to be sure you understand your water heater and how the anode is supposed to work and look.
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Old 04-02-2017, 08:18 AM   #7
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OK I think what he is saying is he did not remember how an anode rod should look and the one he placed back in the WHT was just a thin wire. As to the time it takes the anode to be eaten away I can't say, but if there was only a thin wire then it needed replacement. All the rust in a short time might indicate the reason for the anode going away.
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Old 04-02-2017, 08:34 AM   #8
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5Picker

I appreciate your concerns for me but in all due respect, Chill!

The dealer is a stand up guy better than the rest around here. Follow along here I am not a writer at all so bare with me please.

When I winterized I had a ton of white calcium chalky crap in the WH. I rinsed it well and left the anode out. I never really paid attention to the diode as I had not seen one in several years.

When I cleaned her up this week I noticed the rust in drain opening but again as a novice I said crap guess I messed up I should have known and done better.

I tested the WH and it worked. Took it to the dealer with heater full, fresh water tank, grey and black tanks half full. Thought it would save them time ($$$) having done so.

They pulled the same diode and flushed the WH tank and left it out for me. I had planned to get a new diode as a backup and carry as a spare until needed. So I went to the parts department.

When the parts guy handed me the new diode I said no mine is a smaller skinny wire type. He said no that's the right one yours is just completely eroded down to the wire and needs to be replaced. I was shocked and embarrassed at my stupidity at the same time. The parts guy explained why and how it happens to me to help educate me.

In my book I don't mined paying a little more and supporting a dealer who gives me service and advise as opposed to cheap internet shopping.

Don't jump to conclusions here. Not all dealers are a rip off's and too many get bashed by people who don't know enough "facts".

This is all my fault I got laid up and did not drain the tank and let it sit too long. As usual I am good at most things because I have to do many a second time to get it right. In doing things a second time I have twice the experience as most.
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Old 04-02-2017, 08:42 AM   #9
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SO it sounds to me like your anode was wore out before the beginning of the season. You were just unaware of what a proper anode looks like. Am i correct?
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Old 04-02-2017, 08:45 AM   #10
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diode = electrical anode = water heater
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Old 04-02-2017, 09:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texan79423 View Post

The trailer sat full of water and loaded from July to October when I winterized I drained the heater but did not notice any thing unusual. I left the anode out all winter.

I took it to the dealer this past week for a warranty check dealer filled her up to check the plumbing and water heater and pulled the anode.

My anode was rusted almost welded in. All that was left of the rod was the nut and small center solid wire. I have never seen such a bad anode and rust. I never thought leaving a heater tank full for 4 months unattended would do that to an anode
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texan79423 View Post
I drained everything when I winterized left anode out of tank.

I brought the trailer home to de-winterize last week. I did notice the anode was just a thin wire and the rust but I did not remember what it should look like.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texan79423 View Post
When I winterized I had a ton of white calcium chalky crap in the WH. I rinsed it well and left the anode out. I never really paid attention to the diode as I had not seen one in several years.

When I cleaned her up this week I noticed the rust in drain opening but again as a novice I said crap guess I messed up I should have known and done better.

I tested the WH and it worked. Took it to the dealer with heater full, fresh water tank, grey and black tanks half full. Thought it would save them time ($$$) having done so.

They pulled the same diode and flushed the WH tank and left it out for me. I had planned to get a new diode as a backup and carry as a spare until needed.
Howdy Texan79423, it appears there has been some confusion, as initiated in your opening post, which I highlighted in red. When you stated that you "did not notice anything unusual", then the membership as did I assumed the anode rod was in good condition....and not eroded down to the wire.

This is why several members thought that you took a good anode rod to the dealer, and they may have switched it for a wore out one. You didn't state in your OP that you reinstalled the anode rod, nor that the one you reinstalled was wore out. This is also why they were trying to look out for you, in your defense, thinking you may have been getting ripped off.

I reread every post from you, and see where in a subsequent one, you did state that you DID notice the anode was just down to the wire (also highlighted in red) but didn't know this isn't how it was supposed to be.

Members may not have picked up on that, and still were thinking you had a good anode rod at that point as per your first post.

It was only in your last post that it became clear that you reinstalled the wore out anode rod. Members were thinking you had left it out when you took it to the dealer, but you didn't. You reinstalled the wore out anode rod before going to the dealer. This was only pointed out in your last post. Had you stated this in your OP, then you probably wouldn't have gotten the responses you did, and nobody would have thought the dealer was maybe lying to you.

The dealership then removed the wore out one you had reinstalled, and showed it to you, which you knew it was yours. It's all good now. The dealership did right, you learned/remembered what a GOOD anode rod should look like...and you got brought up to speed on draining procedures per the anode rod.

I would like to add, but the dealer may have already stated, that if you do leave the anode rod out of the water heater, the threads will rust up. This is a common occurrence. Many members either reinstall the anode rod after draining, or find a plastic pipe thread plug to put in the water heater to keep this from happening while the anode rod is removed.

I can't fault the members for the initial confusion, and they were trying to look out for a fellow camper. I am actually proud that our community is like that and try to watch each other's backs. Sometimes in writing things, the details don't get accurately conveyed initially.

I think it's all good now.
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Old 04-02-2017, 09:56 AM   #12
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See photo for future reference. One suggestion, When you buy a new anode rod, but two. That way when you remove a worn out one, you have a good one to replace it with without a special trip to the dealer. They are inexpensive.
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Old 04-02-2017, 10:29 AM   #13
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Thanks men

Thanks for the replies men. This forum is about my only place to find information. As you put it everyone is truly helpful and your help is greatly appreciated.

I never knew you need to replace the anode after draining. So many things are not in the manuals. Also I found a thread on here from a guy who had the same problem and his fix.
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Old 04-02-2017, 10:33 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Texan79423 View Post
Thanks for the replies men. This forum is about my only place to find information. As you put it everyone is truly helpful and your help is greatly appreciated.

I never knew you need to replace the anode after draining. So many things are not in the manuals. Also I found a thread on here from a guy who had the same problem and his fix.
Hold your head up. A year ago, I didn't even know hot water heaters HAD something called an anode rod!
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Old 04-02-2017, 10:34 AM   #15
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I never knew you need to replace the anode after draining. So many things are not in the manuals. Also I found a thread on here from a guy who had the same problem and his fix.
Yes, if you don't put something back in the anode rod hole, besides the threads rusting..... you have left an open access for spiders, ants, bugs, or other things to crawl up in your water heater.
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Old 04-02-2017, 10:38 AM   #16
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The anode rod is a sacrificial metal rod that is there to prevent corrosion of the metal tank in Suburban WH. Without it, the tank itself would be damaged by the corrosive elements in the water. The two biggest factors that impact how long it will last is is how long the water is in contact and how concentrated the corrosive elements are in the water.
Since most campgrounds are not in major cities, they usually have well water that is treated only for health issues and is many times full of corrosive elements or acid. This will result in a fairly fast depletion of the anode. if you only use softened city water, the rod will last a long time. Also the time the water is in contact with the tank.rod impacts the life. Draining the WH after every outing will greatly prolong its life. It wall also prevent the threads from seizing due to rust. Always add one to two wraps of teflon tape to the threads when replacing.
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