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Old 10-07-2008, 10:01 AM   #1
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I am attempting to perform maintenance on the hot water heater on my 2002 38FDDS coach but am having a problem finding the hot water heater anode. From inside the coach, under the pantry I find the cold and hot water connections. I can also see some kind of an electrical control box. From outside the coach I find a drain plug, about 1" socket size at the bottom of the heater, and a pressure relief valve at the top of the heater along with various components related to the propane gas. But I'll be darned if I can find anything like the anodes in my house heater. I also can't find any markings as to the make or model of the water heater. I discovered a discrepancy between my Alpine documentation relating to the plumbing of the heater. I have a cutoff/bypass valve on the cold water side but not the hot water side as describe by Alpine so unless I cut off all the water to the coach (and shut off the water pump) water will continue to flow into the water tank (I think, unless there is a one way valve on the hot water outlet). I (am a man and) have to ask for directions here from the experts; sure do appreciate your efforts.
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:01 AM   #2
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I am attempting to perform maintenance on the hot water heater on my 2002 38FDDS coach but am having a problem finding the hot water heater anode. From inside the coach, under the pantry I find the cold and hot water connections. I can also see some kind of an electrical control box. From outside the coach I find a drain plug, about 1" socket size at the bottom of the heater, and a pressure relief valve at the top of the heater along with various components related to the propane gas. But I'll be darned if I can find anything like the anodes in my house heater. I also can't find any markings as to the make or model of the water heater. I discovered a discrepancy between my Alpine documentation relating to the plumbing of the heater. I have a cutoff/bypass valve on the cold water side but not the hot water side as describe by Alpine so unless I cut off all the water to the coach (and shut off the water pump) water will continue to flow into the water tank (I think, unless there is a one way valve on the hot water outlet). I (am a man and) have to ask for directions here from the experts; sure do appreciate your efforts.
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:38 AM   #3
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From what I remember on doing that job on my 2002. The "drain plug" you see is the anode. I just shut off the pump, (with no city water hooked up) opened the faucet in the service bay and changed the anode. I had quite a bit of sediment in the bottom of the tank that I flushed while the anode was out. You can find some more info on changing the anode if you do a search.
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:46 AM   #4
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Thanks Dale but doesn't the anode require an electrical feed? What I think is the drain has not connection. How did you flush the tank?
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:55 AM   #5
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I just performed a search for anode replacement as you suggested and got my answer. I also discovered there is a cleanout adapter. Thanks again for your help.
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:59 AM   #6
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An anode needs no electrical connection, just the rod and the plug. Here is a link to one, so that you can see what it is like.

Anode

When installing the new one, do not use too much sealer, as to insulate the plug from the tank.

I don't remember just how I flushed the tank. One could run the pump while using a wire coat hanger bent into a hook to pull out the debris with the water. An attachment for a hose could be made out of " copper tubing, with the tube bent at an angle at the end.
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Old 10-07-2008, 02:03 PM   #7
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To clean my tank, I removed the anode and let it drain. The put the anode back in a few turns. Turn the water on and it will slowly fill the tank and create alot of air pressure. Turn off the water and quickly remove the anode. Stand back, cause everything shoots out of the hole, including all of the debris.

Next time, I'll make a PVC adapter with a ball valve. Screw it in, close the valve and pressurize. then just open the ball valve.
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Old 10-07-2008, 02:49 PM   #8
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There is a product to clean out your water heater (notice it is not called a hot water heater). Why would you want to heat hot water? I think the thing is called a tank saver or something like that. It screws onto the end of a hose and you use it to rinse out your tank.

Be careful, depending on what type or water heater you have, some of them are glass lined, do not have an annode, and you could do damage with a coat hanger. READ YOUR OWNER'S MANUAL
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Old 10-07-2008, 03:42 PM   #9
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Jim,

Thank you for catching that, I should have been more complete in my comment about using a wire coat hanger.

When bending the hook in the end of the coat hanger, make sure to loop and crimp the end so that it can't scrap the surface.
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Old 10-07-2008, 06:34 PM   #10
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The drain you describe is the anode, does not have any wires and it is about 9-1/2" L, it is just sacrificial metal. Be prepared to replace it, about $10-$13 for a replacment. The water heater mfg is probably Suburban, Atwood water heaters are glass lined and don't have anodes. Additionally, it's a good idea to drain water heater periodically and refill to keep a head of air on top, this keeps the relief valve from weeping.
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Old 10-07-2008, 07:45 PM   #11
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You can always rinse out the tank by removing the pressure valve and flushing with a hose through that opening, draining out where the anode goes. The little tool probably works better, but I never seem to have it, even though it is often sold with the anode.

When initially removing the anode, let the pressure out via a faucet and double check by operating the pressure valve. Lots of folks avoid the pressure valve thinking it may start to leak later. The idea is to make sure it doesn't leak by testing it frequently. Make sure it resets and quits dripping after a few seconds. It is a normally and regularly replaced item (same at home, too).
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Old 10-08-2008, 05:57 AM   #12
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PPL sells anodes for both Atwood and Suburban hot water heaters. I sure do appreciate all the help guys, thank you for your efforts. I'm off to Lowes (or the local RV store) to see what I can find. I am also looking for a new hot water heater check valve. I'll give a post of my success or my adventures.
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Old 10-08-2008, 06:10 AM   #13
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Ooops, that's a water heater, sorry Big Jimpo. I should know that being RedHot.
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Old 10-08-2008, 06:41 AM   #14
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That's OK Red Hot. My next goal in life is going to be to educate people that there is no
g in Cummins.
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