Anode rod - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-16-2015, 05:44 PM   #15
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An anode is referred to as "sacrificial" because it sacrifices the metal in the rod - typically magnesium- to the corrosive effects of water and oxygen, rather than sacrificing the steel of the tank, thus creating a leaking tank. An aluminum anode is substituted for magnesium when water has a high sulfur content to mitigate the "rotten egg" odor given off when the sulfur reacts with magnesium. The aluminum rod is not as effective in terms of sacrificing itself as a magnesium rod and therefore offers less protection for the tank. If high sulfur content is not an issue, the magnesium rod will offer the most protection. I use teflon tape to seal the threads and remove the rod at the end of the camping season when I winterize. If the rod is still better than 50%, I reinstall in the spring. During the winter, I stuff some copper wool in the anode hole to keep critters out.
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Old 08-16-2015, 07:08 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paula View Post
going to try it till I get it done!

So let me get this right....start with the top of the list and work down. But the trani and acetone mixture should be the most effective to loosen that rusted anode.

Thanks!
Paula, maybe I misunderstand your plan -- but I think you would want to start at the bottom of the list and work UP. The concoctions at the bottom work best (like the "trani and acetone).

If I'm mis-reading this, someone please correct me (and accept my apologies)

best,
LP
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Old 08-16-2015, 08:31 PM   #17
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Carl
That's incredible that they don't just have this brass adapter built into the new rod or even the fitting of the water heater! But then I'm sure it would eliminate the need for broken or damaged heaters!!!
Thanks for your info on this little adapter. Does your Escape have it built in or have you had to discover it?
I'll be contacting Suburban tomorrow to see what is next for my situation!!!
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Old 08-16-2015, 08:34 PM   #18
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Yes you are correct! Sorry for any confusion
Paula
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Old 08-16-2015, 08:34 PM   #19
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Paula, maybe I misunderstand your plan -- but I think you would want to start at the bottom of the list and work UP. The concoctions at the bottom work best (like the "trani and acetone). ...
That is right. I've used PB Blaster to my satisfaction and due to extreme and calculated laziness I'd only escalate if necessary.
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Old 08-16-2015, 08:38 PM   #20
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That's a great idea to winterize but here in CA I use my rig year round and so I never empty the hot water heater tank unless i'm changing out the rod.
From now on I'll be taking that rod out just to break the rusty seal as a maintenance thing.
Thanks!
PS didn't know there was a magnesium or aluminum rod! again thanks for your info!
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Old 08-16-2015, 10:06 PM   #21
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Paula,
The anode to which I refer is made by a third party, not Suburban. It is made by NW Leisure Products (503-982-7154) and is called a Tank Saver. Google it and they are readily available on the net. It comes with a petcock for draining, but I bought a plug for it because I didn't want to use the petcock as I thought it could possibly leak, and believe if the tank needs to be drained it is best to remove the entire anode. The anode itself is zinc, which unlike magnesium will not give off any rotten egg odors. I bought 3 of them and brought one to Chilliwack and handed it to them. They installed it during my orientation. But it is easy; I have installed them in one of my previous campers and in a friend's trailer.



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Old 08-17-2015, 04:47 PM   #22
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I know I let it go too long now I can't get the anode rod out! I live at the beach and everything rusts. The outside of the anode rod is rusted, after only 1 1/2 years of sitting still.
HELP!
I tried putting WD40 on for 2 nights and then a WD lubricant to loosen, and then my handiman put his torch to it for about 15 seconds. Still won't come loose!
HELP!
I had the same issue. You need to get some leverage to get it out.
Here is what I did:
ratchet wrench
socket for anode
20" to 24"or more metal pipe that fits over the ratchet wrench

Put the pipe over the ratchet wrench handle and connect to anode with socket. Push down.

I tried all the lubes and the didn't work.
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Old 08-17-2015, 04:53 PM   #23
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Brian
That's a great idea to winterize but here in CA I use my rig year round and so I never empty the hot water heater tank unless i'm changing out the rod.
From now on I'll be taking that rod out just to break the rusty seal as a maintenance thing.
Thanks!
PS didn't know there was a magnesium or aluminum rod! again thanks for your info!
I usually empty the hot water when I leave the RV park. Once you get the anode out the first time it isn't a problem.
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Old 08-18-2015, 05:07 PM   #24
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Anode rod

Paula, and all,
While I prefer the use of Suburban anodes, I mentioned the brass sleeved anodes because I knew they could not rust in and did have one at one time. I did, however, research these anodes today and found a You Tube video by RV people about flushing and cleaning the Suburban water heater. They had installed a brass sleeved anode a year earlier and found that it had disintegrated very little. They drew the conclusion that this replacement anode DOES NOT provide the degree of protection that the OEM anode provides. As a result, I would suggest that anyone with a new trailer immediately remove the original anode and reinstall it with Teflon tape on the threads rather than going aftermarket. As others have said, it generally is only the first time it is removed that difficulty might be encountered.


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Old 08-18-2015, 05:39 PM   #25
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I've had the same anode for 7 years. Their experience may be to do with the water where they are and have been camping and nothing to do with the efficiency of the anode. The soft water of BC doesn't eat away the anode like the hard water of the prairies.
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Old 08-18-2015, 06:31 PM   #26
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Soft water is far more aggressive than hard water, in part because it does not contain any minerals. It has been known to cause copper pipes to disintegrate over a period of time. Hard water is more likely to result in sedimentation in the bottom of the tank, which can cause elements to burn out and promote tank rusting. While "softer" water is preferable to hard water, if the water lacks any hardness whatsoever, the anode will be dissolved quickly. Either your anode is not doing what it is intended to do (although visually it appears that it is) or the water in BC has a degree of hardness. People who fill their water tanks with water from a home water softener would be wise to find another source.


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Old 08-19-2015, 12:38 PM   #27
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There are two causes of tank corrosion:
1. electrochemical corrosion (also called dissimilar metal corrosion)
2. ionic (or just chemical) corrosion

Soft water is both a weak acid and a weak base at the same time. Heated to 160F or so, it can be pretty rough on metal immersed in it. It will dissolve the metal just like acidic water would.

Hard water is so called because it has a lot of mineral salts (usually lime and the like) dissolved in it, which are cationic. Hard water plates minerals out on plumbing parts, because the solubility of the mineral salts decreases as the water is heated.

Electrochemical corrosion happens when you have two metals of different ionic potentials in contact with each other in a water bath together. Short answer is that the less cationic metal of the two gets corroded.

The sacrificial anode saves the inside of the tank from elecotrochemical corrosion from being even less cationic than the tank is. With a steel tank (suburban) you use an aluminum anode, because aluminum is less cationic than steel. With an aluminum (Atwood) tank, you use a magnesium anode. If everything works as designed, your anode gets eaten by soft or acidic water instead of the inside of the tank.

Note my point above about the dissimilar metals being in contact. Pipe tape on your anode threads is a bad idea - Teflon is an excellent electrical insulator. The anode rod also needs to have a positive connection to the threaded plug for the same reason.
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Old 08-19-2015, 02:18 PM   #28
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Steely pip is correct should th rod be totally isolated from the tank but I suspect that the Teflon fills in the gaps between the threads and that the threads actually contact making an electrical path. I will use an OHM meter the next time I insert the rod to see if I'm correct in my theory.
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