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Old 10-19-2011, 09:37 PM   #1
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Question Water heater anode rod?

We just got our new trailer which I winterized this weekend. I went to drain the hot water heater and there is only a plastic plug where our other trailer had an anode rod installed. Do the newer trailers no longer need this or is this something I am supposed to add after market?

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:13 PM   #2
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I'm not familiar with your trailer. I have a 2002 Eagle Summit popup. I wanted to install a drain valve vise the plug. I found an anode rod with one installed. I inquired at Camping World as to the fit for an Atwood hot water heater. I was told the anorode is not required for aluminum ho****er heaters. Mine had the plastic plug also. I replaced the plastic plug with a brass fitting and drain valve. It was cheaper than the $15.00 anorode with the valve which was not needed, per Camping Worlds parts dept recommendation.
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Old 10-20-2011, 12:00 AM   #3
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Our trailer has the plastic plug also. Our old Prowler came with the plastic and after 17 years the heater is still working. Our Montana had the anode rod and was 6 years old and all was good. I will not be shopping for a rod for this trailer.
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Old 10-20-2011, 07:16 AM   #4
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Our '08 came with just a plastic plug too. I don't plan on adding an anode rod either.
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:32 AM   #5
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I have a 2011 which has the 12 Gal Suburban and I have an anode. It was corroded pretty good last weekend when I pulled it. Might be worth a call to the manufacturer if installing one would harm or interfere with any internal components before doing so.

As far as not needing one. I think, and could be wrong here, but the anode comes into play when you are under electric mode when electrolosis is going to eat the inside of your tank. If you use mostly propane to heat your tank then some may last longer than others which could lead to different experiences and outcomes.

You do however have history working for you, in that this seems to be a long standing approach from this manufacturer and seem to be performing well even after years of use.
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Old 10-20-2011, 09:07 AM   #6
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Suburban water heaters need an anode. Atwood water heaters do not.
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Old 10-20-2011, 09:29 AM   #7
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Interesting - think I'll fire off an email to Atwood (manufacturer of my water heater). Might be interesting to see what a manufacturer has to say..
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Old 10-20-2011, 09:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norty1 View Post
Suburban water heaters need an anode. Atwood water heaters do not.
I believe norty has it nailed. The Atwood tanks do not need an anode due to their construction. Only the plastic plug.
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Old 10-20-2011, 10:14 AM   #9
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Absolutely correct - just got a reply from Atwood - "Thank you for visiting the Atwood Mobile Products, LLC website. We do not put anode rods in our tanks or recommend anyone putting one in because our tanks are aluminum and do not require them. I hope this clears things up."
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Old 10-20-2011, 12:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3'senough View Post
I have a 2011 which has the 12 Gal Suburban and I have an anode. It was corroded pretty good last weekend when I pulled it. Might be worth a call to the manufacturer if installing one would harm or interfere with any internal components before doing so.

As far as not needing one. I think, and could be wrong here, but the anode comes into play when you are under electric mode when electrolosis is going to eat the inside of your tank. If you use mostly propane to heat your tank then some may last longer than others which could lead to different experiences and outcomes.

You do however have history working for you, in that this seems to be a long standing approach from this manufacturer and seem to be performing well even after years of use.
You pretty much nailed it. Electrolysis caused corrosion doesn't come from using the electric element. It will happen even if you don't use the heater as long as there is water present. The purpose of the anode rod is to sacrifice itself by being more susceptable to corrosion than the tank and other components in the tank (an oversimplification of what happens but a flow of electricity is involved). A corroded anode rod should give one an idea of what would have happened to the tank, etc. had it not been there. It is a consumable that has to be inspected every so often and replaced before completely consumed. It does have to make electrical contact with the tank so it's not a good idea to use sealant on the threads unless it is impossible to keep it from leaking without overtightening the threads. Frequently checking the rod will help to prevent the threads from seizing.

Using a zinc or magnesium anode rod with an aluminum tank could actually cause premature corrosion of the tank.
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