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Old 08-26-2016, 04:38 PM   #1
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Water heater anode again

Figured after eight years, I really should change the anode in the water heater.
Went to the RV store and picked up one, pulled the old one and had to make a decision. Do I take the new one back and ask for a refund, or do I just go ahead and change it, even if it's probably good for another 10 years at the rate it is corroding.
Installed the new one.
Son-in-law can probably get a couple bucks for the old one on Craig's List.
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Old 08-26-2016, 06:10 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Figured after eight years, I really should change the anode in the water heater.
Went to the RV store and picked up one, pulled the old one and had to make a decision. Do I take the new one back and ask for a refund, or do I just go ahead and change it, even if it's probably good for another 10 years at the rate it is corroding.
Installed the new one.
Son-in-law can probably get a couple bucks for the old one on Craig's List.
Hi: gbaglo... You could keep it for a spare... But why Eh? Alf
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Old 08-26-2016, 06:17 PM   #3
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You must have some good water around there. I know mine never wore like those of others have.
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Old 08-26-2016, 09:22 PM   #4
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Glenn, that anode looks like it's made of concrete instead of metal.
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Old 08-26-2016, 09:34 PM   #5
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That's the original 2008 anode.
Easier to start the threads on the new one.
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Old 08-26-2016, 11:56 PM   #6
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That's the original 2008 anode.
Easier to start the threads on the new one.
Must be nice. We've already replaced our anode once, and that was after only 9 months and maybe 4 camping trips. The water down here eats anodes for breakfast.

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Old 09-27-2017, 08:06 PM   #7
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Winterizing

It's that time of year again. Drained the hot water tank prior to winterizing and after three seasons the anode is 2/3's gone. Was surprised that the Suburban water heaters use a aluminum anode. Our prior camper had a Atwood heater with a aluminum tank and used the magnesium anode. Scott

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Old 09-27-2017, 08:52 PM   #8
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Must be nice. We've already replaced our anode once, and that was after only 9 months and maybe 4 camping trips. The water down here eats anodes for breakfast.

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Hmmm. I wonder if we will have the same.
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Old 09-27-2017, 09:18 PM   #9
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Hmmm. I wonder if we will have the same.

The water has a major effect on anode life. Around here we're lucky to be able to drink the water straight from the tap and enjoy it as well as use it to top up the battery.

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Old 09-27-2017, 09:20 PM   #10
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The water has a major effect on anode life. Around here we're lucky to be able to drink the water straight from the tap and enjoy it as well as use it to top up the battery.

Ron

Should have picked some up when we were in BC!
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:57 PM   #11
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The water has a major effect on anode life. Around here we're lucky to be able to drink the water straight from the tap and enjoy it as well as use it to top up the battery.

Ron
What elements in water tend to be hard on the anodes?
...know little, and curious...
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:08 AM   #12
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What elements in water tend to be hard on the anodes?
...know little, and curious...
Hard water will generally corrode an anode faster than soft.

Anodes will corrode (sacrifice themselves) no matter what kind of water you have however, because that's what they are designed to do. They are made of less noble metals than the steel in the tank. So, they corrode first, preventing corrosion of the steel in the process. Generally, an aluminum rod is best for hard water, and a magnesium is best for soft water. Some aluminum rods also contain about 10 percent zinc. These are designed to reduce the sulphur smell found in some water.

A magnesium rod will last longer than an aluminum one when used with softer water, but not so much when used with hard. Here in south Texas we have hard water because of the natural limestone in the water table. So, I use an aluminum rod. I don't have a precise figure, but I would guess that for someone living in a place like BC, their anode would last about 4 or 5 times longer than mine.

It's no biggie, because every time you drain and flush the water heater, you are also inspecting the anode. They're cheap, so replace it once the majority of it is gone.

There's another interesting thing about how the water affects the corrosion of an anode, but it's only a concern for a home water heater: a water softener will reduce the life of the anode in a home hot water heater by quite a bit. That's because the softener increases the sodium content in the water. Sacrificial metals deteriorate rapidly in water with a higher sodium content.
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Old 09-28-2017, 09:58 AM   #13
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Thanks for the info!
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Old 09-28-2017, 11:36 AM   #14
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Magnesium has a greater electrochemical potential than aluminium and will oxidize at a greater rate regardless of water type acting as a sacrificial anode protecting the tank. Aluminium anodes are less costly and are usually what the tank will come with. A water tank is basically an electrolytic solution where electrons will flow through the water and oxidize metals that have a greater electrolytic potential. Without a sacrificial anode the tank will be oxidized. The more galvanic the electrode the less likely other metals in the tank will be corroded.
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Old 09-28-2017, 04:42 PM   #15
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I was at a Snowbird RV Show last year and bought an anode just because I was at an RV Show and felt like buying something. This spring I tried to put it into the hot water tank and it didn't go in all the way. I think anodes come in different lengths depending on the size of the hot water tank. Also it is aluminum (which I had no idea about when I impulse bought it) and we live in the Lower Mainland of BC where our water is super soft and about the best in the entire world. I don't think I really need to replace the original anode if Glenn's has lasted as long as his has.

Anybody want to buy my aluminum anode, cheap ?

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Old 09-28-2017, 04:52 PM   #16
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Our old camper had an Atwood hot water heater with an aluminum tank so you HAD to use a magnesium rod. The Suburban tanks use an enameled steel tank so you can use either a aluminum or magnesium anode. The Camco replacement that I picked up specified a aluminum anode for the Suburban but looking at the FAQ’s for the Suburban you can use either. I’ll be switching back to the magnesium, seemed like we had a lot of debris in the bottom of the tank using the aluminum. Also, a magnesium infused shower sounds better to me than an aluminum infused shower. Scott

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Old 09-28-2017, 05:00 PM   #17
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we live in the Lower Mainland of BC where our water is super soft and about the best in the entire world. I don't think I really need to replace the original anode if Glenn's has lasted as long as his has.

Larry
Gee, I modestly said our water was good, but OK, I can go along with best in the world. I remember, as a teenager, going to get a glass of tap water at my aunts place in San Francisco. She was agast and told me that they didn't drink water from the tap.

Although my tank gets our good water when I'm home, the vast majority of the water that's gone into it isn't our local good water and I haven't gotten quite the good anode life that Glenn has.


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Old 09-28-2017, 05:45 PM   #18
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Gee, I modestly said our water was good, but OK, I can go along with best in the world. I remember, as a teenager, going to get a glass of tap water at my aunts place in San Francisco. She was agast and told me that they didn't drink water from the tap.

Although my tank gets our good water when I'm home, the vast majority of the water that's gone into it isn't our local good water and I haven't gotten quite the good anode life that Glenn has.


Ron
Well Ron, I did say "about the best in the world" but your right it really is the best in the world. And I remember something in the news a few years ago about how great the water in Chilliwack is. Real news not "fake new" I think it was something about the best water in the world.

Actually it was Clearbrook but a few years ago ther was something about Chilliwack. https://globalnews.ca/news/2547872/b...-in-the-world/
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Old 09-28-2017, 05:51 PM   #19
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When living in Maryland with a house on a well, it was 460 feet deep as I lived on the highest spot in the county. . The local well driller informed me that my water was coming from New York, 500 miles away. These people have maps of underground rivers/streams to tap into.
Chilliwack water more than likely comes from far away.
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Old 09-28-2017, 06:05 PM   #20
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Chilliwack water more than likely comes from far away.
Or maybe just from the Fraser River?

Edited: Nope, from the Sardis-Vetter aquifer.
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