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Old 08-16-2015, 09:06 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, 03:47 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, 03:53 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, 04:07 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, 04:39 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, 05:31 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, 11:38 AM   #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, 01:18 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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Old 08-19-2015, 01:44 PM   #29
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... the solubility of the mineral salts decreases as the water is heated. ...
Thanks for the response. My geriatric memory of high school chemistry retained the over-simplification: solubility increases with temperature. As a result I read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solubility#Temperature and was corrected. Again, thanks,,,
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Old 08-19-2015, 04:21 PM   #30
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Anode rod

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Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
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.

You are. I have already done that and there is continuity between the threaded plug and the rest of the water heater. I test with a meter every time I remove and replace the anode using Teflon tape.


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Old 08-20-2015, 08:54 AM   #31
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Hi: All... I never thought about continuity. All I know is that after the struggle to get that rod out when new and drain/rinse the tank, I didn't want to use that much force on it again.
The Teflon takes care of the drip!!! (Me)
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 08-20-2015, 10:34 AM   #32
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I've seen both outcomes with the tef tape. My solution is to use joint compound instead.
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