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Old 10-26-2009, 10:51 PM   #15
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I read that the Lightning rod takes 45-90 minutes to get to 125. Is the HotRod like that? I plan to either pick one of these everyone has suggested or do something on my own tomorrow.
check on the power consumption (# of watts) each consumes. the one that uses more electricity will perform better.
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Old 10-26-2009, 11:23 PM   #16
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Had a Hott Rodd in the last Moho! It was an Atwood 6 Gal Tank . Heated just fine and stayed Hot. Attach the Thermostat to the Pressure relief Valve with the supplied Zap Straps. No need to cut away any insulation.
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:07 PM   #17
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Alright, I chose the hott rod. I just finished the job. I went under my fridge and mounted the thermostat on the tank. I plugged it in with the refridgerator. How do you guys and/or ladies feel about that (can't discriminate)? Think it will be ok?
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:01 PM   #18
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Should work fine!
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Old 11-10-2009, 05:38 PM   #19
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Why are they so slow? Are any quicker than the other? Why can't I find a regular hot water heater element that fits and wire it in? I have used them in biodiesel production by putting them in pipes and circulating the oil and methoxide past it. Is there a problem with getting the tank too hot too fast?
They are slow because you are limited on wattage (the amount of power it uses to produce heat) Home water heaters are usually 4500-5000 watts, and 240 volt, the 120 volt elements are usually limited to less than 2000 watts. The gas burner puts out more Btu's of heat than the electric heating element.
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:19 PM   #20
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I completed the mod a week or so ago. It works great. Thanks for the info on the wattage I didnt' know that.
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Old 12-25-2015, 06:41 AM   #21
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Updateiamond Group has an anode fitting now to add to their Hott Rod conversion for those with Suburban water heater and are concerned with the need for one SBA34 3/4" Anode Reducer,sold on their website.
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Old 12-25-2015, 06:58 AM   #22
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Alright, I chose the hott rod. I just finished the job. I went under my fridge and mounted the thermostat on the tank. I plugged it in with the refridgerator. How do you guys and/or ladies feel about that (can't discriminate)? Think it will be ok?
Should work but a dedicated circuit would be better if you electrical skills are up to the task. What you have to be carful with is to never turn the electrical side on if the water tank is empty. I trip the breaker as part of winterizing since the electrical side on/off switch is easy to bump (coach is in the drive and always plugged it). The element will burn open in less than a minute.
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Old 12-25-2015, 08:29 AM   #23
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Why are they so slow? Are any quicker than the other? Why can't I find a regular hot water heater element that fits and wire it in?
The recovery time is strictly a matter of the wattage of the element, which directly converts to btus of heat. The factory electric is a bit slower than gas because the element produces somewhat less btus. However, I believe the Hott Rod is only a 450 watt heater, which is much smaller than what Atwood uses in their combo gas/electric model. The factory heater is 1400 watts and the factory thermostat is 140 degrees. Those add-on heaters are definitely going to be slower.

I never felt the recovery time difference was significant, but if 2-3 people need to show in quick succession, you would notice the difference. Especially with the slow Hott or Lightning Rod add-ons. But you can still use the gas burner when you want, and it can be used at the same time as the electric to really speed up recovery. There is no downside to having the electric heater installed.

I don't know of any standard water heater element that would fit in the existing threaded hole on an Atwood, but if you can find one in the 500-1440 watts range it certainly could be used. You need to wire in a thermostat, though, so the kits "Lightning Rod or Hott Rod) are a convenient way to go.
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Old 12-25-2015, 02:26 PM   #24
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They are slow because you are limited on wattage (the amount of power it uses to produce heat) Home water heaters are usually 4500-5000 watts, and 240 volt, the 120 volt elements are usually limited to less than 2000 watts. The gas burner puts out more Btu's of heat than the electric heating element.
And home hot water heaters are generally 40 or 50 gallons and not 6. So that's comparing apples to oranges. Chuck
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Old 12-25-2015, 02:35 PM   #25
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Why not the best of both worlds with one of these?

http://www.amazon.com/ATWOOD-GALLON-...9ZENM9B7P7M373
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Old 12-26-2015, 08:39 AM   #26
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I can't see spending all that money to replace a perfect good hot water system when the much less expensive kit will work just fine. That is unless your in a position where it needs to be replaced. Then this would be a good alternative. Chuck
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Old 12-27-2015, 10:09 AM   #27
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Better product and cost less. Ours has performed flawlessly for over a year. http://www.amazon.com/Camco-11673-Wa...co+rv+products
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Old 12-27-2015, 01:34 PM   #28
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Has anyone done this: THousands have
Is it safe: YES

pro: The rod is a slow heater, usually in the 500 or less range Not the 12oo watt element in a dual power heater. So it heats very slowly.
BUT. it's a small ticket item so you can use it on 30 amps more easily without tripping the breaker,, ( I wish they would put dual power elements in the gas/electric jobs so I could do that).

Cons: When you go to drain the heater.. Lot more work.

I have replaced one for a friend. Simple install, but still more work than just pulling the plug to drain the heater.
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