Anode Rod Issue and a Couple of Questions - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 05-12-2019, 06:44 PM   #1
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Anode Rod Issue and a Couple of Questions

Getting ready for the camping season. Wanted to check out our anode rod for the hot water tank. Had a bit of trouble getting it due to severely rusted threads. The rod itself still has a lot of 'meat' on it but I'm going to change it out for a new aluminum one from Camco.

I'm going to have purchase a tap and the chase the threads on that tank. The new rod is having a hard time going in due to the rust build-up. What size is the threaded hole? It looks to be 1" NC but I need confirmation of that.

Also, I've heard that the stock water heater in the Escapes (2012 19) can be replaced with an aluminum one that doesn't require an anode rod. Has anyone done this to their trailer? I searched online but didn't find a lot of info on these heaters.

Doug
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:07 PM   #2
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Also, I've heard that the stock water heater in the Escapes (2012 19) can be replaced with an aluminum one that doesn't require an anode rod. Has anyone done this to their trailer? I searched online but didn't find a lot of info on these heaters.
An RV water heater with an aluminum tank would presumably be a Dometic (formerly Atwood). They are similar in size and design but probably not a direct replacement for the Suburban water heater in an Escape; Dometic sells adapter hardware to make theirs fit, but only in the 10-gallon size (Escape uses the six-gallon size, like most small trailers).

Dometic RV water heaters
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:38 PM   #3
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Sounds like I should just stick with the stock tank and take good care of the anode receiver threads

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Old 05-12-2019, 10:51 PM   #4
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Chase the threads, buy a new anode. I always buy a magnesium Camco rod. It sacrifices nicely and gives us good protection. Use Teflon tape about three or four wraps on the new one. As Baglo usually reminds, a stack of washers or quarters in the socket to “Shallow it up” ( my words) will allow better alignment of the rod threads to the heater. When you use a socket extension on your 1 1/16 socket. Easy does it when starting the rod. Back up and go again if it doesn’t go easy.
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Old 05-13-2019, 06:45 AM   #5
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You don't want to chase the threads too much because anode threads are tapered. The rod is not meant to be screwed in all the way to where it bottoms out against a washer, as in a garden hose. It is meant to be screwed in until the taper makes for a good seal. Good to clean the threads, but not good to cut any any metal.
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:21 AM   #6
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I believe the rod is 3/4 NPT pipe thread
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:24 AM   #7
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I found a neat adapter kit with a zinc anode, it has a built in discharge, similar to your auto radiator petcock. https://www.amazon.com/Trailer-NW-LE...41088702&psc=1
Anyone have any experience with one of these?
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:02 AM   #8
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Had the same rust situation with a second hand Casita.I found a wire brush small enough to fit in the hole and twisted it around and around. Then took the Dremel tool with the wire brush attachment and finished the job. Wound up with nice clean threads.

Worth a try.

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Old 05-13-2019, 10:23 AM   #9
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That’s what I did too , Ed. I had a brand new sealed up battery cable brush that I used. Now I keep it separate with my water system stuff. Can’t beat those Dremels.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:37 AM   #10
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Hello Jim.
I had one of those on my 2005 17B.It makes it easier to drain the tank.I also found a tool to grip the wings on the drain gizmo.The wings are a little soft, but yes it does work for easy emptying of the water heater.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I found a neat adapter kit with a zinc anode, it has a built in discharge, similar to your auto radiator petcock. https://www.amazon.com/Trailer-NW-LE...41088702&psc=1
Anyone have any experience with one of these?
As others have said, a wire brushing, in one form or another, works well to clean up the threads.

I wouldn't use one of those kits. Lot's of memories of those small petcock type radiator drains. None good. There can be a lot of crud in the tank and the petcock could end up plugged pretty quick. Or those little tabs could twist off. With the large hole you get a better flushing out of crap. Also, if it's time to drain the tank, it's probably also time to check the anode.

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Old 05-13-2019, 01:00 PM   #12
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Had to do this a few months ago on Casita. Left the rod out over winter and didn't take long to rust up. Here is tapping link:
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Old 05-13-2019, 01:43 PM   #13
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I have a bit of a reservation with folks that don't have experience with pipe threads doing that.

A pipe tap tapers. The more you "clean out the threads" the deeper the fitting goes. Do that a few times and there's a danger of the anode going further in the hole until the hex end bottoms out without making a pipe joint seal.

If you use a pipe tap don't remove any unnecessary metal. If you end up with bright shiny threads you probably took off more material than you should have.

I leave my air blowing out plug in the hole over the winter and the threads stay pretty clean.

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Old 05-13-2019, 02:09 PM   #14
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What you think about a few drops of Liquid Wrench on an old tooth brush, only making contact with the threads? Wiping off with a cloth.
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:13 PM   #15
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I don’t like the idea of chasing threads unless needed (which isn’t required for just a little rust) instead I have a round wire brush for thread cleaning which I have cut the handle off, inserted into a drill then with a quick pass or two the threads are clean.
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:40 PM   #16
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What you think about a few drops of Liquid Wrench on an old tooth brush, only making contact with the threads? Wiping off with a cloth.
A tooth brush is probably not the best brush for the job. Places like Canadian Tire sell, usually in a pack of 3, one nylon, one brass and one s/s, brushes that are the same size as a tooth brush but more suited to cleaning up rust. Also very handy size for battery terminals.

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Old 05-13-2019, 03:34 PM   #17
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A tooth brush is probably not the best brush for the job. Places like Canadian Tire sell, usually in a pack of 3, one nylon, one brass and one s/s, brushes that are the same size as a tooth brush but more suited to cleaning up rust. Also very handy size for battery terminals.

Ron
Agreed. I just cleaned mine up pretty well with that type of brass brush. Screwed the anode in and am almost ready to camp if it ever stops raining/snowing!
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Old 05-13-2019, 03:53 PM   #18
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I found a neat adapter kit with a zinc anode, it has a built in discharge, similar to your auto radiator petcock. https://www.amazon.com/Trailer-NW-LE...41088702&psc=1
Anyone have any experience with one of these?
I wouldn't use the above zinc anode kit. The usual anode material is either aluminum or magnesium. I prefer the magnesium anodes as that metal is more "reactive" and should protect your tank better. The magnesium anodes are required for aluminum tanks. A zinc anode in an aluminum tank will offer the tank no protection at all.

Tom
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:36 PM   #19
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I wouldn't use the above zinc anode kit. The usual anode material is either aluminum or magnesium. I prefer the magnesium anodes as that metal is more "reactive" and should protect your tank better. The magnesium anodes are required for aluminum tanks. A zinc anode in an aluminum tank will offer the tank no protection at all.

Tom
Good info. The Suburban water heaters Escape uses have a porcelain lined steel tank.
This is a good video on anodes.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?t=33s&v=UiaNW2bXeT8
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:49 PM   #20
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What you think about a few drops of Liquid Wrench on an old tooth brush, only making contact with the threads? Wiping off with a cloth.
The video I just posted by Suburban/RV Education shows him using Mineral Oil. Since it is sometimes used as a food additive I assume it is safer to use on the threads than something like Liquid Wrench with petroleum distillates.
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