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Old 11-17-2016, 08:49 AM   #1
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Water heater

Just finished winterizing the Challenger KT37. When draining the water heater, I found that it had a nylon plug, and did not have the cathode rod. Is this normal, or should I replace the nylon plug with a metal plug and cathode? Previous RV had the rod.

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Old 11-17-2016, 09:13 AM   #2
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Sanford,
There are much smarter folks than me that will give you a more detailed answer. But for a short answer, some models use the anode rod and some don't. The way I understand it Atwood water heaters do not use anode rods, while Suburban models do. The difference is due to the materials each are made from
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Old 11-17-2016, 09:21 AM   #3
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Sanford;


You did not say what brand water heater you have. I have an Atwood water heater. I asked the same question a few years ago. I was told that Atwood does not use a cathode rod as they have an aluminum tank and don't need the rod. I was told they use a plastic plug to eliminate possible electrolysis between a brass plug and the aluminum. Using a brass plug could damage the aluminum threads. If by chance you have a suburban water heater these statements don't apply to that brand.

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Old 11-17-2016, 11:18 AM   #4
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Sanford;


You did not say what brand water heater you have. I have an Atwood water heater. I asked the same question a few years ago. I was told that Atwood does not use a cathode rod as they have an aluminum tank and don't need the rod. I was told they use a plastic plug to eliminate possible electrolysis between a brass plug and the aluminum. Using a brass plug could damage the aluminum threads. If by chance you have a suburban water heater these statements don't apply to that brand.

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Old 11-17-2016, 11:55 AM   #5
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All previous responses are accurate!
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Old 11-17-2016, 11:58 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Sanford View Post
Just finished winterizing the Challenger KT37. When draining the water heater, I found that it had a nylon plug, and did not have the cathode rod. Is this normal, or should I replace the nylon plug with a metal plug and cathode? Previous RV had the rod.

Sanford
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Your manual should explain this. Check and see what brand you have.

Atwood HWH does not use a cathode, Suburban HWH does.

Sounds like you have an Atwood so you're supposed to have a nylon plug.

If so here's a great link for the proper flushing procedure
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Old 11-17-2016, 12:02 PM   #7
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Atwood water heaters do not use anode rod.
Suburban water heaters do use an anode rod
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Old 11-17-2016, 12:09 PM   #8
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One brand does because of 'steel tank' that is glass-lined and needs the cathodic protection of the anode rod
*Suburban--3/4" steel drain plug with attached anode rod

One brand does NOT because of an 'aluminum tank' that is aluminum/zinc clad and has builtin cathodic protection w/o use of an anode rod.
*Atwood--1/2" Nylon drain plug due to aluminum threads AND temperature rating of the nylon (CPVC/PVC fit but no NOT have high enough temp rating to be safe to use)
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Old 11-17-2016, 04:44 PM   #9
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I have the Atwood HWH. I removed the plastic plug to drain the tank and broke the head off the plastic plug. Had a heck of a time removing the rest of the plug. Thought plastic was not a good idea so I purchased a brass plug with a valve on end to drain tank never thought there would be a problem with the reaction with brass and aluminum! It has been in HWH for year tried to remove brass plug but doesn't want to move. Just had a crescent wrench handy so I'll try to removed with socket wrench and replace with plastic plug. I won't over tighten


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