The RVers Corner

Water Heater Anodes

I have seen zink rods for atwood water heaters. Do these do any good or is draining the water a better idea. The camper is used two weekends a month and for about two weeks during the summer. Pulling the plug only takes a minute.

For Atwood with the aluminum tank the anode rod is a must in our part of the world due to acid water. A sacrifical rod should be standard equipment in all warer heaters as the quality of water varies from place tp place. The rod for 15 or so bucks is cheaper in the long run than replacing the water heater because of corrosion. I only get about a season and a half in a rod before it is eaten up. P.S. We live in central North Carolina, and I know that the water here is much better than in Wisconsin where they sell water softening supplies in the grocery stores.

Joe, Before you run out and buy that anode, you may want to check out the thread entitled "Hott Rod"

Re read the thread myself, thanks Greg,and remembered I didn't mention anti seize sealant. always use a good anti seize compound on pipe threads that have to be removed frequently I prefer Locktite PST (pipe sealeant with Teflon)

Good point Charles. I tried to get my water heater drain plug out last week (for the first time) and boy was it tight! Didn't think it was going to budge at first. I'll put Locktite on my list of things to get. Thanks.

Chris at Atwood claims that the Atwood units have an aluminum tank with a special coating and that an anode is not required, as any deposits will be washed off to the bottom of the tank. He claims that the Suburban units with their steel/magnetic tanks require the anodes to keep from rusting out. I think I buy this argument as this is my 5th Atwood unit (I also have a suburban unit). We have high mineral water and there never was any deposits in the aluminum tanks. My Hott Rod, which is a steel heating element, gets deposits and has to be cleaned. If you put an anode in any tank you will attract deposits but If you don't the deposits will not stick to the aluminium. That is my experience and that is what Atwood tech service claims. Those interested in water heaters should read my most recent post under "Hott Rod" It contains thoroughly researched facts about water heaters that all should be aware of.

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