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Old 05-18-2005, 11:32 AM   #1
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How many of you have checked the anode rod in your water heater? It should be checked about every 3 months or so. If you don't have one I would add one as it will help clean the calcium out of the water and make your water heater last longer and heat better. For those that need a visual check this out.
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Old 05-18-2005, 11:32 AM   #2
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How many of you have checked the anode rod in your water heater? It should be checked about every 3 months or so. If you don't have one I would add one as it will help clean the calcium out of the water and make your water heater last longer and heat better. For those that need a visual check this out.
As always all my mods, repairs etc are on my Yahoo Photo site... following the link in my signature.
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Old 05-18-2005, 03:47 PM   #3
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Update

Atwood tanks are made of aluminum and do not need a anode rod per si. But, be aware that the aluminum tank is acting as the "anode" and the water is the "cathode" meaning the the tank is slowly be eaten away instead of the anode rod! IE - pin holes could could occur at some point with continued use and no maintenence. So, if you are not going to use it for awhile I would drain the tank and use my wet/dry vac to draw out any water left in the bottom of the tank.

There are anode rods for Atwoods. Good, bad, needed not needed you will have to judge for yourself.
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Old 05-23-2005, 07:21 AM   #4
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Anoder rods are there to deal with electrolytic action which does not happen with aluminum. If you visit the site of Atwood, or read the owner's guide, you will find that it is a violation of the warranty to install any metal part into the drain plug because of the issue of bimetalic action.
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Old 06-07-2005, 02:09 PM   #5
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To re-affirm what Kirk said above, Below is a quote from one of their rep.'s that I contacted regarding the issue of anode rods:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Thank you for visiting our website. Our water heaters do not need an anode rod. They are aluminum clad with a built in anode. Installing them in a new water heater actually voids the warranty. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Old 08-22-2005, 08:20 PM   #6
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Interesting. I put one in after talking to a neighbor. It is far past its warranty anyway so that is not of my concern. Just don't want to make anything worse.
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Old 04-21-2006, 08:55 PM   #7
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UPDATE Here is the anode rod 11 months later. Yep the same one in the first picture that is marked "new anode rod".
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Old 04-26-2006, 04:11 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Interesting. I put one in after talking to a neighbor. It is far past its warranty anyway so that is not of my concern. Just don't want to make anything worse. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
If you leave it in you will make things much worse. The anode is designed for action with a steel tank and it will cause problems with an aluminum one. The aluminum is electrictly more active than the material of the anode and you will soon have pin holes in your tank if you leave it in place. Secondly, the steel of the fitting that holds the anode will react with galvanic corrosion when in contact with the aluminum threads. It will not take very long until it will become impossible to remove.

This information comes from a seminar on water heater maintenance put on by Atwood.
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Old 05-01-2006, 03:40 PM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Anoder rods are there to deal with electrolytic action which does not happen with aluminum. </div></BLOCKQUOTE> Not true.

Aluminum is part of the galvanic series table and reacts with all other metals, some sacrificial, some not.

Aluminum is close to iron and not that far off of steel, and zinc is still sacrificial to aluminum but not quite as much as it is to steel. Given that, regardless of what atwood says it wouldn't bother me to use a zinc in an aluminum tank.

However, since aluminum is sacrificial to steel the issue may be the steel plug on the zincs that atwood is concerned about because zinc is clearly sacrificial to aluminum. I don't know what kind of plugs sre in the atwood tanks but based on the galvanic voltages it appears that if steel were used the action would eat out the threads of the tank first.

Also, zinc anodes work with any metal that is more positive, not just steel, which is nearly all metals. If I were to use a zinc in an aluminum tank I believe I would stick it through the hole and let it lay in the bottom of the tank depending on the conduction of the water for continuity so as to avoid steel which would be a problem. I'm curious about the plugs in the atwood tank, are they plastic or aluminum or something like that.
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Old 05-01-2006, 05:21 PM   #10
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You may be right concerning the steel plug. I inquired of Atwood awhile back about that and they said to use the plastic or BRASS plug,considering the relief vales is brass already.
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Old 05-01-2006, 07:51 PM   #11
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All the talk on anode rods but nobody has mentioned that Suburban is the only one that uses these rods. Atwood does not use them. If you have a Atwood tank they are not recommended, only Suburban brand tanks.

PS...Atwoods use a plastic plug.
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Old 05-01-2006, 10:34 PM   #12
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The brass plug you said they recommend doesn't seem right as brass would be more galvanic than steel to aluminum.

The only two metals that are sacrificial to aluminum are zinc and magnesium. I think the best all around setup for the aluminum tank would be an aluminum plug with a zinc attached to it.
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:18 PM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Fossilhog:
You may be right concerning the steel plug. I inquired of Atwood awhile back about that and they said to use the plastic or BRASS plug,considering the relief vales is brass already. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Tim, You are correct the relief valve is brass and if there is no problem with a brass relief valve then obviously there is no problem with a brass drain plug. Recently an Atwood tech said no problem with a brass plug. He mentioned a nylon plug was used mainly so if the RV owner were to cross thread it when reinstalling it there would be no damage to the threads on the tank. Personally, after much research on this Atwood and what type of plug to use issue, I have decided to go with a brass petcock for a plug. Wrapped with teflon tape before install. Also, this brass petcock to be remove/loosened every 2 months (when I routinely flush sediment out of the tank) to reduce any chance that the plug may get fixed/welded/stuck in the plug hole.
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Old 06-12-2006, 04:13 PM   #14
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OEMTECH....that picture of the deteriorated anode rod with a 1" gap between the plug and the anode covering looks exactly like my Suburban anode rod. After about 10 months of original use.

Should I replace it now or will the remaining coating still do the job?

I assume its been doing its job and there's no way to stop this action, but when should these be replaced?

Thanx
Joe
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