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Old 10-12-2013, 02:55 PM   #1
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Water heater help

Having had both Atwood and Suburban water heaters, I prefer Atwood as they use aluminum tanks and do not require a sacrificial anode. Also they can be retro-fitted with a easy open petcock for draining. I found this kit that may allow the same for the Suburban heater with the anode. This allows draining the water heater without removing the anode each time. What is your opinion of this? Thanks for reading.
Anode Kit, Universal : Amazon.com : Automotive
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Old 10-12-2013, 02:58 PM   #2
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should that be "without removing the anode"?
Cause I don't understand the advantage of this device.
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Old 10-12-2013, 03:10 PM   #3
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Yes, this allows you to drain the water heater without removing the anode.
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Old 10-12-2013, 03:33 PM   #4
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I only drain the water heater once a year to winterize and as important, to inspect the anode to determine if it needs replacement.
Don't think this would be a labour-saving device for me.
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Old 10-12-2013, 06:27 PM   #5
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As others have said, you should be inspecting the anode annually anyways.

I also found a lot of hard water deposits inside our tank at the end of this season. Not a surprise given how hard our well water is. But as a result I also want to flush the tank each year, and it's not clear to me that the tank would flush very well with this device.
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Old 10-12-2013, 07:23 PM   #6
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Maybe it is me, but I empty my tank every time I'm finished camping, maybe 6-9 times a year. The anode will last 3-4 years, so inspecting is not critical, but emptying my heater easily is. Water that has been heated and then left in the dark, I'd rather start with clean water every trip. Since I empty so often, little crud ever accumulates.
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Old 10-12-2013, 08:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Maybe it is me, but I empty my tank every time I'm finished camping, maybe 6-9 times a year. The anode will last 3-4 years, so inspecting is not critical, but emptying my heater easily is. Water that has been heated and then left in the dark, I'd rather start with clean water every trip. Since I empty so often, little crud ever accumulates.
I'm with you on this Jim. I'm always looking for easy ways to quickly lighten up the trailer before I embark on my transcontinental journeys or long/steep mountain pass assents. I already flip open the freshwater tank drain valve as I'm departing the campsite. Opening one easy to reach valve and loosing another 50lbs and increasing anode life sounds like win win to me.
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Old 10-12-2013, 09:16 PM   #8
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I'm not too concerned about weight, and I've never considered draining the hot water tank. But seeing the hard water deposits that built up after just 5 months of use, I think I do need to change something -- either start using softened water (inconvenient, since I don't have a soft water tap easily accessible to the trailer) or drain the tank when we're not using it (minor inconvenience just having to add one more thing to my list).
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Old 10-12-2013, 09:26 PM   #9
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Draining it will likely leave most of the deposits behind. Needs a flush. Same web site as above has this item for flushing: Water Heater Flushing Tool : Amazon.com : Automotive
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:02 PM   #10
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Draining won't get rid of the existing deposits, but it will prevent additional deposits from forming while it's just sitting there unused. But, yeah, I need to flush it as well.

When I had the anode pulled out I filled my fresh tank and turned on the water pump to let water flow through the tank until the water ran clean, but there's not as much pressure or flow there as I'd like. I might be better hooking up the hose to the city water line to get a higher flow rate through the tank. As it stands, after I flushed as best I could, if I stick my finger in the anode hole (no, that's not a euphemism for something) I can still feel the sandy hard water deposits on the bottom of the tank.

Thinking about it, doing both simultaneously is probably the best way to go -- use the wand to stir things up and both the wand and pump water supplies to keep it moving and flush it out.
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