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#1 West Texan

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 03:19 PM

Picked up the trailer on October 30th, hooked to water on November 1 in Odessa, came home and drained the tank on November 3, hooked to water on Christmas Eve, and came home December 26. Today, I went out and removed the anode to drain the tank and replace the pipe tape. Does this anode look bad or good for four months in the trailer, plus whatever shelf life it had (which should have been dry storage)? I may have to replace anodes every six months if this is bad and this is normal. I have seen pictures of worse ones, but I would ask for opinions from you experienced owners.
Thanks,
Jim

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#2 Meadowlark

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 04:44 PM

Jim, we picked up our built in Oct 2011 SD in March of 2012 (due to unforeseen circumstances that prevented us from making the trip to Rice for 6 months.)

When we got the camper home after a week long trip, I pulled the anode and it looked even worse than yours.

What I believe was this: Casita finished our camper in October and filled the hot water tank...and never drained it. So it sat there for six months with water in it. I don't know what it is about Rice's water but it is horrible. (not to pick on them, when I lived in Killeen the water was so bad we installed a household RO (reverse osmosis) unit on the household plumbing just to be able to drink the water). Even given the fact that Killeen is in the middle of the Permian basin, with the  bedrock and aquifer being limestone, our water was dreadful. 

 

What you are seeing, in your anode's case, is just from sitting with the water in the hot water heater.

 

Now maybe all Texas water is that way, because I live in the Pacific Northwest and, after replacing the anode that Casita installed, we never had an anode deteriorate that badly so quickly again, ...and usually, during our summer months, we don't drain the hot water heater at all, not until we are putting the egg up for the winter. Then we empty it, and remove the anode. 

 

 

Soooo the upshot being, in your case, yes , you may just end up having to replace the anode every six months or maybe less. But, your picture shows that the anode is doing the job it was meant to do...serving as a sacrificial piece of equipment so that you don't have to replace the entire hot water heater. In the long run, an anode is far cheaper than a hot water heater.

 

If it makes you feel any better, even though I don't have to replace the anode in our HW heater, I do, anyway. I put in a new one in the spring, when we're bring Grus Egg out of hibernation for the summer camping season.


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These are the voyages of the small ship, "Grus Egg".

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#3 Dutchman

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 05:44 PM

I deleted my post


Edited by Dutchman, 24 February 2020 - 05:51 PM.

Edouard Trautwein, #1372  

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Casita living - Luxury on two wheels.

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#4 West Texan

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 06:12 PM

Meadowlark,
Thanks for the reply.
I reckon that I was on the right track in my thinking. Now to find a place that is cheap in price and buy several of them.
Another question: Is the aluminum anode better?

Dutchman,
Thanks for the reply. 😉

Jim

Edited by West Texan, 24 February 2020 - 06:13 PM.


#5 Meadowlark

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 06:46 PM

Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm I'm a biologist, not a chemist, but I believe the anode rod is normally made of magnesium or an aluminum/zinc alloy. I think I remember reading somewhere that the magnesium ones aren't as effective in areas with hard water. Whether aluminum is better, I don't know, but, again, any anode is better than nothing, and I bet that the magnesium ones  are cheaper than aluminum. Personally, and again, this is just my two cents...I don't like the idea of consuming aluminum in any fashion, be it anode rods in the water heater or using any sort of aluminum cookware or utensils. If there's any question in one's mind as to what substance the anode is in their hot water heater, just don't consume the water from it, meaning don't cook with it or drink it.


These are the voyages of the small ship, "Grus Egg".

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"Civilization began when we stopped eating horses and began riding them."


#6 Linda & Bob, K4TAX

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 06:56 PM

On boats we use zinc anodes.   The rod you have looks OK to me.  Mine has been in the heater for 8 years.  I drain the tank in the Fall and fill it in the Spring.  The shore power stays connected all the time here at the house.   Which lately seems all of the time. #$%^&*#   I'd rather the anode rod get eaten away as opposed to the tank lining and heat exchanger of the water heater. Our water heater is original and the Casita is a 1999 model.   That makes it old enough to smoke, drink and vote. 


