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Old 05-26-2014, 06:58 PM   #1
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Hot Water Tank Anode Question

How far gone does the hot water tank anode have to be before it should be replaced? I just checked mine and the first inch or so next to the threaded end has lost a lot of "stuff" but the rest is almost completely intact.

Doug
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:15 PM   #2
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How far gone does the hot water tank anode have to be before it should be replaced? I just checked mine and the first inch or so next to the threaded end has lost a lot of "stuff" but the rest is almost completely intact.

Doug
Doug - mine looked like that after only a year or two. It is still going fine now 2 years later. As long as there is still anode material left it is still working (as far as I have read.)
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:19 PM   #3
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50% is the general rule. The same standard is given for anodes on boat engines and prop shafts.
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:19 PM   #4
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As long as there is some 'meat' left on the anode, it is able to do its intended job, to stop tank corrosion. Not an expensive item though, so I would replace it by the time it is down to 75% of it's original size.

It sounds like yours is good at least until you drain it out this fall, Doug.
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:56 PM   #5
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The anode rod is used in steel water tanks. The 2010 Escape 19 I owned did not have a anode rod. They must have changed the type of water heater.
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:58 PM   #6
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My 2008 has a anode. So, when did they change from what to what? I'm confused.
Anyway, here is a picture of an anode that needs replacement. I've not replaced mine yet, but we have soft water on the west coast. If you live in an area with hard water, you may have to replace the anode much sooner.
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:19 AM   #7
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The anode rod is used in steel water tanks. The 2010 Escape 19 I owned did not have a anode rod. They must have changed the type of water heater.
Chuck
Apparently, Suburban tanks use anodes and Atwood tanks do not. Here is a quote from an online source, I cannot vouch for whether or not it is correct:

Quote:
Replacing Anode Rods and Extending Your Water Heater's Life Anode rods are in some water heaters to protect the tank lining from corrosion, extending its life considerably. Anode rods must be changed every year or more. If you've just purchased a used RV I'd advise you have this done ASAP. Some tanks are glass lined and don't require the anode rod.

To locate your anode rod you need to know the brand of water heater you own, which is very likely to be either Suburban or Atwood.
  • Suburban water heaters have a place for the anode rod located at the center bottom. You can find this by going to the outside access of your RV.
  • Atwood water heaters are of the glass-lined variety and an anode is not required.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:00 AM   #8
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If you purchase a used RV, I would check it for sure, but not replace unless necessary.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:17 AM   #9
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Atwood used aluminum tanks on older models instead of steel, so no anode needed.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:38 AM   #10
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If you purchase a used RV, I would check it for sure, but not replace unless necessary.
I agree. If most of your anode is still there, should be no need to replace.

Intent of my previous post was mostly to indicate that different hot water heater manufacturers used different materials, some requiring an anode be used and some that don't.
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:32 AM   #11
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The anode rod is used in steel water tanks. The 2010 Escape 19 I owned did not have a anode rod. They must have changed the type of water heater.
Chuck
Our 19 is a 2012 so I'm not sure if/when the change to aluminum tanks happened. Our anode has much more "meat", as Jim B. calls it, than the one in the photo so I guess we're ok for the time being.

Doug
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Old 11-17-2015, 07:09 PM   #12
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Here's a photo of my 14 month old(from pickup) anode. Does it make sense to just go ahead and replace it as the cost is less than $15? From one online review it seems they can get to the point of becoming hard to remove. Mine did have signs of rust beginning on the outside most threads & on the teflon tape. We have hard water here and have spent a bit of time in AZ & UT where they have pretty hard water as well.
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Old 11-17-2015, 07:13 PM   #13
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Just clean off the old teflon tape and re-wrap, reinstall. Looks fine to me.
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File Type: jpg Anode at 5 years.jpg (169.0 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg Anode and teflon.jpg (146.4 KB, 11 views)
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Old 11-17-2015, 07:15 PM   #14
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Here's a photo of my 14 month old(from pickup) anode. Does it make sense to just go ahead and replace it as the cost is less than $15? From one online review it seems they can get to the point of becoming hard to remove. Mine did have signs of rust beginning on the outside most threads & on the teflon tape. We have hard water here and have spent a bit of time in AZ & UT where they have pretty hard water as well.
You could remove that one and keep as a spare. That should last a little longer for when you suddenly need one and don't have a new one handy.
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Old 11-17-2015, 07:32 PM   #15
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Here's a photo of my 14 month old(from pickup) anode. Does it make sense to just go ahead and replace it as the cost is less than $15? From one online review it seems they can get to the point of becoming hard to remove. Mine did have signs of rust beginning on the outside most threads & on the teflon tape. We have hard water here and have spent a bit of time in AZ & UT where they have pretty hard water as well.
You might have 25% wear, so it is good for another couple years anyway, but still good to check annually regardless of winterizing. Sure it is only $15, but if you changed it every year, instead of every 4 years, these kind of costs add up. This one will work just as good as a new one.
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Old 11-17-2015, 08:15 PM   #16
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My 2008 has a anode. So, when did they change from what to what? I'm confused.
Anyway, here is a picture of an anode that needs replacement. I've not replaced mine yet, but we have soft water on the west coast. If you live in an area with hard water, you may have to replace the anode much sooner.
Actually, soft water is more aggressive with anodes than is hard water. Soft water can chew up a magnesium anode in short order. Soft water is also more aggressive on copper or galvanized pipes. There are advantages as well as disadvantages to having soft water.
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Old 11-17-2015, 08:19 PM   #17
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Seems to me that Baglo's 8-year old anode is in about the same condition as my barely year-old one. In any event I agree that it still has life left to it. Interesting to hear my kids go on about vendors wanting to completely junk this or that vs. fixing the just the root issue.
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Old 11-18-2015, 11:16 AM   #18
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The wear on the anode is not predictable unless you use the same water source all the time. I checked mine after the first year & it looked like Glenn's. Pulled it after the third year (I spent the 2nd year in the southwest & didn't winterize) and all that was left was the wire. I suggest checking it every year...
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Old 11-18-2015, 11:19 AM   #19
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Which you would do if you winterize your unit and drain the water heater. Good idea...
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Old 11-20-2015, 02:59 PM   #20
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Just clean off the old teflon tape and re-wrap, reinstall. Looks fine to me.
I see that you have several threads of teflon tape showing(probably most of what was wrapped on?). When first removing the anode, the nut head was flush against the tank. Due to deposits on the tank's threads it doesn't want to go back in all the way. The gunk on the threads is pretty tough; anyone have success using anything to safely remove? Does it matter the rod doesn't snug down as originally as long as it doesn't leak?

In one search it shows someone putting six gallons of vinegar in the tank and letting it sit overnight. Something tells me that is probably overkill, yet that is not unlike the instructions for my annual maintenance for an on-demand water heater I have in a room over my garage.
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