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Old 04-07-2016, 02:38 AM   #11
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Why yuck? It's doing what it is supposed to do, sacrificial metal to prevent the tank from corroding away. That anode has several good years left.
The one at the bottom of this pic needs to be replaced.
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Old 04-07-2016, 03:22 AM   #12
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Truly? Well, that's interesting. We thought it looked rather nasty after remembering what it looked like when we picked up the trailer. See what one can learn on the forum? Thanks.
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:03 AM   #13
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Water quality varies widely across Canada. City water in some areas of Canada has 10 times the conductivity we had in New Westminster, due to dissolved minerals. It helps explain the great variation in the life of RV hot water tank anodes.
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Bob, I'm sure the variation is great across the U.S. Too. I put a new anode in ours in the spring of 2014 and by last fall when I winterized it was about shot. I flush the tank and leave the anode anode out and dry all winter. Lots of variation in water for sure.
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:18 AM   #14
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Here's what our anode looked like after two years ... yuck.
Jan - that one has lots of life left in it. As Glenn says that's what they look like when doing what they are intended for. (Maybe we need to split anode discussion off the wheel bearing thread?)
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:38 AM   #15
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Why yuck? It's doing what it is supposed to do, sacrificial metal to prevent the tank from corroding away. That anode has several good years left.
The one at the bottom of this pic needs to be replaced.
Those that look great after many years are probably aluminum. If they look good after multiple years they are probably not doing their job. My thoughts.
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:03 AM   #16
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Why yuck? It's doing what it is supposed to do, sacrificial metal to prevent the tank from corroding away. That anode has several good years left.
The one at the bottom of this pic needs to be replaced.
We full time in our Casita and replace the anode every six months. The last one I replaced looked like the bottom anode in gbaglo's photo.

Note: We have the water heater on all the time, except between locations.
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:09 AM   #17
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We full time in our Casita and replace the anode every six months. The last one I replaced looked like the bottom anode in gbaglo's photo.
I think that you hit on the main point, how much of its life is the anode immersed in water. Our is drained all winter and summer if it going to be long before we go out again. Ours is still the original.
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:27 AM   #18
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We change ours out every other year due to the water in our area .
They aren't that expensive or hard to change. I know people who never change out their anode ,but they have replaced their water heater. Sort of the pay me know or pay me later philosophy.
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:27 AM   #19
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After doing a little more research on line, I found two posts that were interesting. The first: Plumbing & HVAC Service in Tucson AZ - Arico Plumbing Heating Cooling talks about the different types of rods ... which was especially interesting since our aluminum rod was replaced with a magnesium rod (not good, according to this article). The second: Me and My Dog ...and My RV: RV Maintenance - changing out the Anode Rod step by step talks about the mechanics of replacing the rod -- and we took special note of the placement of plumber's tape.

Bottom line, it would appear we shouldn't have had the rod replaced, nor should we have agreed to the magnesium rod. I guess it's all a learning curve. (BTW, thanks for moving this to a separate thread. Hopefully, others can be helped by the information collected here.)
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:06 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by CADreamin View Post
After doing a little more research on line, I found two posts that were interesting. The first: Plumbing & HVAC Service in Tucson AZ - Arico Plumbing Heating Cooling talks about the different types of rods ... which was especially interesting since our aluminum rod was replaced with a magnesium rod (not good, according to this article). The second: Me and My Dog ...and My RV: RV Maintenance - changing out the Anode Rod step by step talks about the mechanics of replacing the rod -- and we took special note of the placement of plumber's tape.

Bottom line, it would appear we shouldn't have had the rod replaced, nor should we have agreed to the magnesium rod. I guess it's all a learning curve. (BTW, thanks for moving this to a separate thread. Hopefully, others can be helped by the information collected here.)
I would disagree with the article and with your conclusion. Magnesium is far more sacrificial than aluminum and therefore protects the steel lining better. That is the reason it may not last as long. The only time an aluminum anode would be preferable is if you have rotten egg smell in your water. Anodes are inexpensive, somewhere around $15. Changing them out is not rocket science. It takes all of ten minutes, and that is if you are slow. In the worst case, a magnesium anode should last a couple of years, but for $15, you could do it yearly for peace of mind.
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