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#7 Jerrybob

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Posted 25 February 2020 - 09:55 AM

I have a new anode rod in the trailer but have never needed to install it.  The rod currently in place is the same one that was installed when I got my trailer in 2013.  I drain all my water after every trip...including the hot water tank. Sometimes there is some goo on the rod which I wipe clean with a paper towel.  There are usually several months between trips for us....I don't like leaving water in the tanks for that long...thus...the reason why we drain.  Your rod looks OK for use but sounds like replacement will be required with your situation.  Good luck.   


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#8 Hot Toddy

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Posted 25 February 2020 - 04:10 PM

Your anode rode looks new. I think you are good until 2/3 of the wire is exposed. They are meant to be eaten away. I pull mine and drain the HWH when not in use and can get quite a long time between replacement. I believe magnesium is the standard and zinc if you have really harsh water. You probably will only need to replace yours once a year if you let it soak.

Toddy

#9 West Texan

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Posted 25 February 2020 - 06:46 PM

Thanks Friends. 👍🏻

#10 Carol Christensen

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Posted 26 February 2020 - 10:53 PM

You've already been given good advice.  And I agree that yours looks fine.  But I was shopping at Little House Customs today and this is what they had to say about the anode.

 

"They must be removed to drain the heater and draining helps prevent the rotten egg smell that many encounter. Many folks remove and inspect them after every trip.
Most folks need a magnesium anode. If your magnesium anode lasts less than 6 months, switch to the aluminum anode.

Magnesium Anode (99% of you need this one) $14.49

Aluminum Anode $14.49"


Edited by Carol Christensen, 26 February 2020 - 10:57 PM.

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Carol Christensen
2005 17' LD Nova & 2001 Toyota 4Runner

pre-Nova was Ova-the-Rainbow 1999 17' LD (sold)



Don't believe everything you think.

#11 West Texan

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Posted 26 February 2020 - 11:46 PM

Carol Christensen,
Thanks for the information. That info helps me out and hopefully others.
Jim

#12 Meadowlark

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 08:58 AM

One of the things you will want to do, once you remove the anode and drain the HW heater is to flush it out. Most RV supply stores sell have a wand that attaches to a hose and does a nice job of flushing the tank. The water will be milky white, that's the stuff from the anode. Then let the HW heater drain. I put a rag in it, not stuffed all the way in, but part of the rag in the tank and most of it hanging out. The water will drip out via the rag.I don't believe it will ever be 100% empty and dry, but most of the sludge is in suspension so it will be fairly well drained.

Oh...and I'm betting you've already learned this, so you can join the Wet Pants Club...before draining the hot water heater, release the pressure in it via the toggle switch n the outside panel. Before you flip it, stand aside, mate! or prepare to have your thighs soaked. ;-)


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These are the voyages of the small ship, "Grus Egg".

2011 17" Spirit Deluxe, "Grus Egg"

 

"Civilization began when we stopped eating horses and began riding them."


#13 Jerrybob

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 09:41 AM

Another option which I use....take a piece of clear plastic tubing...like the size used on an aquarium pump and once the tank is drained....direct the tubing to the bottom of the tank and suck on the other end creating a siphon flow....you will be amazed how much water comes out of the tank.  This method also allows you to move the end of the tube around the tank and vaccum all the little particles. Been doing this for years....works great.    



#14 Linda & Bob, K4TAX

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 12:07 PM

My tank draining method is to connect my air compressor at 35 psi to the fresh water intake on the side.   Open the expansion valve on top of the water heater, remove the anode rod and let it blow.  After the water and vapor stop coming out, I add some anti scieze compound to the threads of the anode and put the anode back in place.   Don't forget to close the expansion valve at the top.   This will keep critters out of the water heater. 

 

And using this method, I am able to blow out all the other lines in the trailer,  thus no concern about freezing.